“Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” -Psalm 54:4
To utter, “I cannot do this alone. I need help,” is often associated with weakness, not strength. We learn we must appear self-sufficient and quietly seek help from books, the internet, social media, or ourselves. On top of that, we have many ways to distract ourselves, so when the solutions don’t come through, we have options of where to place our attention as we hope the problems solve themselves.
Fortunately, the Lord has more for us. He offers Himself. God is a friend (James 2:23), shield (Psalm 28:7), protector (Psalm 32:7), and guide (Psalm 32:8)—He is everything we need. He is wise (Job 12:13), all-powerful (Psalm 147:5), present (Psalm 145:18), and loves us (Lamentations 3:22)—He is more than able to meet our needs. The Lord has promised that if we depend on Him, He will sustain us. By utilizing the gifts of prayer, His Word, and His community, we can choose to take every step with the Lord.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “There is so much frustration in the world because we have relied on gods rather than God.” Sometimes the gods we rely on are our intellect, relationships, money, status, materials, or careers. While these things are good gifts from the Lord, they are not created to save us. They are designed to redirect our minds to the creator; if we rely on them as saviors, they will fall short. The Word is clear; the Lord is our only Savior. When we seek His help, He will prove Himself to be faithful and a strong refuge in times of trouble.
In his book “Strength to Love,” King wrote of his personal experience relying on God:
“I was ready to give up. I tried to think of a way to move out of the picture without appearing to be a coward. In this state of exhaustion, when my courage had almost gone, I determined to take my problems to God. My head in my hands, I bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. … At that moment, I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced him. It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice, saying, ‘Stand up for righteousness; stand up for truth. God will be at your side forever.’ Almost at once, my fears began to pass from me. My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything. The outer situation remained the same, but God had given me inner calm. Three nights later, our home was bombed. Strangely enough, I accepted the word of the bombing calmly. My experience with God had given me a new strength and trust. I knew now that God is able to give us the interior resources to face the storms and problems of life. Let this affirmation be our ringing cry.”
Apart from the Lord, Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been a branch with no vines and produced no fruit. The civil rights leader knew where his strength came from and whom to cry out to. As we face trials, we must remember that the Lord listens and is eager to help. He delights in rescuing His children and revealing His power and glory through our lives.
“Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you.” -Isaiah 46:4
Thank the Father for His sustaining hand. Pray that you will seek him as a refuge and trust that He hears your cries for help.