February 09, 2009

Helping Grace

Psalm 18:25-42

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
Psalm 18:29


“With your help” reminds me of the response of parents when they bring their children to be baptized. When asked whether they accept the responsibility of raising their children for Christ, they solemnly answer, “We do, God helping us.” Similarly, a pastor or a newly elected elder or deacon responds to ordination questions: “I do so believe and promise, God helping me.”

Isn’t “with God’s help” appropriate whenever we plan or promise? Can we do anything worthwhile without God’s help? David’s words are filled with military terms—troop, shield, strength, battle, bow, enemies. But soldiers are not the only ones who depend on God’s help. Jewish pilgrims trudging to a Jerusalem feast sang, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).

A business developing a new product, a student struggling with an assignment, a parent caring for a sick child, and a retiree enjoying travel all have one thing in common. They live life with God’s help.

As every one of us does battle with our personal sins and hardened habits, we can say, “With God’s help I can advance against that troop of sin; I can scale that wall of disobedience.”

It’s called helping grace.

God of all grace, we know that we can do nothing without your helping grace. Help us to live our lives knowing that you help and sustain us each day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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