As much as preachers speak they should listen just as much. After all, we all should be, “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19). I do a lot of listening. Usually the way a “counseling session” works is I listen for the first half, advise for the next part, and dialogue back and forth for the last half. I always end in prayer. I hear a lot of heartbreaking situations – some tragic! Sometimes wounds are self-inflicted and other times things hit you right out of the blue. For the most part people find themselves struggling in one of two ways in any given situation. Either they feel helpless or hopeless. I, like them, have felt those emotions and feelings as well. Sometimes your situation feels hopeless and you feel helpless towards it. Let me say to you what I say to everyone – don’t give up because help and hope are on the way.
Scripture tells me not to become weary in doing good for at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Whatever your situation and however much you feel like giving up – DON’T! God and His help are on the way. There is hope because God is our help. Psalm 121:1 tells me to, “Lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? It comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” My biggest advice to people experiencing hopelessness and helplessness comes out of Scripture. Why? I sometimes sit there as people tell me stories of abuse, neglect, heartache, and tragedy and think, “I have no idea what to tell them.” Then, I remember a Scripture. Then, the Holy Spirit brings to memory a story. God is faithful in times of need. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Did you know God works on our behalf even when we can’t see Him working? I’ve heard this phrase countless times, “I just don’t feel God at work – I just don’t know if He cares.” God is always at work behind the scenes. Jeremiah says he knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He knit us together and created us (Psalm 139:13). Galatians 1:15 says he sets us apart in our mother’s womb by His grace. Psalm 22:9 says he brought us out of the womb and made us secure. Here’s the point – before you had any problems or knew what a problem was – God knew you. Before you were even able to comprehend need – God was your supplier and provider. God knows what you need before you know you have a need. He is not surprised when we pray for help. As one person said, “God works the nightshift too!”
Job is a great example of God working in the background. He said in Job 23:8-10, “Look, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him; When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” When we are sleeping, people everywhere are at work. The nightshift goes on in the dark. When you are in the dark, God is light and always working. He does not sleep. Psalm 121:3-4 reminds us, “He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” God never takes a break, is never tired, is never without an answer, and is always watching over us. Fireman work at night – so does God. The baker at Krispy Kreme is up – so is God. In the dark time of your life God is awake and moving. Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Did you catch that? God LIVES to make intercession for us! He goes to the Father for us (John 14:5-14). Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord and be of good courage. He shall strengthen your heart. Wait on the Lord.” I think the Psalmist said wait on the Lord at the end and the beginning because we are so impatient. Don’t give up! Help and hope are on the way and found in Christ alone.