Scripture Reading: Psalm 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Psalm is one that ought to inspire our hearts, and remind us of who God is in our lives, but more specifically gives adoration to the tireless care of Almighty God.
Overtime, in my interaction with people, I realise time and again is that there are a multitude of things which are carried in the human soul. And this is no exception to us Christian people. Life does not come with a manual, which we can simply turn and find an instant solution to the difficulties we encounter along the way. Yes, we have the God’s Word (The Bible), which is an important, sacred and foundational source, but it does happen when we encounter certain hardships that we feel helpless. We may be carrying so much in our souls that we can’t even cry out for help. We may not even know who to turn to or what to do.
However, we should not be surprised when calamities come our way. I maintain that there was never a promise to God’s people that troubles will not come our way simply because we express our faith in Christ Jesus, but rather we ought to understand that the one promise God made to us, is that He will never leave us nor forsake us, but will be with us till the end of time and as such, we ought not to live our lives avoiding challenges, but rather we should welcome them, because they make us stronger for future victories.
Considering the text, upon which this message is derived, I want to submit three things that I think we can pick up, about the surrounding circumstances in which the writer finds himself. They are the following:
- The writer is engaged in a monologue of sort, considering a predicament that He is in.
The opening stanza here is posed in a question and answer format. It is the author who poses a question and answers the same. The author looks upwards, towards the mountains and asks, “Where does my help come from?” He then answers, “my help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.”
- The writer is physically positioned on low ground
The very fact that the writer is looking upwardly, to the mountain tops, suggests that he is physically positioned on low ground. The upward look, is deliberate, perhaps even filled with the desire to pilgrim to Jerusalem, where the Temple of the Lord is situated.
- The writer is seemingly in some sort of “tight” (difficult) situation
The question posed by the author, whilst in conversation with himself, may tell us about the very circumstance in which he is in – in desperate need of help. We don’t know much about him, what is happening to him and all that, we just know that in his thoughts and in his plea, is the need or desire for God’s help.
Presently, what conversation are you having with yourself?
Often it is the conversations that we have with ourselves that either progress us or hinder us. By opening the door to low self-esteem and doubting we, in all effect, pull the emergency brakes on our abilities and potentially. At times, what counts the most, is not what we hear from other people, but what we say and conclude privately about ourselves. At times it is not that we need to change our prayers, in order to experience God’s power working in our lives, but rather we need to change our thinking – we need to change our negative thoughts, for positive thoughts. We need to change how we’ve compartmentalised God, thinking that there are some things that God can do and others that he can’t. We need to be careful of the thoughts we entertain privately, because those affect how we deal with the difficult moments of life we encounter and our behaviour in seeking solutions to our hardships.
Look up – over above and beyond your circumstance.
Those who look upwardly, elevate their hearts and confidence and are filled up with renewed hope. At times it is necessary not to pay too much attention to what is happening in our immediate surroundings and look upwardly. The devil may be happy to have you spend your time looking at what is around you so as to discourage you. You may look around you and only see the bad that surrounds you – poverty, diseases, violence and utter brokenness – so that you run the risk of concluding that you are what you are seeing.
We ought to employ the strategy of the psalmist, we must look up, to increase our confidence and hope, to strengthen our vision and faith.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth”, says our writer. The writer without any shadow of a doubt concludes that His help, is not in creation, in and on things that are tangible, that can be seen or touched, but is purely divine, it is help that comes, beyond the mountains, it comes from the Lord.
It is sad to see Christians who are so determined to find help, but are looking in all the wrong places and using worldly methods in order to get out of tight situations, in which they find themselves. And some have spent so much time looking at what surrounds them and incorrectly conclude that God can’t help them through or has forsaken them. Or have magnified, small, seasonal hiccups of life into permanent conditions.
Look to the Lord.
A true believer in Christ Jesus, should never wonder where their help is to come from. This is the essence of what it means to trust God – to have the ability to trust Him despite what you have to go through, to count on past victories and experienced divine providence, as a guarantee, a blessed assurance, for the present and the future.
Often what we turn to in our time of need, is an indication of where are trust is. When the going gets tough, where do you look? Where do you turn to?
Is your help in men? Are you counting on your family, your friends and church folk to be there for you when you are in need of help? Do you reach for a bottle of liquor and drink till you black out, in order to not have to deal with all that you are carrying in your soul and desperately need God to help you with? When the going gets tough and you feel persecuted, hated and pressed down, do you throw out all godly-principles and turn worldly?
If your answer to any of these questions is “yes” then you are in big trouble! I can tell you now, that you ought to expect failure and disappointment.
Instead of trusting on tangible things, place your trust in God. Look up to the Lord and trust him for your Salvation. Look up to the Lord and count on Him to take care of you and your needs.
The Psalmist, tells us, that He neither slumbers nor does He sleep, He bestows protection on His people so that they are not harmed by the elements of the daytime and the night-time. He is constantly watching over His people! In my hour of need, when I’m faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations, when I’m of low spirit and feeling weary, I’ll look up to God, who is ultimately the author and finisher of my faith.