I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my help come from?
Where do you turn to in times of trouble? It’s quite a revelation to watch little children interact with their parents. Whenever a little child is in distress, that child will turn towards a parent and look up with lifted arms, expectantly waiting to be picked up and comforted. In such a case, the parent’s most eloquent response is to bend down, pick the child up and hold them close to reassure them. It’s a beautiful picture of God’s love.
In the Old Testament we find that Israel would often turn to the surrounding nations, Egypt, Syria and Edom to bail them out of trouble instead of turning to God. In all these circumstances they suffered God’s rebuke. God would warn them, and then allow the enemy to defeat them as punishment for their sin. Yes, lack of faith in God is a sin!
It appears that believers are going through a time of increased distress. Satan is working overtime to dissuade, discourage and distract Christians from pursuing God with all their might. He is diluting our passion for the eternal, destabilizing our focus on Jesus and offering worldly alternatives to bail us out of the uncertainty that threatens to consume us all. And sadly, as did the Israelites, there are those who are turning to other alternatives, rather than turning to God. The Bible shows us that this is a losing strategy. It will only result in rebuke and defeat down the road.
This is a time of great urgency as the Holy Spirit is poured out upon God’s Church; it is time to look up! Imitate the Psalmist, look up from whence your help comes (Psalm 121:1). Like the little child who trusts in their parent’s protection look up with lifted arms to the Father who watches your coming and going (Psalm 121:8). Look up dear one, to the One who knows you by name (Isaiah 40:26a). Look up to the One who hears you when you cry (John 11:41). Don’t look down with despondency; don’t look around in desperation; only look up to God with confidence and you will be saved.
Dear Father, increase my faith. Whenever I am in trouble, teach me to look up to you first. Help me to set my eyes firmly on you today and not be distracted by any other alternatives that come my way. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.