“If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have gone over our soul; then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul” (Psalm 124:2-5 NKJV).
When things get difficult, whom do you turn to for aid? Do you try to figure it out yourself? Do you look to family or friends? Or do you look to God? This does not mean simply throwing a prayer heavenward in a moment of crisis; do you really look to God each day?
When you come out of moments of difficulty, do you recognize that God was near and that He was with you through it all? Do you acknowledge His deliverance and help? Do you recognize what would have happened had He not been by you?
Psalm 124 does that. It recognizes God’s nearness to His people, and it acknowledges what would have happened had He not come to their aid. The psalmist was not merely looking to God as a safety valve in a moment of trouble, although he acknowledged Israel’s reliance upon God.
God wants to help His people; He desires to deliver them. Like any good parent wants to help and protect their children, God loves to help us, and He enjoys it even more when we recognize His divine intervention. He gains glory by what He does for us.
Of course, the question naturally comes: Why does God not deliver us from every painful or difficult situation? On the one hand, we can say that growth comes through hardship; we also gain a depth in our relationship with Him when He brings us through. But on the other hand, we have to acknowledge that within life, suffering is a great mystery too—and we do not have all the answers.
The crux of the matter, though, is that we pursue a relationship with God in which we invite Him into our daily lives and trust Him to be our God—even in the midst of our most painful moments and circumstances. And if our cries for help do not receive the exact answers we expect, will we still choose to believe that God is near and will see us through?
Where do you look for help? The psalmist declared, “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8 NKJV). Is He the One you look to? When you come through hardship, do you recognize how God was with you?
Father, You are our help. You have been our help. If it weren’t for You, we certainly would have perished. May Your name be blessed for the protection and deliverance You have given for us. Amen.