WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 7, 2023
TOPIC: GOD’S TIMELY HELP
BY T. O. BANSO
“So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help” (Hebrews 4:16 New American Bible).
As a proverb goes, “Advice after injury is like medicine after death.” What will a drug, prescribed as effective to cure an ailment, do after the patient has died? That would be help that came too late. But how gladdening is help that comes at the right time!
The writer of Psalm 46 describes God in verse 1 as “A very present help in trouble” (New King James Version). Holman Christian Standard Bible renders this phrase as “A helper who is always found in times of trouble.” The New Living Translation says God is, “Always ready to help in times of trouble.” In other words, God is not a Helper that’s absent when you are in trouble. He is always there to help. One could say every child of God believes this but it is another thing when that belief is tested in times of trouble. We believe that God is going to help us. We believe He is with us in our troubles. But when is He going to help us and deliver us from our troubles?
Sometimes fear or anxiety could set in, and our impatience becomes evident in the words of our prayer. David prayed in Psalm 40:13, “Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me!” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “make haste to help me!” This sounds like the words of a man who needed urgent help. He seemed to be telling God that time was going and He needed to act fast or quickly – there was no more time to waste.
David used the same phrase in Psalm 70:1 “Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O LORD!” (New King James Version). He said something close to this phrase in verse 5: “But I am poor and needy; Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay” (New King James Version). We also find the phrase “make haste to help me!” in Psalm 71:12 where the writer says, “O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!” (New King James Version).
While there is nothing wrong with praying and asking for urgent help from God as the psalmists did, the truth is established in the Bible that God is not just a very present help in trouble but He is also God who sends timely help. God’s help is not like “medicine after death!”
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “grace to help in time of need.” Most Bible translations render it exactly like this or have its variations. The New American Bible puts Hebrew 4:16 this way: “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” Note the phrase “timely help.” Well-timed help! Come boldly to God your Father to obtain mercy and find grace for timely help. “Come boldly” does not mean you should be rude. It means you should come with confidence but you should also come with reverence.
What is help in time of need? The Amplified Bible explains it as “an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment.” It presents the verse thus: “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”
God’s help is timely. It is never too late. It comes at the right moment. God will help us “just when we need it” (Good News Translation). He will help us at the right time. “So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time” (GOD’S WORD Translation). The children of God can rest assured that God’s help will come at the proper time. “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Holman Christian Standard Bible). Hebrews 4:16 says we should come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. It is not just grace for salvation that is available in God. There is also grace to deal with every trouble. God knows what you are going through and what is best for you.
God is a very present help in trouble. Call upon Him and He will send you timely help – help at the right time. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth” (New King James Version). The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble (Psalm 9:9). You can trust God to send you timely help.
The Bible records those who enjoyed timely help from God. Their stories would have been negatively different but for the timely help from God.
In Genesis 16, the Bible tells us how Hagar received timely help from God, who instructed her to return to her mistress, Sarai, whom she had run away from when she (Sarai) mistreated her. Apparently, Hagar’s decision was wrong. It wasn’t yet time for her to leave her mistress. Following a conversation between Hagar and an angel of the Lord, verse 13 says, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’” (New International Version). God showed up at the time Hagar was in trouble.
Later, after Abraham finally sent Hagar and her son away and she ran out of water, she received timely help from God. If she had not, the son could have died as she had thought. “And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, ‘Let me not see the death of the boy.’ So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, ‘What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.’ Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink” (Genesis 21:15-19 New King James Version). Suppose Hagar saw the well of water after her son had died of dehydration. That would have been extremely painful. However, God’s help was timely. It came at the right time.
In Genesis 22, Abraham enjoyed God’s timely help. Just as he was about to slaughter Isaac and sacrifice him to God as He had commanded him, the angel of the Lord stopped him. God provided a ram in place of Isaac. God didn’t provide a ram for a burnt offering after Abraham had killed Isaac (verses 11-13). His intervention was timely. You will receive timely help from God this season in Jesus’ name.
Also, in Daniel 2, God’s timely help saved Daniel and his friends from being killed along with the other wise men of Babylon who couldn’t tell the king his dream and the interpretation. After Daniel and his three friends had prayed to God, He revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel in the night in a vision (verses 16-23). Thus, they were saved and the other wise men were not killed either. Suppose God didn’t help Daniel and his friends to know the king’s dream and its interpretation. They would have been killed along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Similarly, the three Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, enjoyed God’s timely help when King Nebuchadnezzar threw them into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3). “Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, ‘Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’ They answered and said to the king, ‘True, O king.’ ‘Look!’ he answered, ‘I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God’” (verses 24-25 New King James Version). Whereas the flame of the fire killed the men who threw these Hebrews into the furnace, they came out of the fire unscathed. God’s presence in the fire saved them.
In Daniel 6, God’s timely help also saved Daniel in the lion’s den. He made the lions go on a fast because of Daniel! They couldn’t eat his flesh. He came out unhurt because God saved him. But when those who had accused Daniel, their children, and their wives, were thrown into the den of lions, the lions broke their fast! They overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces before they reached the bottom of the den (verses 16-24). God’s help to Daniel was timely hence the lion didn’t devour him.
Furthermore, God’s timely help saved the disciples of Jesus on the sea when the wind was boisterous and their boat was beginning to sink. They could have perished if Jesus had not gone to them in the fourth watch of the night, walking on the sea. Apparently, He had seen that they were in trouble. The storm ceased after Jesus got into the boat (Matthew 14:22-32). Jesus didn’t get to His disciples after their boat had capsized! Timely help!
Mark 4:36-41 records another timely help on the sea when a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that it was already being filled with water. On this occasion, Jesus was with His disciples in the boat and was sleeping. When His disciples woke Him up, He rebuked the wind, and told the sea, “Peace, be still!” Jesus didn’t allow His disciples to perish as they had feared.
There are numerous examples of God’s timely help in the Bible that I can talk about. In closing, I will talk about God’s timely help to Paul that exposed the plot of forty Jews to kill him. These Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. Unfortunately for them, their plot leaked to Paul’s nephew. God’s timely help made the son of Paul’s sister hear of this plot. He went into the barracks to tell Paul. Eventually, the commander called two centurions to get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen to take Paul safely to Governor Felix in Caesarea that night (Acts 23:12-24).
These examples in the Bible should assure you that God will help you at the right time. He will send timely help. You may be under pressure and becoming impatient but trust God. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 New King James Version). His help will not come late. Fear not, God will help you (Isaiah 41:10, 13, 14). Keep thanking Him in advance for His help that is coming. You will share your testimony soon in Jesus’ name.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I come to the throne of grace. Show me mercy and let me find grace for timely help. Father, send me well-timed help. I shall not be stranded; God’s help will come at the proper time. I refuse to worry; God’s help will come to me at the right moment in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947