A very present help
Written by H, Posted in Christian Living, Published Work
Think about something that is always with you
No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, even your own shadow disappears when it’s completely dark. David wrote in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” In an ever-changing world filled with dark times and uncertainties, what a privilege to have a very present help.
The Hebrew text for “a very present help” is translated as “a help found exceedingly,” or “tried very much”. God is always with you and His help is always immediately available. In his Treasury of David, Spurgeon wrote that God “has been tried and proved by his people. He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready for their succour, and this is emphasized by the word very in our version, he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself.”
Do we believe this to be true? If so, why aren’t we living like we believe it? Luther believed it, and he lived it. It is from Psalm 46 that he penned the powerful hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God”. “And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us…”.
We need to keep our eyes on Christ at all times
When earth’s waters are roaring and troubled as they are now, it can be difficult to see how His truth will triumph through us. We need great courage to stay above water, and it is not in our own strength that we can do that. Anyone can act bold and get out of the boat as Peter did, but it takes big faith and absolute confidence, eyes on Christ at all times, to stay on top of the water. Only He can lead us to the rock and provide a firm foundation for our footing.
It makes a great difference if our foundation is floating or if our foundation is firm. David’s words are ours to share when we have Christ as our foundation. “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (46:3). We don’t have to fear when we can call upon God as our rock, our mighty fortress, and our deliverer (Ps. 18).
Were it not for hard seasons, we wouldn’t be able to claim God as our refuge and strength. Spurgeon said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages.” When we consider the content of the Bible, we realize that our history is filled with impossible situations and trying times. The accounts of believers before us are not without hardships, and they are not without hope. Though the times have changed, and the troubles may differ, God remains our refuge and strength, a very present help.