Where Does My Help Come From?
Psalm 121 is a well-known chapter in the Bible. From songs and hymns to conversations in church, it is a psalm that rings familiar for many of us.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth (Psalms 121:1-2 ESV).
It is a truth that we can perhaps recite word for word, but what happens when we really do need help?
I have been a Christian since the age of 11 and, in that time, I have had it relatively easy. That was, until last September. On the day of my brother’s wedding, I had a nervous breakdown (talk about timing!) I had always been known as the bright and bubbly member of the family, always cheery and taking everything in my stride, but on that day, it was like everything went dark. I had been relying on myself and leaning completely on what I understood of the world. I was in a happy relationship, had recently moved to my favorite city and my brother was getting married! I could not understand why I was in hysterics, going from severe panic attacks to trying to shake off suicidal thoughts. And then, that lightbulb moment came.
“I need help,” I finally said to my mother, who had been trying to calm me down. I had realized that up until this point, I knew that God could help me, but I did not think I needed Him to. I thought I could do it alone, that I could work out any issues by myself. Evidently, that was not true.
I confessed that I needed help to my family, and then I took myself to Jesus, repented of my desire to control my life, and laid everything before the Lord and said, “I cannot do this alone.” Since then, it has not been perfect; in fact, some days are still very dark, but I come back to Jesus, I ask Him to step in, and He does so perfectly, every single time.
My challenge to you today is this:
You may know that your help comes from the Lord, you may know that He will keep you from all harm, however, are you willing to let Him do so? Submit yourself to Christ again, confess that His way of helping is greater than yours, and then leave room for Him to move.
Pray this prayer with me:
God, I repent for the times that I have chosen my ways instead of Yours. I thank You that You are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Today, help me to choose You, and lean not on my own understanding. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Taken Aside by Jesus – Streams in the Desert – August 27
- 202227 Aug
And he took him aside from the multitude (Mark 7:33).
Paul not only stood the tests in Christian activity, but in the solitude of captivity. You may stand the strain of the most intense labor, coupled with severe suffering, and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities; when forced into close confinement in some prison house.
That noble bird, soaring the highest above the clouds and enduring the longest flights, sinks into despair when in a cage where it is forced to beat its helpless wings against its prison bars. You have seen the great eagle languish in its narrow cell with bowed head and drooping wings. What a picture of the sorrow of inactivity.
Paul in prison. That was another side of life. Do you want to see how he takes it? I see him looking out over the top of his prison wall and over the heads of his enemies. I see him write a document and sign his name–not the prisoner of Festus, nor of Caesar; not the victim of the Sanhedrin; but the–“prisoner of the Lord.” He saw only the hand of God in it all. To him the prison becomes a palace. Its corridors ring with shouts of triumphant praise and joy.
Restrained from the missionary work he loved so well, he now built a new pulpit–a new witness stand–and from that place of bondage come some of the sweetest and most helpful ministries of Christian liberty. What precious messages of light come from those dark shadows of captivity.
Think of the long train of imprisoned saints who have followed in Paul’s wake. For twelve long years Bunyan’s lips were silenced in Bedford jail. It was there that he did the greatest and best work of his life. There he wrote the book that has been read next to the Bible. He says, “I was at home in prison and I sat me down and wrote, and wrote, for joy did make me write.” The wonderful dream of that long night has lighted the pathway of millions of weary pilgrims.
That sweet-spirited French lady, Madam Guyon, lay long between prison walls. Like some caged birds that sing the sweeter for their confinement, the music of her soul has gone out far beyond the dungeon walls and scattered the desolation of many drooping hearts.
A Basket Overflowing
Evan Heerema, Author, Today’s Devotion
SCRIPTURE READING — COLOSSIANS 1:3-14
We continually ask God to fill you. . . .
In late August in the area where I live, it’s not unusual to hear about harvesting. Harvest time is near, and what was planted in spring and cared for in summer is almost ready to fill baskets and bins.
Paul knew that the Colossians’ faith, love, and hope were rooted in Christ. And that meant a bountiful harvest would come for the church. Paul said that he and others continually asked God for the Colossians to be filled to overflowing with the knowledge of God’s will through the wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit. This knowledge is not mere head knowledge; it is heart knowledge that comes with wisdom and understanding. This involves the process of discerning the will of God, which comes through putting oneself aside and becoming filled with Jesus and the Spirit.
It is not easy to put ourselves in that position. It requires discipline, spiritual discipline. Jesus took time to be alone with his Father in order to remain focused, and we need to do the same, offering ourselves to the Father’s will, not our own.
Like Jesus, we need to develop the habit of seeking after and waiting for the will of God to be revealed to us. God wants us to know his will—and, rest assured, it will always conform to what the Bible teaches.
God of bounteous grace, help us to slow down to know you and your will better, that we may live faithfully for you. Amen.
Sharing Jesus With Others
From: Intouch Ministries
Ask the Lord to make you aware of the people you can love and serve today.
Jesus told us to continue His work on earth—to share the good news about God’s saving grace (Matthew 28:18-20). Following this command, however, isn’t always easy—especially with people who might be different from us. It may feel easier to befriend someone who shares our values, yet Jesus told us to “make disciples of all” (Matt. 28:19, emphasis added). While some opportunities may look like a waste of time from human perspective, the truth is that we never know who may be led to Jesus through our obedience.
Just look at Jesus’ life: He ate dinner with hated tax collectors (Matthew 9:10; Luke 19:5) and gently spoke His message of hope to an adulterous woman (John 4:7-27). And to anyone—disciple or Pharisee—shocked by His associations, He explained that He “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). We are to tenderly point men and women of all nationalities and backgrounds toward our forgiving God.
If Jesus were on earth today, He’d be ministering to the needy, the addicted, and the downtrodden. To be like our Savior, let’s love others and help them meet Him.