An Ever-Present Help!
James Smith, 1842
"God is our refuge and strength — an ever-present help in trouble!" Psalm 46:1
There never was yet a friendless Christian. Whoever believes in Jesus is in covenant with God; and Jehovah is engaged to be His friend in every trouble, to comfort him in all his tribulations, and to be a God at hand, and not afar off.
Believers in every age have proved Jehovah to be a refuge; as such, He shelters us . . .
from the curses of a broken law,
from the threatening of divine justice,
and from the wrath of God.
He shelters the spirit — if the body appears to be exposed. He prevents harm — if He does not preserve from pain. "Nothing shall by any means hurt you!" Luke 10:19. It is one thing to be pained — this falls to the lot of the most favored saints; it is another thing to be injured — from this we are all preserved. Nothing shall by any means really hurt you —
no affliction, however painful;
no burden, however heavy;
no trial, however severe.
Nothing can really hurt us — but sin. And afflictions are sent to preserve us from sin — or correct us for it.
In every trouble — the Lord is our refuge; in every conflict — the Lord is our strength. Who need fear — that has Omnipotence on His side? "When I cry unto you, then shall my enemies turn back; this I know, for God is for me!"
The Lord is an ever-present help. We need not go out to find a friend — He is always near. He is in the chamber of affliction — about the bed of sickness. He is present to help. He says, "I am your God. Look to me. Expect from me. I will be a God to you.
My wisdom shall guide you,
my power shall protect you,
my love shall assure you,
my mercy shall save you,
my holiness shall sanctify you,
and my Spirit shall comfort you!
I will be a God to you, therefore I will be always with you, and always for you!"
Call in His aid then. He is present to strengthen — apply to Him to do so.
He helped . . .
Joseph in the prison;
David in the cave;
Hezekiah on his sick bed;
the three Israelites in the furnace;
Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi;
and He will help you!
"In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord, He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of great waters. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The Lord is near unto all that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God; and he heard my voice, and my cry entered into His ears." "The afflicted people you will save; but your eyes are upon the haughty, that you may bring them down."
Afflicted believer, God is your refuge!
His arms are open to receive you;
His heart glows with love unto you;
His fatherly affections yearn over you;
He loves to see you approach Him.
He is your strength; He will strengthen that which He has wrought in you; and make you more than a match for your troubles and foes. He is your help — a present help — an ever-present help — in every time of trouble. "The Lord will help you and deliver you, He will set you on high, because you have known His name. Trust in Him at all times, pour out your heart before Him, He is a refuge for you."
He who on earth as man was known,
And bore our sins and pains;
Now seated on the eternal throne,
The God of glory reigns.
This land, through which His pilgrims go,
Is desolate and dry;
But streams of grace from Him overflow,
Their thirst to satisfy.
When troubles, like a burning sun,
Beat heavy on their head;
To this Almighty Rock they run,
And find refreshing shade!