Our Very Present Help
Last 2 weeks speaking on Psalm 46.
Today we have a gift to help you meditate upon Psalm 46. Take a verse a week or longer and go over everyday several times. Make it into a prayer or song.
Psalm 46 card picture
On back is code for first letter of each word to trigger memory. One per person at info desk when you leave.
Week one was about Trusting God as our refuge in the storms of life.
Week two about Trusting God as our strength. This week about trusting God as a very present help in trouble. More specifically I want to address the subject of:
“God is our Refuge and Strength, a Very Present Help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear.”
“very” = meod = Hebrew: abundantly.
“Present” = matsa = Hebrew: to find out.
“To find out God is abundantly present”
You will find out God is with you when it appears He is not. He is abundantly present and has never left you. In danger He is there. In trouble He is there. In solitude and silence – He is still there.
Possibly a prophetic word to someone listening:
“You are not alone. Don’t trust your feelings. Trust Me. Stop giving in to doubts and believe My Word. Talk to Me. I hear you. I am as close as your breath. I AM YOUR VERY PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE. Come to Me first. Seek Me first and I will direct your path.”
AARP = 42.6 million people from age 45 and above suffer from loneliness. The first negative thing God ever spoke was,
“It is not good for man (mankind) to be alone.” Genesis 2:18
Sometimes God can bring seasons of loneliness into your life for a good reason.
- Maybe you need to initiate making one new friend. It starts just with acquaintance and builds from there.
- Maybe God wants you to seek Him in a deeper way. Jesus often went to a lonely place. There is a time for that – if you will draw close to God. Early church fathers were called “desert fathers” because of times they would spend alone in desert seeking to hear God.
Apostle Paul knew loneliness in ministry. Near the end of his fruitful ministry and life he wrote to Timothy (a young pastor he mentored).
“No one stood with me, everyone has forsaken and abandoned me” 2 Tim. 4:16
Yet he was not bitter, offended, or depressed. He learned some things from loneliness and from having no humans standing with him.
“But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me. I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. The Lord will deliver me from every evil work.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book titled, “Life Together”. In it he stressed we need both a life of community interacting with other like minded people. At the same time, we need solitude and need to know how to be comfortable alone with God.
God is invisible but He says for us to believe that He is
“A very present Help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
1. God the Father is invisible. Moses had a relationship with God described AS talking face to face but He never saw a form. God declared no one can see My face and live! God the Father reveals the goodness of God – “all My goodness pass before you”
2. God the Son only one of the trinity visible. “No one has seen God at any time. The Only Son, who is at the Father’s side has made Him known (has explained Him).” John 1:18
God the Son reveals the grace and truth of God. “Law came…but grace and truth came by JC”
3. God the Holy Spirit is invisible. Jesus described God’s HS like wind or breath.
God the Holy Spirit reveals God’s guidance to us.
GPS = God’s Personal Spirit - living inside you.
God the Father reveals - goodness to us.
God the Son reveals - grace to us.
God the Spirit reveals - guidance to us.
For the most part God remains invisible to us.
Ill. What would happen if Jesus manifested Himself in bodily form for all of us to see Him here right now? Everyone would fall on their faces on the floor. If His glory were allowed to be manifested the power of His manifested Presence would put everyone on the floor like the evening when the Temple guards came to take Him captive. When they asked which one was Jesus he said, “I AM” the the power of God hit so hard they all fell down involuntarily.
Why not do that today? Because He wants voluntary worship not involuntary. There will come a day when every knee/bow. But for now volunteers only!
Ill. After Jesus’ resurrection Thomas was listening to the other disciples who saw Jesus resurrected. He said I won’t believe unless I see it myself and touch His scars myself. Jesus suddenly appeared and said, “I heard that!” Not really.
The Passion Translation, “Looking into Thomas’ eyes Jesus said, “Put your hand here in My wounds and see for yourself.
“Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!” John 20:27 Passion Translation
I believe Jesus is saying this right now to someone here.
Then these words spilled out of his heart.
“You are my Lord and my God!” John 20:28 PT
“Thomas, now that you’ve seen Me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen Me with their eyes, but believe in Me with their heart, and they will be blessed even more than you have been today!”
He is talking about you and me if we really believe Him w/o seeing Him.
Question: Where was Jesus before He appeared in this room?
Do you really believe this? Then why do you talk as though He was not present? Part of getting saved is believing God raised Jesus from the dead, in other words that He is alive and among us right now!
Jesus went on to do many more miraculous signs, which are not included in this book. But all that is recorded here is so that you will fully believe that Jesus is the Anointing, the Son of God, and God the Son, and that through faith in Him, you will experience God’s life and Presence in the power of His name! John 20:29-31 para/PT
Before He left earth Jesus said,
“I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” Mtt. 28:20
This is not the first time God said this to His people. He has always wanted them to know He is the God who is a very present help.
The awareness of God as a very present help will alleviate fear!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
He wanted Israel to believe in Him and that He was present to deliver them from trouble even though they could not see or feel Him.
To Joshua and Israel about to fight enemies as they entered Promise land.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isa. 41:10
The book of Hebrews is quoting Jesus’s words to us:
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
Jesus before He left He told the disciples He would send the “another” Spirit to them. Word “another” here means one the same kind as His.
“And I will ask the Father and He will give you another (the same kind like Jesus) the Holy Spirit of Truth —and He will never leave you. The world won’t receive Him because they can’t see Him or know Him. But you will know Him intimately, because He will make His home in you and will live inside you.” John 14:16-17 PT
All these scriptures from OT to NT are the same God who is talking: “God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT HELP in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
He is here, very present now. He is I am not I was or I will be. He is always with you whether you feel or see Him. He is a very present God and Father and Savior and Deliverer, and Healer, and Provider.
What difference does this make? You are never alone. You don’t ever have to be afraid of anything.
“But I feel alone. I need human companionship.” Yes, that is true but it also not true. First and foremost, God wants you to have such a relationship with Him that He becomes the love of your life. The One you go to first in any situation. Before you look to a human you come to Him.
He may allow you to go through some lonely times in order for you to develop that one to One relationship with Him.
Yet He understands how He created you. He knows you need a human touch, human fellowship as well. But not at the expense of not developing a love relationship with Him first.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is Mine.” Song of Songs 6:3
Book Song of Solomon is about the intimacy love between God and man is much likened to intimacy between husband and wife.
Ill. Movie Noah: Noah standing before ark. Warlords come to say this is our ground. You either surrender to me or I am taking it by force and that building you call an ark. Noah whispers something to God. I know Noah was long before the psalmist who wrote Psalm 46. But could it have been something like this: “God is my refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.” The war lord looks strangely at Noah as he just heard him whispering to someone, but there is no one he can see with him. Then the warlord says, “I have hundreds of men with me and you dare defy me standing here alone?” Then Noah confidently says, I am not alone!
This confidence made this men of war back down. That was just a movie. But in reality you should say the same thing when the enemy war lords come at you saying you are all alone with no one to help you.
Then you boldly say, “God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will not I fear!” Psalm 46:1
A Spirit of fear is a demon sent to torment you.
You must load this word in your heart and mouth like a weapon. When needed – fire at will! Every born of God child has been given a concealed weapon to carry this powerful word of God. Shout
“Church, load your weapon!”
Pic of Bible “gun”
I am going to tell you how to get loaded! You ought to be loaded all the time!
- Spend time in God’s presence and then God’s Presence will manifest in you.
Ill. In Wilderness Tabernacle inside the Holy place was a table where each week 12 loaves of bread laid out. The bread was called shew bread. For one week the bread stayed in the presence of God in the holy place. After one week this bread was no longer called shew bread but bread of presence. The priest would eat it. Do you think it was hard and stale after a week laid out in the open air? No it stayed fresh because of the Presence of the Lord. This was one way God manifested His Presence to them – in the bread. The point is when you spend time in God’s Presence (His Word) it get’s on you and in you abundantly. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” Col. 3:16.
ill. You fill up your heart with much scripture so you automatically load your mouth with ammo at any moment. WE are charismatic here at GT. But some of you need to become automatics!
Keep one in the chamber (mouth). Psalm 46:1 would be good to keep in your chamber. When the devil comes snooping around trying to terrorize you – all you need to do is whisper the Word. He will say, “What did you say?”
Then with bold quiet confidence like Clint Eastwood squint your eyes and say Psalm 46:1 adding “punk” at the end. You are declaring the Presence of the Lord with you. God is invisible to you and to demons. But when you speak out loud His word then His Presence, I believe appears to the demons and they scream and leave. Their terror to you is over once you declare God’s Presence is what you are trusting in.
Concl: Someone may be at a crossroads today. You will either believe God or believe your feelings. I close by reminding you of the prophetic word given at the beginning. Listen and see if you hear God talking to you in this. If you do, then respond to His word with corresponding action. Come to this altar and talk to Him first. Come to counselors for prayer after if you need to.