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A Present Help - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2022 12:00 am

A Present Help - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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September 4, 2022 12:00 am

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of His grace!

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. O God, our health in ages past, our hope for years to come! Our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home! Under the shadow of thy throne, still may we dwell secure!

Selfish and with thine arm alone, and our defense is sure! Before the hills, in order stood for her, precede her frame! From everlasting, the Lord God, to endless years God stayed! O God, our health in ages past, our hope for years to come! Become thy guide while life shall last, and our eternal home! Today I'm bringing you a message that I preached a few years ago, but find it's a theme that is greatly needed over and over again, the subject of present help. We'll be covering some familiar territory, but so often I talk to people who know the Scriptures that have been exposed to teaching and the preaching of God's Word, and still are in great struggle in times of spiritual darkness. So I hope that this message will be a blessing to you.

If it is, let us know. Our address is Baptist Bible Hour, Mach 17, 037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Two of the hymns that you sang convey much of what I want to get across in my message this morning. First, the song, How Off Alas, first verse says, How off, alas, this wretched heart has wandered from the Lord! How off my roving thoughts depart, forgetful of His Word! And that there is a confession of our great need, that we are weak and we need help. And then you sang, number 92, I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord! No tender mercies like thine can peace afford.

The admission that in the weakness of our flesh, our thoughts wander, and we sometimes wander, going down a path we shouldn't be traveling. So we need help. We need the Lord, we need Him every hour. We need Him in every detail of our life. So I want to talk to you about a present help, and we read Psalm 46 verses 1 to 3. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah. Now if you can sing that Psalm, if you could say, God is my refuge in trouble, I won't be telling you anything new as we look at this portion of Scripture.

It will simply be a reminder to you how the Lord has been your help and your strength time and time again. And hopefully we'll encourage you as we look at this wonderful principle that is set before us, that He is the one upon whom you must continue to rest and in whom you must trust as you go forward. Now if you can't say that, if you cannot say, God is my refuge and strength, then I want to point you to the greatest help, the greatest helpers of all, the one who can make a difference in your life, who can provide for you what you cannot possibly find anywhere else. You may have attempted to find your help, your satisfaction by pursuing wealth, material things, by becoming involved in entertainments and trying always to find something that will satisfy. But Psalm 60 verse 11 says, give us help from our trouble for vain is the help of man. Anywhere we look seeking this help other than to the Lord our God, we will find it to be a place that only disappoints us. So first of all, we want to think about help in trouble.

That's what the text is talking about. He's a present help in trouble. Some of our troubles are of our own making. Think about Jonah. The Lord told him to go to Nineveh and preach. He didn't want to go. He was prejudiced against those people.

They were wicked people. And from his standpoint, he thought they ought to have judgment and it ought to come quickly and severely. And he said, if I go and preach, they may repent.

And knowing God like I do, if they repent, he won't judge them. So he says, I don't want to go. So in Jonah chapter 1 verse 3, it says, but Jonah rose up to flee from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa and found the ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare thereof and went down into it to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Now, how preposterous is it for a man who is a prophet to think, I can run from the Lord.

I can hide from him. So he goes, his intention is to flee from the presence of the Lord. And he found a ship and he paid the fare. Now one thing's sure, when you're trying to hide from the Lord, you'll have to pay your own fare. When you're traveling on the road that he has laid out for you, that's the road of grace.

And what he bestows is according to his love and abundant mercy. So he paid the fare and then he went down into the ship. I don't need you to think if I get on this ship, I'm going where I want to go, I'm going to be able to hide from the Lord.

Apparently thought going down deep into the ship secured his position so that he was hidden. Now, knowing that our God is omniscient, he sees and knows all things, it is absolutely impossible to hide from the Lord. Shows how weak we are in our human nature, our sinful inclination. There are things that you might do, places you might go, things that you might say that you wouldn't want somebody else to know about, to hear what you said, to know where you were going. And yet, God knows all about it.

Nothing that we can hide from him. So, it's a foolish pursuit to think I'm going to be able to go here, there, or to this other place and do what I want to do and I'm going to be able to sin and get by with it and God's not even going to see it. You cannot hide from the Lord.

And yet, in spite of his rebellion, in spite of his determination, I'm going to do what I want to do, I'm not going to go where God has commanded me to go. He found help in the Lord. Jonah chapter 2 verse 1. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly.

You know the story. God, of course, knew where this runaway preacher was to be found. And he sends a great storm and the mariners did all they could throwing their cargo overboard trying to save themselves and save the ship. It finally became apparent there was a problem passenger. And Jonah admits, I know this storm has come because of me.

The only solution is to throw me overboard. These men were compassionate, they didn't want to do it, but finally desperation decided that's what they'd have to do. And then the Lord provides a great fish to swallow him up. The Lord could have just left him and let him drown in the sea.

Because of his rebellion we'd say, we could understand if that's exactly what God did, just leave him alone. But God sent this great fish, swallowed him up. Now he prays from the fish's belly and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord and he heard me out of the belly of hell, cried I, and thou heardest my voice, for thou hast cast me into the deep, into the midst of the seas, and the floods compass me about, all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight, yet will I look again to thy holy temple.

What a lesson to learn. If we have gone in the wrong direction, if we have failed to obey God, and we find ourselves as a result in desperate circumstances, let's remember we can still call upon him. Jonah says, from the belly of this fish, from this low place down as the fish made its way to the deep places of the sea, I cried, yet I will look once more toward thy holy temple. I'm not going to give up. I'm in a desperate state. I don't know what's going to happen here. I certainly can't deliver myself from this fish. But I look once more.

What a lesson for us. That in the times of greatest failure, in the times of deepest discouragement to say, yet I'm going to look once more. I'm going to look toward thy holy temple. I'm going to call upon God. When you have run away, and the chastening rod is laid upon you, you may during that difficult time feel there's no need to pray. And yet we're here encouraged to call upon God, knowing that he is a refuge and strength for us. If you remember in the book of Hosea that we studied recently, chapter 13 verse 9 says, O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help. What a contrast in a single verse. Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself.

You've gone after your idols. You've failed to honor me and obey me, and yet in me is thine help. Help in trouble. And then we think about the experience of Jehoshaphat. The Ammonites and others who had joined with them were coming to do battle, and he recognized he needed help. So in the book of 2 Chronicles chapter 20 verse 3 we read, And Jehoshaphat feared and sent himself to seek the Lord, which is certainly the lesson for us all to learn, that when there is trouble, when there are difficulties, what are we to do? They came to seek the Lord, and proclaimed the fast throughout all Judah, and Judah gathered themselves together to ask help of the Lord, even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. The people then, hearing of this great need, responded to the request that they gather to pray and to seek the help of the Lord. Verse 12, O our God, wilt thou not judge them, for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us, neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee.

Here's an acknowledgement. Our need is great. Lord, we are weak. The enemy is strong. It's a large host that's coming after us.

But Lord, we're calling upon thee. We have no plan. We see no way to circumvent this situation, to stand successfully against this invading force. We have no plan.

We have no strength. We're coming with our eyes upon thee. Where are your eyes? Where are you looking? In the days of trouble, sorrow, set back in reversals.

Where are you looking? In our human nature we have a tendency to look down. We look down at our problems.

We look down at the difficult circumstances that surround us. But it says that our eyes are upon thee. That's what it makes to lift our eyes up to the Lord. Psalm 121 verse 1 says, I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from which cometh my help. Certainly it's not indicating that the hills themselves will provide the help, but this is a psalm that would be sung to those who were going to Jerusalem to worship. And then they saw the mountains and saw then that this is the place we go where God dwells and we're going to worship him in his house.

They were encouraged by the sight of the hills ahead. So it says, I lift up mine eyes unto the hills from which cometh my help. And he clarifies it. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth. What a helper.

What a helper. You can turn to all kinds of places on this earth. You can turn to individuals who may claim that they'll be able to help you. You can turn to all kinds of philosophies that promise some kind of help. But what better place to go for help than to the one who created heaven and earth. He made the very earth that you're living on. He created man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. So he made you and that's where we're to go for our help.

So Jehoshaphat leads the people in coming before God with an acknowledgement. We're in a desperate state. We don't know what to do.

We have no plan and we have no strength. And so as they turned to God they found help from him. God gave them victory. All they had to do was go out and sing. Didn't have to fight.

Didn't have to draw a sword. They sang praise the Lord for his mercy endureth forever. That's a great battle in which to be engaged and say I'm going to go forward and meet the enemy. I don't even have to fight.

Just go out there and sing praises to God. Well, the result was that the enemy turned one on the other, fought among themselves. And so when Judah arrives, when Jehoshaphat and his people come out to the front lines, all they find is dead bodies. These people in their state of confusion had killed each other. God gave them such a victory and then it took them three days to gather up the spoil.

Taking all of the valuable things that these soldiers had carried with them took them three days to collect it. So they not only had victory, makes us think of the passage in Romans chapter 8. We are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

So they conquered by the power of God and then they had more because they gathered in the spoil. Now the text here in Psalm 46 also speaks of catastrophic trouble. Mountains carried into the sea, the waters roaring in their troubled. It may be that calamities that have touched your life are gigantic. The difficult times that you encounter can seem as though all of your plans have suddenly been swept away.

Everything that you had hoped for has been altered and changed. It may be a long-term illness. It may be the death of a loved one. It may be the loss of a job. There are a lot of things that can come that as far as you're concerned the mountains have gone into the sea.

The waters are troubled. It's a tremendously difficult time. But notice the promise that in the greatest of difficulties the Lord is our strength. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. And then we think about the help that's needed because of fear. Because the psalmist says, therefore will not we fear? There are many things that can cause fear.

It can be fear in this society in which we live today because of the increase of violence. You think about all of the precautions that are taken to get children safely to school. That there are crossing guards.

The buses have red lights that flash and a sign that extends to let traffic know you're to stop so that these children can safely get on board the bus. All of the care is taken. And then a stranger comes into the school, takes a gun and kills several children. There is no absolute safety in this day.

A large group gathers for entertainment and a gunman takes the lives of 60 some people at once. And as you think about that you may sometimes be gripped with fear. You fear for the future of our country. You've seen some of the protests, some of the marches in the streets in recent times. And the encouragement that some of these are given by political leaders. Saying that it may take violence to get our cause in place.

Go after those with whom you disagree, make their life miserable, surround their homes. Think of the change in the violent attitude that simmers just under the surface and is now breaking forth in many ways today. You may fear when you consider the possibility of persecution. Christians over the world are being persecuted. Numbers of them are being put to death. We thank God for the religious liberty that we have here in America. But it's something that is continually under attack. By a certain legislation, by the attitude that many in places of leadership have. Our freedoms could be quickly taken away.

Fear of the persecutions that could possibly come to our country as they are in many other parts of the world. And then sometimes there's fear about just what's ahead in your life. I talk to young people who feel a considerable degree of anxiety as they think about where am I headed? What kind of a career am I going to have?

What kind of education do I need to get there? What's going to be the case with me as far as marriage? Am I one to whom the Lord has given the gift of singleness or will I be married?

And if that's going to happen, how am I going to find the right person? Certain fear as you think about the future. And then certainly older people have that fear as they look ahead. The Psalmist said, Psalm 71 verse 9, Cast me not off in the time of old age, forsake me not when my strength faileth. It's just a fact that as a person gets older, they're not able to do the same things they did when they were younger.

It's always a particularly difficult situation when a person who's been very active reaches the point they can no longer drive and their children have to come and take their car keys away from them. That person is wondering how am I going to cope with this? I've always been independent now, but enjoying what I had in the times of my youth. In Psalm 27 verse 9, David said, Thou hast been my help. He recalls that from the days of his youth all along. God has been my help, neither forsake me, O Lord, the God of my salvation.

Don't leave me now. And then he went on to say, If my mother and father forsake me, then the Lord will take me up. So even if those closest by the times of nature should desert me in the time of my old age, I have one that will care for me. He is our help. Fear not, the text says. You don't need to fear because God is your refuge and strength. Whether you're a young person looking ahead, struggling with what's out there for you, having a struggle of mind about what choices you want to make and where you want to head, knowing you need not fear when you trust in the Lord.

He's a very present help. Isaiah chapter 35 verse 3 says, Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. So here's an acknowledgement that the people who need help have weak hands. Difficult sometimes to hold on tenaciously to the things that you embrace.

Confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not. So somebody that's prone to fear, tell them don't fear.

That doesn't help. I don't want to fear. I wish it wasn't that way.

Some people have wild imaginations and fear all kinds of things that are totally unreal. Say well don't do that. Well I wish I could quit. All right. The Lord didn't stop there. He says, Fear not, behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense. He will come and save you.

Now that makes a difference. Help is on the way. Fear not because you're not alone. Fear not because God is your refuge. He's on the way to deliver you.

Therefore you can overcome fear. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, a wonderful Savior to me. He hid my soul in the cleft of the rock, where rivers of pleasure I see. What a promise when God says I will come and save him.

Never alone. Help is on the way. In the darkest times of the night, in the greatest of troubles, he says I will not forsake you.

I hope that you will write us and until next week at the same time may the Lord richly bless you all. With this hand, and covers me there with this hand. A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, he taketh my burden away. He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved. He giveth me strength as my day. He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land. He hideth my life in the depths of his love. And covers me there with his hand.

And covers me there with his hand. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's the Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. With the wordless blessings each moment he crowds and filled with his fullness divine. I sing in my rapture, oh glory to God. For such a Redeemer as mine, he hideth my soul in the depths of his love.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-28 02:00:03 / 2022-11-28 02:09:18 / 9

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