Our Help in Ages Past and Now

Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord, is in you.

  • Psalm 25:20-21

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

  • Hebrews 11:1

“Faith is the belief that God is real and that God is good. …  It is a choice to believe that the one who made it all hasn’t left it all and that he still sends light into the shadows and responds to gestures of faith. …

“Faith is the belief that God will do what is right.

“God says that the more hopeless your circumstances, the more likely your salvation.  The greater your cares, the more genuine your prayers.  The darker the room, the greater the need for light.

”God’s help is near and always available, but it is only given to those who seek it.”

  • Max Lucado, He Still Moves Stones

From yesterday’s post, Kierkegaard defined faith, but not really.  He defined sin as the opposite of faith.  He quoted Romans 14 in that the Apostle Paul said all things that are not faith are sin.

So, now Max Lucado defines faith in practical, not philosophical, terms.  We can rely upon God.  He is there in the hopelessness, providing Hope.  When our cares for ourselves and others reaches a fervent pitch, God hears our prayers, not that He doesn’t always hear them.  And God is Light.  Whenever there is darkness, God provides the light.

But we must seek God.

Most of us, I think, are content to go it on our own, letting the noise of this world drown out the voice of God.  We say that we believe, but we don’t have an intimate relationship with Jesus.  He isn’t our brother, more like a distant cousin, maybe a couple of times removed (whatever that means).

But we do come to Him, after ignoring Him for months, and pray fervently, when we have screwed it all up and we need help.

And sometimes, it is someone close to us who has stumbled, and they need help.  It is usually not the ones who have stored up great treasures on earth who help.  Those who can help with no effort will not help.  If they helped their neighbor, then they would not have the stores in their storehouse for when they might need them.  But since they have great stores, they never need them.  The stores simply grow.  Their faith is in their earthly treasures.

But the ones who go to the aid of a neighbor or relative who is struggling to stay afloat are the ones who almost need the helping hand themselves, or they may even be more needy than the neighbor.  They are the ones that Lucado talks about.  They have been, or are still, in darkness.  They are the ones who seem to have hopeless circumstances, yet they act like there is hope.  Because they have faith, and that faith shines a light in the darkness, a light shining on and from Hope.

And as for the post title, a song from A. W. Tozer’s favorite composer…

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guide while troubles last,
And our eternal home!

  • Isaac Watts, O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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