God's help

In one of his lectures John Ruskin commented about an incident from his childhood which taught him a lesson of a lifetime.  One evening when he was with his governess he became exasperated because he wanted to touch the lovely bronze tea urn which was boiling away.  No matter what his governess did he wouldn’t listen and started having a tantrum.  Finally in desperation his mother intervened and said “just let him touch it the once and he will learn.”  Ruskin touched it and it was to him a real lesson in the meaning of ‘liberty’ and the consequences of failing to heed the warnings of those who know better.

The economic trouble this world is experiencing has long been predicted.  To those who know their Bible well, the only surprise is that these troubles did not come sooner.  How often, God has warned in Scripture that wealth and material blessings come from Him alone and that greed and the love of mammon will only bring disaster.  This warning went unheeded for decades and now we are touching “the tea urn”.  God doesn’t force us to follow His Commandments, we really do have the freedom to say “no” to God and this is the result; nations in turmoil and society broken in pieces – welcome to the liberal utopia promised by those who refuse to heed the Word of God!  As it warns in Jeremiah Ch2, “have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the Lord.  Your own wickedness will correct you and your own backsliding will reprove you.”

To those Godly people who take the Bible seriously and who try to apply its principles to their lives Scripture has some wonderful words of comfort.  In Psalm 46 v 1 it encourages us with this promise, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble, therefore we will not fear even if the earth be shaken.” Those who genuinely follow the Lord have a supernatural Saviour, Helper and Friend to call on in these times of distress.  There really is a supernatural Being behind this world and the faithful can put their trust and confidence in Him in the knowledge that He will never leave them nor abandon them.

Amongst my collection of stories of supernatural help is the following encouraging testimony.  It is set about 150 years ago and concerns the Reverend Sander of Ebberfield.  Sander had found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to publicly condemn the corrupt practices of a local employer.   Unknown to the clergyman, the man was so incensed at the minister’s faithful stand that he decided to kill him.  The employer sent an anonymous message to the minister late at night, stating that a parishioner lay dying and needed to see him.  To get to the address the minister had to travel over the moor and across an old bridge above a fast flowing river.  Nothing would be easier than to hide on the bank and then push the minister into the river. People would think he had merely lost his foothold in the dark.

 When however he caught sight of the minister in the dim light he was surprised to see he was not alone.  There was another figure with him.  As they passed his hiding place, it struck the man deep in his heart that this figure was not human and it filled him with fear.  This encounter began to work upon his heart and the postscript to the story is that after a struggle of many months, it was the basis of his conversion to the Christian faith.  He later admitted to the minister what he had intended to do and what he had seen.  As far as the minister was concerned he thought he was alone that night, completely unaware of any supernatural companion.

The message of Scripture to the faithful is “don’t be afraid”.  Trust in God and keep on trusting!  Underneath us are God’s supernatural arms of protection and care.  Let us remember that God’s supernatural help and guidance is there for us no matter what troubles may be ahead.  Let us be encouraged by the exhortation in Psalm 50 v15 “call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver you”.