A Very Present Help in Trouble
Lisa Cooke

A Very Present Help in TroubleWho doesn’t have trouble at some point in their lives? We know that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but we also know that He delivers us out of them all. That deliverance may not happen instantaneously however, and our “time of trouble” may be with us longer than we want. Our faith is tested, our patience is tried, and our hope is challenged during the season of waiting on God who is our deliverer. During this time, the task is to find peace, the peace that often passes our understanding, and to dwell there as God works out the details of our deliverance.

Psalm 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He is a “present” help, meaning He is in the midst of the situation we are facing. It can be very easy to feel He is far away when we are struggling with any variety of troubles. But His word to us is that He is near and that He is a help to us. He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us, though we may find ourselves tempted to believe otherwise. In order to stay in peace, the truth of His imminence should be our focus.

There are many reassuring scriptures that tell us of God’s nearness.

  • Psalm 91:15 tells us “He shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”
  • Psalm 145:18 says “the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on him in truth.”
  • Deuteronomy 4:7 states “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?”

Calling upon the Lord indicates that we believe He is near and that He hears us. This is crucial to our faith, supporting our confidence that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Matthew Henry says of Psalm 34:18 “It is the constant practice of real believers, when in distress, to cry unto God, and it is their constant comfort that He hears them.”

Psalm 94:9 tells us that “He who planted the ear, shall He not hear?” We may with boldness make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6) when we have the conviction that He hears us. “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’” (Isaiah 58:9).

To hear the Lord say “Here I am” is the foundation of our peace in the midst of any time of trouble. The One who knows the end from the beginning is able to strengthen us with might in our inner man during turbulent times with His presence. It is similar to the feeling a child gets when facing a bully, and his father walks up behind him. The relief is tangible and fear is ousted.

Our God is our Father, and we don’t have to face anything or anyone alone for He is with us. His presence includes every wonderful attribute of His being, which when meditated upon, brings great comfort and encouragement. Just thinking about His omniscience, His omnipotence, and His omnipresence on our behalf creates a holy confidence that rises to any occasion we may face.

We must assure our hearts that by His Spirit, through the marvelous work of salvation by Jesus, the Father is near to us. It is a comfort to us to know that we can call upon the Lord in our trouble and He will hear us.