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The Only Dependable Remedy for Life's Struggles

by Bill Welsh

The Only Dependable Remedy for Life's Struggles

“A Little Help Please”
Psalm 121

“Help! I Need Somebody. Help! Not Just Anybody”
Lennon & McCartney

“Beyond mountains, there are more mountains”
Haitian proverb

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8:31

Our journey began with a 911 call. A cry of despair. Pain was the catalyst that moved us forward.

Now we’re in motion, moving toward a worthy summit. It comes as no surprise that the next song on our playlist begins with, “I Look Up To The Mountains.”

Psalm 121 carries a profound statement of awakening. So open your Bible or Bible app and read this classic song.

That first verse in Psalm 121 is often misunderstood. The question mark at the end of the sentence is important. If we lift that point of punctuation, inserting a period in its place, we’ve changed the tone of the song, making it sound like those hills are a pleasant source of assistance. Leave the question mark in place and read the rest of the thought. The writer isn’t thanking God for “helpful hills.” He realizes his “help comes from the Lord,” not the mountains.

And notice, the writer doesn't say, “Look at that ONE mountain.” He sees a range of mountains, layer upon layer, and realizes this won’t be a simple flatland stroll or walk in the park.

How far did this pilgrim travel before crying out for help? All we know is that at some point, exhausted and discouraged he realized, “This is more difficult than I expected.”

We need to face reality here. Let’s stop foolishly pretending, “It’s all good!” Let’s admit there are moments when we’re overwhelmed on the foreboding, rocky slopes that block our path.

This traveler isn’t admiring his mountain range. He knows that “the hills are alive” but not with “the sound of music.” Far from being a blessing, they are formidable barriers, difficult and dangerous. And as the Haitian proverb observes, “Beyond this mountain there are more mountains.”

Picture a family, finally on the road to the City of Peace. They’ve struggled up the slopes of their first steep hillside. Standing at the summit they look ahead, only to see more mountains to climb. I can imagine a groan, wrapped around a sincere, desperate prayer of, "Help!”

The sooner we ask for help, the sooner the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, will supply the strength we need for our journey. (John 14:16-26)

The placement of this song in our playlist is strategic. Challenges don’t cease when we begin to follow Jesus Christ. If someone told you life as a Christian would be easy, they lied, or they knew nothing of the Christian life by experience.

The fact is we need help now more than ever. Why? Here are three reasons:

  1. The bar has been raised for us to a higher standard of holiness, justice, and compassion, as modeled by Jesus.

  2. We’ve abandoned the camp of our captor, the Devil, and are now on his “hit list.” He’s lost us, so he wants to destroy us. Life has new dangers now.

  3. We are called to partner with God in a worldwide rescue mission.

God doesn't abandon us to our own resources in the face of conflict or in the course of fulfilling His mission. Of course, you can’t save yourself, but we also realize that we need God’s power and presence every step of the way to live out these new creation realities. So, “Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)

And it isn’t just poetry when we read that our God “never sleeps and never gets drowsy.” (Psalm 121:4) He’s awake and aware of our position, our progress, and our enemy.

He’s our keeper and shelter from the snares that would wreck and ruin us. Old friends may plead with us to return. Old passions scream for our attention. But as we lean on Yahweh, He’ll guide us around stumbling blocks that will certainly fill our paths all the way home.

One of the saddest things I have seen is the Christian who stops following Jesus when mountains of difficulty rise around them, turning back to former, pitiful allies. But why would we abandon our defender when we need Him the most?

We have a dependable remedy on these difficult, dangerous slopes of life.

  • Acknowledge the obstruction we’re facing
  • Ask God for HELP
  • Reaffirm our trust in HIM
  • Keep climbing

So let’s lift up our eyes to the hills, then look up above those hills and see Jesus, our Helper, higher than any obstacle we face. Take a moment right now and ask God for that help. Come boldly and confidently (Hebrews 4:16). He’s waiting to hear from you.

Pray like John and Paul. "Help! I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody. Yahweh, please help me.” Trust me; on this road you’ll encounter “dragons.” But again, trust me; God will help, keep and defend you on the way to His City of Peace.

Paul told the Romans, and now I get to tell you--If God is for you, who can be against you? Yes, beyond your current mountain there will be more mountains. It is a “long and winding road” that leads us home. But did you know that Jesus really does love you? Let’s keep climbing.

Bill Welsh

Bill Welsh wrote this article. He is the senior pastor of Refuge Calvary Chapel. Please visit his website and follow him on Twitter @pastorbillwelsh​