God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NKJV
Trouble is a part of the human experience, and although we can minimize it by living wisely and righteously, there is a better way to direct our attention. And that is by becoming aware of how very present our God is at all times—especially in times of hardship, pain, adversity, or struggle.
We have been given a beautiful invitation in Scripture to be imitators of God, as beloved children. (Ephesians 5:1) One of my favorite things about being one of God’s kids is being able to wear His heart on my sleeve by looking for opportunities to help others in their times of trouble. This starts by being “very present” when people around us are experiencing those times.
I’ve heard Pastor Dan say, “When God sends help, He sends a person.” You and I are invited to be that person! We get to be an expression of heaven’s help to a world in trouble. That means we must resist the temptation to only see our own troubles and learn to look, listen, and lean into the struggles of others. Our families, neighbors, classmates, church family, co-workers, teammates, leaders, and yes—even our enemies are all fighting something. Let this be the year we put another nail in the coffin of our old life of self-absorption and become aware of the incredible assignments God has for us to be a very present help for those in times of trouble.
We must resist the temptation to only see our own troubles and learn to look, listen, and lean into the struggles of others. Our families, neighbors, classmates, church family,
How do we do this? We talk to the Father. We listen more. We open our eyes wider. We place ourselves in the middle of the mess. We follow Jesus into the places He wants to take us. Here’s a short list of practical ways to be present in the midst of others’ pain:
· Help someone with an event or task.
· Send an encouraging text, card, or email.
· Pay for someone’s groceries or a bill.
· Give someone another chance.
· Give a free lesson or tutor.
· Show up for their biggest moments.
· Foster a child.
· Serve at our church’s outreach events like Serve Day, Food Pantry, etc.
· Be part of a Small Group or Freedom Group.
· Find a serving team such as ushers, East Coast Kids, Worship, or Production Team.
· Share your story of struggle and how God brought you through it to victory.
Father, I want to be like You in the way I see and respond to the needs of others. Help me peel my eyes away from my own struggles to see who else is struggling around me and is in a time of trouble. Show me how I can express Your heart and be Your help to them in a practical way. I want to be more present and aware of others’ situations, and I want them to give You the glory for the help I am able to give them. Lead me, Jesus, to the one You are after today. In Your name, amen.
Who can you think of right now that is in a time of trouble? Write their names down and pray for them right now.
What is getting in the way of you being present and available for God to use you to help others? How can you make room to be more present?
What stuck out to you on the list of ways to help people? Make a plan to do something about it this week.
Story Behind the Devo
with Pastor Matt & Pastor Chris
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