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Fear Not, I AM the One Who Helps You

Fear Not  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:27
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This morning we conclude our series of messages on God’s command to us not to fear. This morning’s text continues where we ended last week in Isaiah 41.
Isaiah 41:11–13 ESV
Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
“Help me!”
These two words are the universal cry of distress. Every language has their version of “Help me!”
Many people today are crying out, “Help me!” in the midst of this pandemic. Most are looking to government to be that help and in an election year, politicians are more than happy to promise to be that help, but if history has taught us anything government is a very poor help. President Ronald Reagan once said the scariest words in the English language are, “I am from the government and I am here to help.”
I am not here today to argue for limited government, but rather I am here today to show you a better help—The Lord. God tells us not to be afraid because He is our help. As we surveyed the Bible, we learn three things about God:
He is a Capable Help
He is a Present and Proven Help
He is a Responsive Help

He is a Capable Help

There are two very famous Psalms which speak of the Lord’s ability to help us in our time of need. The first is Psalm 121:1-2:
Psalm 121:1–2 ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
The second is Psalm 124:8:
Psalm 124:8 ESV
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
This last verse, Psalm 124:8, is traditionally used as the opening words of Reformed worship. It became known as the “votum.” Votum is a Latin word and it means a vow or promise. Psalm 124 is a vow or promise that our help will be in the Lord and none other.
Why is this so? Because God is the maker of heaven and earth! No other help is a sure and capable as God. The opening verses of Psalm 124 tell us what will happen to us if the Lord is not our help.
Psalm 124:1–5 ESV
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side— let Israel now say— if it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters.
The believer holds on very lightly to the help this world offers, but holds on very tightly to the help God offers us. When the king of Assyria threatened the nation of Judah, king Hezekiah comforted the people with these words:
2 Chronicles 32:8 ESV
With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Right now, many in America are finding their confidence melt away because they are listening to politicians and the media rather than the Word of God. People are in a near panic. Stop listening to them and start listening to God. He is saying to you today, “Fear not, I AM the one who helps you.”
The second passage I want us to look at today is Psalm 46:1:
Psalm 46:1 ESV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Here we learn God is a Very Present Help.

He is a Very Present Help

What does this phrase “a very present help” mean? If you compare various English translations as to how they translate this phrase, you learn that this phrase means that God is a proven and sufficient help, who is always ready to help you.
Imagine yourself being injured or trapped in an isolated location. You cry out for help, but no one is present to hear your cry and respond to your need. This is a very frightening thought. Sadly, this is the way many feel about God today. They cry out to heaven and it feels to them that no one is there to listen to their cry.
How often have you heard someone say, “I don’t believe in God, because I once cried out to Him for help and He did not respond?” Perhaps that is the way you feel right now.
As we read the big storyline of the Bible, what we discover is that God does not always respond to our cries for help in the way we expect, but He always responds. We see this in Genesis through Revelation. Jesus is the supreme example of this: In the garden of Gethsemane He cried out for help, but the path of help that God the Father took Him on was through to cross and grave, ending in His resurrection and ascension into glory. God heard His cry, God helped Him, but not in the way we would have expected. The same is going to be true for us. Paul writes this to the Roman Christians:
Romans 8:16–17 ESV
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
I say all this because I want to be honest and transparent with you. The temptation I have as a preacher is to promise you a Polly Anna life always filled with “steak and ice cream.” Many preachers have made themselves famous and wealth with such promises, but that is not what the help God promises us. God promises us the type of help that leads us to glory. You see, God wants to give you something better than a life filled with steak and ice cream. He wants to make you an heir of the same glory He gave His Son! Jesus’ resurrection and ascension are proof of this.
To illustrate this, let us look again at Psalm 46:
Psalm 46:2–3 ESV
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
It may feel to you that the very earth benighted your feet is giving way, but rest assured, if you make the Lord your help you will see the glory of God.
Psalm 46:4–7 ESV
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
I now want to move on to the third truth about God’s help we learn from the Bible:

He is a Responsive Help

The text that teaches us this is Psalm 34:17:
Psalm 34:17 ESV
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
This of course is implied in the first two points, but I think it is worth our time to dwell on this point for a moment, here we are told God does hear and I does respond. He responds by delivering us.
Consider for a moment what you could lose from the coronavirus. You could lose your livelihood, you could lose a family member or friend, you could lose your health or even your life. You could lose many things, but could you lose yourself? You could if you don’t make the Lord your help. Jesus once said:
Matthew 16:24–26 ESV
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
This is the question before each and every one of us today: “Will I lose my soul?”
This is why we need a deliverer. We need someone who can deliverer our souls when we are in the midst of troubles. We need a deliverer for our family and friends. We need a deliverer for our nation and world.
Furthermore, this is why the gospel message is so important in a time like this. The coronavirus is cutting away all the falsehoods we are hiding behind and it is revealing whom we are following. It is revealing whom we are placing our help. I think our Reformed fore-bearers were on to something, they knew the tendencies of their own hearts to seek help in things other than God. This is why they thought it wise to start each Lord’s Day with this vow: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”
Will you take that vow with me today? We didn’t begin our worship this morning with that vow, but we can end it that way. Wherever you are, will you not say with me, “Our help is in the name of the Lod, the maker of heaven and earth.”
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