God: Help and Hope

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God…” – Psalm 146:5 (NIV84)

If you’ve set aside a few minutes to read this blog post, allow me to invite you to set aside a few extra minutes and open your Bible up to Psalm 146 and read it first before you continue on.

It’s cool, I’ll wait for you.  Go ahead and read it.  I promise it will help you more than this blog post will.

Wow.  There’s a lot of important stuff packed into those 10 short verses, isn’t there?

We live in a superhero culture, don’t we?  I’ve lost count on how many Marvel movies there are.  (Am I supposed to watch Avengers before or after I watch Ironman 1, 2, & 3?  Or am I supposed to watch half of the Thor movies and then watch Transformers?  Where does Spiderman fit in this tangled “web” of storylines?  I’m getting angry….wait….that’s the Hulk…)

It’s not just movies.  It’s TV shows, novels, music.  And it’s not just superheroes.  It seems that in almost every storyline across all media platforms, there is one person, or a small group of people, that others are looking to for help and hope.

Maybe you can relate to that.  Maybe you’re looking for help and hope in a world and culture that seems helpless and hopeless, and you’ve tried to find it in a person or a group of people.  A boyfriend or girlfriend.  A fiancé.  A husband or wife.  A teacher.  A friend.  A political figure.  A parent.  A boss or coworker.  A pastor or church leader.  Or maybe you’ve tried all of the above and then some.

While all of those people can play an important role in your life, they all have one thing in common.  None of them are superhuman.  They’re just human.  Mortal men (and women) who cannot save, as Psalm 146:3 tells us.  When they die, so do their plans (verse 4).  That leaves you and me with little help and hope if we look for it in one another, doesn’t it?

But, oh, what great joy to be found in verse 5!  There is One in whom we can find true help and hope!  “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God…  (Emphasis mine)

Wooooooohoooooooo!  Yeehaw!  Yes!  Amen!  Hallelujah!  Wow!  (Feel free to insert your own expression of joy here.)

What makes this God qualified to give us help and hope?  Check out his resumé in verse 6.  “the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – the Lord, who remains faithful forever.”  This God is not like mortal man.  His Spirit never departs.  He wasn’t created from the ground…He created the ground!  His plans don’t come to nothing.  They are fulfilled in every way!

This God is the God of the Bible.  He’s written a story (His Word) for us in which He is the hero.  Everything in it points to Him.  He alone brings help and hope!  And since He’s faithful forever, we don’t need to look anywhere else!  (Why would we want to?)

What kind of help does He give?  He gives food to the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, watches over the alien (non-Israelites, not non-earthlings), sustains the fatherless and the widow.  (Verses 7-9)

What kind of hope does He give?  He upholds the cause of the oppressed, encourages those who submit to Him in humility, loves those who love Him and follow His commands, and frustrates the ways of those who reject Him.  (Verses 7-9)

This is a God of supreme love and justice.  He is exactly what we’re looking for, and exactly Who we need.  Nothing and no one else matches His ability to save.  Why look anywhere else for help and hope when help and hope is what we’re really looking for?  God is help and hope.

When you find that help and hope in the Lord (who remains faithful forever), what is your response going to be?  Same as the author who wrote this psalm.  “Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  (Verses 1-2).

When we understand that God is help and hope, true help and hope, the only help and hope, and that He is faithful forever, what great joy that brings!  And our joy in Him results in our praise to Him, and ultimately to His glory and fame as the One who saves.

Want to know what brings God joy?  Since you already have your Bible open, why not pick it back up and read Psalm 147 too?

It’s cool, I’ll wait for you.  Go ahead and read it.  I promise it will help you more than this blog post will.