Study 11 OUR HELPER IN EVERY TIME OF NEED
HIGHLIGHTS IN HEBREWS
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: Hebrews 13:6)
Our helper in every time of need is the Lord Himself, and every believer can say “the Lord is my helper”. In this brief statement we discover three things:-
- 1. This help is ADEQUATE because it is divine, almighty help – “The Lord is my helper.” When we are in need friends come to our aid, but often they cannot help us because their resources are inadequate. The Lord’s resources are never inadequate. His name is El-Shaddai (Genesis 17:1), which means that He is “the Enough God”.
- 2. This help is always AVAILABLE because the Lord who doesn’t change is always with us – “The Lord is my helper.” Link together Hebrews 13:8, the end of verse 5, and verse 6. Do you recall that Mary and Martha said, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21,32)? But He is always here – Psalm 46:1.
- 3. This help is APPROPRIATE to our individual needs because it is personally dispensed to each of us according to our need – “The Lord is my helper.” My needs are different from those of everyone else and His help is appropriate.
In Hebrews 13:1-9 we are shown several ways in which we need the Lord’s help if we are to live the Christian life effectively. Let’s look at them:-
1. VERSE 1 TELLS ME THAT I NEED LOVE
The Amplified New Testament (A.N.T.) renders this verse, “Let love for your fellow-believers be a fixed practice with you. Never let it fail.” We have to admit, however, that we do let it fail. Some situations arise where we feel we have to say, ‘I cannot love him. He has hurt me and it’s beyond me to love him!’ – but you can love him, for the Lord is your helper.
2. VERSE 2 TELLS ME THAT I NEED MAGNANIMITY
This means generosity, large-heartedness. Again the A.N.T. is helpful: “Do not forget, or neglect, or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers, being friendly, cordial, gracious, sharing with others generously.” The reference is to hospitality but the application is wider. Are we large-hearted, open-hearted, cordial and gracious, or are we cold, mean, unapproachable and stand-offish? How much we need these Christian graces and virtues – and we can have them, for they are not in ourselves but in the Lord, and “the Lord is my helper.”
3. VERSE 3 TELLS ME THAT I NEED SYMPATHY
It’s great to have a sympathetic feeling for all who are in trouble, particularly those who are suffering for Christ’s sake (verse 3)! Today many of God’s people are suffering untold privations and great persecution and affliction simply because they are Christians. Do we have any real sympathy for them? The A.N.T. renders verse 3, “Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you are also liable to bodily sufferings. How can we do this?” – “the Lord is my helper.”
4. VERSE 4 TELLS ME THAT I NEED PURITY
This admonition in verse 4 was necessary for the early Christians to whom the letter was written. They had only recently been saved from a completely pagan society in which the standards of morality and of spirituality revealed in the Bible were completely unknown; but it is equally true that we in our day need to cultivate the virtue of purity. Much around us is impure, coarse and sensual. Look again at the A.N.T. rendering of this verse: “Let marriage be held in honour, esteemed worthy, precious, of great price and especially dear…for God will punish the unchaste and those guilty of sexual vice…” How can I keep pure in a society which is filled with impurity? – “the Lord is my helper.”
5. VERSE 5 TELLS ME THAT I NEED SERENITY
This refers to a calm, contented and unruffled mind and heart. Verse 5 in the A.N.T. says, “Be satisfied with your present circumstances, for He has said, I will never relax my hold on you.” In other words, ‘I have Christ so what more do I want?’ Can I have this rest, even though I live in the midst of a world filled with unrest? – “the Lord is my helper.”
6. VERSE 6 TELLS ME THAT I NEED EQUANIMITY
This is more than serenity; it is being on an even keel, settled, so that when sudden alarms come we are not thrown off-balance. Verse 6 in the A.N.T. says, “So we may be encouraged and boldly say, The Lord is my helper; I will not be seized by alarm, or fear, or dread, or terror.” This is the glorious truth of Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:6. What a great thing it is to have our mind and heart steadfast upon the Lord!
7. VERSE 7 TELLS ME THAT I NEED STABILITY
This verse refers to having settled convictions regarding belief. Some Christians are unstable in their appreciation (or lack of it) of God’s revealed truth. Please note that this stability begins not in the head but in the heart. It is when the heart is established with grace that we become stabilised in the things of God. Don’t say, ‘I can’t help being changeable.’ You can – “the Lord is my helper.”
We have seen that for our need of love, magnanimity, sympathy, purity, serenity, equanimity and stability, the Lord is our helper; but don’t end this study by saying “The Lord is our helper” – that is too impersonal – come to the point where you are able to say, “The Lord is my helper!” – in every time of need!