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Seeds of the Kingdom

An Ever-Present Help

by Malcolm Wood

And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20b, NLT

The words of Jesus are always a source of comfort and encouragement but perhaps never more than they are now in these days of worldwide fear, panic and uncertainty. There are so many scriptures that can help comfort, support and strengthen us when we need it. One such example is Psalm 46 which begins with the words, ‘God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble’, and later refers to the nations being in chaos (verse 6), but further on reminds us that, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress’ (verse 7). The Psalm finishes with an encouragement to ‘Be still and know that I am God!’ (verse 10). When all seems to be in turmoil around us this is surely a word we all need to take to heart.

Another example of encouragement found in the Bible is in Isaiah 41, where in verse 10 we read, ‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand’, and in verse 13, ‘Don’t be afraid I am here to help you.’

Before Jesus went back to heaven, He described to His followers some of the things that would take place in the world which would signal his return (Matthew 24). Considering the increase in the number of famines, floods, earthquakes, fires, diseases, wars and unrest that are occurring at this time around the world and in the UK, is it any wonder that many Christians believe that we are beginning to witness some of those signs now? However, Jesus warned His followers that, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33). What hope and assurance those words bring to us right now!

In these troublesome and uncertain days it is so important that we do indeed take refuge in the rock of our salvation (Psalm 18:2), keeping our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) as we wait upon Him (Psalm 27:14). For it is He who is Sovereign, steadfast and sure and is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hallelujah!

As we take heart from the scriptures and the knowledge and experience of the daily presence of Jesus with us, we can agree with the thoughts expressed in a song written by A.B Smith and E. Clarke, the refrain of which contain the words, ‘I know who holds the future, and He’ll guide me with his hand,’ and finishes with ‘So as I face tomorrow, with its problems large and small, I’ll trust the God of miracles, give to Him my all.’

As we face the challenges and uncertainties of the future may we all draw closer to the One who is our ‘ever-present help in times of trouble’.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You promised never to leave us and that You are always with us to help us in times of need. In these challenging times please help us to keep our eyes on You and to draw close to You and find in You the comfort, help and strength to face the uncertainties of the future. Amen.

Malcolm Wood and his wife Anna became part of the Ellel family as House Managers at Ellel Grange in 1990. Since then they have been involved with many aspects of the developing Ministry. From 2001 until 2015 they were Directors of Ellel Scotland where they hosted several International Schools and Operation Blairmore and helped pioneer the exciting Creative Inspiration Weeks. They have three sons.

 

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