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What You'll Discover in this Episode:
God is a Very Present Help in Trouble
Does it ever seem like the only thing that will be appropriate that could possibly help is a perfect place to hide in safety? Do you ever feel like, if God doesn’t give strength, you’ll never have any?
Sometimes life comes like a crushing and breaking of our hearts. The more that a person is crushed in spirit, the more the Lord can use them. We can become better or bitter. The Lord is never nearer than when the heart is broken.
This is the best counsel, best friend, and the best help. So many that are seeking counsel need just this kind of ministry from the Lord and no one can offer it like the Lord Himself.
Remember this great truth:
The Lord who is our Counselor is also our refuge and strength -- a very present help in trouble. Even if the world is falling apart and shaking, He’s still our refuge and our strength. God is our strength. He is our place of safety. He’s right there when the troubles come as our refuge and strength.
Listen to the full episode and share your experience and thoughts in the community section below.
Several years ago, my husband of thirty-two years was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It was intense, quick and deadly. God used this time to engrave on my heart His promise to be near to the broken-hearted Psalm 34:18. I sensed His presence in my loneliness, heard His voice as I waited for direction, I knew His comfort as I grieved, saw His provision before I knew what I needed, witnessed miracles I am still in awe of and at every step never doubted that He was in the midst of it all. I ponder how did that all happen, and I conclude over and over it was Him. What a bittersweet time. In the midst of great loss, He gave me back so much. I am grateful and humbled by what He taught me. All glory to Him!
My church had just recently discussed the account of Korah’s Rebellion in Numbers, and how he pointed out that there were some sons of Korah that had escaped God’s wrath and were saved – and thus wrote some songs. I found it quite riveting to see in Psalm 46 that they would not fear, even if the earth was removed. I don’t know if that had any connection to God opening the earth to swallow Korah and his household – but knowing that they can so trust in the Lord in all things and will not fear the earth around them – I find that very provoking.
I have found that running to the Lord in my hurt was the best place to get lasting comfort. As Ps 46:1-3 says God is our refuge and strength, ever present help in time of trouble. Everything that I have and am going through has passed through the Lord’s hands and I need to remember that I need to rely on his strength to get me through.
Our life used to be, we thought, a good one in the Lord, but we were anemic and God had to use supernatural sharp instrument of His word in our hearts and lives. 15 years ago we had a heart crushing, wrenching, breaking thing happen to our family. Couple that with a job promotion which moved us away from family and church. Plus change of life for me, I was suicidal. My husband threw himself into his job and I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone and was all alone. I felt like I was in spiritual warfare over my head. I had no one but God to turn to and His Word. Through much agonizing prayer and praying the scriptures you shared and many more is what brought me out of it. The Lord has also turned the whole incident thing around completely for His glory. And He worked it out to where we “had” to move back close to our family again. And He has given His strength to go through it, and many other attacks since.
I sympathize with your suffering. I feel less alone knowing there’s another wife going through the same.
I hope you have a pastor to minister to you. I’m still trying to find one.
My pastor sided with my oppressor believing that I am unsubmissive, without hearing my side. I’m hoping Psalm 82 Initative can intervene for me.
As Jeff alluded to, this awareness of our NEED for the Lord is at the very inception of our coming to salvation. It is IMPOSSIBLE to to be saved without a FULL reckoning with our own depravity – Rom. 3:23. It is also an ongoing condition that NEVER departs . At no time do we ever move away from our UTTER DEPENDECE upon the Lord. In fact, the natural, stubborn, rebellious, independent and prideful disposition that we all struggle with (as children of Adam) is perpetually at war with the contrite, humble and submissive Spirit of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (as children of God) – James 4:6,10
And if this wasn’t enough, God is ALSO an EVER present help in our times of trouble. He is our rock, refuge, fortress, defender, advocate, friend, savior, healer, comforter and redeemer.
Making a choice to either be better or bitter was a cover I was faced with many years ago when a good friend pointed this out. I chose to be better. I was tired of being angry at the world and at many of those around me. Psalm 34:18 is one of the verses that was shared with me at the time.
Psalm 34:18 NKJV The LORD [is] near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
The first time I feel in love, I gave my whole heart. Things did not end well. I fell into depression and at one point seriously considered suicide. I asked God for help and wisdom. I did not know if I would ever recover. All joy had been sucked out of my life. I could barely go to work each day. I woke up one morning, and sat up, but was too depressed to move from that spot. I was stuck, I just starred and felt I was without hope. I was alone in my room. For a few seconds I felt a had rubbing my left shoulder, my whole body relaxed and some of the pain went away to the point I could get up and turn around. It was the connection to compassion and love that I needed to continue on. I turned around, there was still no one there. I thank God for being near when my heart was broken. He showed up and saved my life and encouraged my spirit.
I belong to Jesus.
Charles, thank you for sharing your testimony of God meeting you in your time of need. I am praising Him with you for His faithfulness in keeping His promises.
I think our place of humility before God is key here in counseling and being open to His counsel and not our own wisdom and knowledge. Humility is key to all things we receive from God. The opposite is pride. That is, I have the answers and it is dependent upon me to do this. If there is any part of us that believes we have what it takes then we need to turn that over to God and let Him know that we need help in this area. I is about trusting and depending upon Him and not my ability. And yes, our broken hearts help us to be and remain humble because we understand at those times how weak and needy we are. Brokenness is a good thing when it comes from God.
It is honestly humbling and exciting when I hear and think about the fact that God is THE Counselor. In my life I have tried to solve my own problems find the answers to depression, anxiety, as well as the question of what I am to do with my life professionally. And there is great comfort in knowing that He has those answers and that direction.
Amen! Your life and times are in His hands. What a blessing and comfort to know that there is a God who knows all our ways and will carry the burdens in life that we were never meant, or built to carry Matt. 11:28-30.
How humbling to be reminded that no one can counsel like the Lord! And that Biblical counsellors can be guilty of replacing Him rather than leading people to him. Oh dear…what a truth that we must lead others to the word of God and to the person of Jesus.
Yes indeed the Christian life can not be lived by human strength and we need the supernatural word of God and the Spirit of God to be our strength. Praise God that He uses our hurts to minister to others.
Very true-Even Biblical Counselors, leaders and pastors can go astray and become dependent upon themselves and think they have the answers. As Jeff said, the enemy is constantly trying to convince us that we are the answer and that human wisdom is good when it is only foolishness. We need to be ans stay on guard against the enemy and his deception.
The joy of the Lord is my strength Nehemiah 8:10. This is one of my favorite verses regarding strength in the Lord. Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 The Lord is my is my strength and my song for He has given me victory Exodus 15:2. We have all we need when we look to and abide in Him.
I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. To be contrite or to be crushed; As pastor Jeff spoke of people confronting situations, we have a choice as humans. We either become better or bitter because we have been crushed or broken. It then determines our outlook and the circumstances we face in life. Ps 34:18 is such great comfort knowing that the Almighty God is every so present and nearer, more intimate seeking to rescue, save, and delivers us; to be brought back to Him where we find our refuge and strength. Knowing that the counsel we are able to share with others roots back to the counsel God has ministered and counseled to us.
Yes, it is when we are crushed in spirit that we understand our true position in this world. It is also when we as Christians are most open and receptive to the Lord and what He is trying to show and teach us. Pastor Chuck used to say that he would keep trying to find ways to accomplish something on his own when he finally throws up his hands and says-I’m done-I can’t do it. It is then that God has us where he can now speak into our hearts and empower us to move forward in His will.
I agree Sarah! Regardless of the crushing or the hurt, if there’s that undergirding knowledge of God’s sovereignty and presence, it brings His perspective, as opposed to our human one, and we are anchored firmly!
Once we have experienced that, then it’s impossible to NOT share His sufficiency with others! Bitter place hold sweetness, even if it’s a bit of a process….
It is our choice to make though; contrite or crushed, bitter or better?!
God is our refuge and strength (Ps 46:1) … I love that you pointed out He can be our hiding place. He should be our hiding place. When we are in trouble, we need to run to him and not see refuge in the world.
I can see how it could be easy for a counselor to become someone’s refuge instead of God. It’s a good reminder that we need to continually point those we are counseling the wonderful counselor. We are just a vessel for his work.
I too love the the word use of hiding in the Lord. That seems to make it more personal and relatable. It’s easy to hide in the things of the Lord. I think It’s also easy to hide in the Lord when we have a relationship with Him.
Sometimes it is so easy to try to solve our problems ourselves, rather than seeking God first. And sometimes whatever we are facing can prevent us from the fellowship with God that we need. We are human and fall short. God is perfect and available. And that is all we need.
Psalm 61 comes to mind when in the face of trouble. Certainly I have had my trials in life, times of being overwhelmed in the past, and I know that I have not had my last broken heart. No words coming from a man can lift the burden off of one who finds themselves in the midst of pain, but the Word of God and the promises within are the only thing that mends. I do pray that bringing people to His truth be our desire and goal in the counsel that we give.
There were some great points on this Podcast. I really liked the idea of having a person read the Word, starting in Psalm 1, journaling and praying. Jeff says that counselors like to take the place of God. Which is true. No one can take the place of God, and we don’t want to forget that. As Jeff said, Psalm 46 says, God is our refuge and strength. We can’t go with what the world says. The answers don’t come from us. We (people/men, woman) are the problem. The answers come from the Word of God. Even our husbands and wives can’t always help us. I know sometimes when I go to my husband for help, the best thing that he can do for me, is to point me back to God. He prays with me. That is always a good start. Sometimes when we burden others, we should be turning to God and His Word. God is the Counselor.
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This is one of those verses that’s often quoted and put up on walls and pillows. I think sometimes it’s easy to say this verse but not truly believe what it says. Like the verses in this episode, so many state who the Lord is and how we have safety and comfort in Him. When we truly know these things in our heart, it provides peace in all the hardships and heartaches we experience. There is no better comfort than that in the Lord.
If we have God, what else could we possibly need? The Lord is our most valuable and most valued treasure.
Amen class mate. The problem is we tend to grab for everything else before turning to the Lord and His word. I know I’m guilty of that. It is a constant discipline to lean not to our own understanding.
Completely agree! I’m reminded of Matthew 17:20, just need a faith of a mustard seed. Embarrassingly, I haven’t also had this much faith
God’s Word is enough. Like Jeff said in the podcast, “God’s Word is sufficient” It supplies all our needs and wants, it answers our craziest of questions, and heals to the uttermost deepest parts within. I agree that we cannot find anyone on this earth to “Hide in” Only God is our refuge and strength in times of trouble, it is HIM that we can rest in, and press into. When Jeff said that The Lord is near to the broken hearted, I recall a deep time in my life when I felt HIM, even. though I was not boldly walking with HIM. I knew and I called out to HIM. He is a very present help in the times of trouble.
Amen!! Going in line with that; I liked how Jeff brought up that even in the Christian culture, we expect to find the answers, strength, and security in a spouse. And, as much as we are designed to be helpmates for each other, there are many things that we can only get from God, and ultimately everyone else will let us down.
This morning I sent this very Psalm 46:1 to my son in law who is struggling with an issue in his life and has been leaning on himself to find his strength. As I listened to Jeff’s podcast he made a comment that struck to me to my very heart. He commented that as counselors are we leaning on Him for our strength and our refuge? Do I put enough time into my relationship with God? As I begin this certification I want to ask that everyone in this cohort feel free to hold me accountable that my personal walk with God is where it should be. I have been at a place in my life as I read the Bible and other Christian books it was for academics and had little or no influence on my spiritual growth. I need to constantly recognize that He is my counselor, my refuge and my strength. I can’t direct someone else if I don’t know the way myself. I will be praying for all of us that we never forget these essential truths as we counsel and minister to those God puts in our paths.
Amen. It takes a-lot for us, as future counselors to ask for accountability. We to need support in this next journey in our lives, while the spiritual battle may be going on around us, to try to take us down, our God is so much bigger. I will be in prayer for you and all the ones in BCA 2022, let us pray for strength, wisdom, guidance, and precious time alone with our maker, so HE can equip us for HIS will.
I want to lead people to the One who can actually heal their hearts, I don’t want to just be there for someone to run to for a quick fix. What a disservice we do to people when we don’t lead them to find their strength in Christ. We are stealing that chance for major transformation, and for there to be true joy in their times of difficulty- a realization for them to know that they have the one true Counselor with them always, and that they can go to Him at any time and He is ready to meet them right where they are at.
Thanks for your insight. We live in a world of the “quick fix” don’t we? Transformation takes time and commitment to Christ.
The Lord is the Wonderful Counselor! Who better to run to in times of trouble, sorrow, fear or anxiety?! The counsel I have personally received from the Lord has been the most refreshing, comforting, and sufficient. I remember one occasion in particular when I was especially burdened by the direction a family member was going, I didn’t believe I could seek counsel from any person and “had” to depend solely on the Lord as I took this burden to Him.What an amazing and wonderful revelation He gave me then, and I have often shared with others. He is enough! He not only lifted my burden, He reminded me that He loves my family member more than I do, and that He would complete the work He started in that family member…and in me. I can testify that God is not only a very present help in time of trouble, and there is no better place to seek refuge than in Him. He will sustain us as we cast our burden on Him.