God will surely come to your aid.
This promise applies to every hurting person who seeks God on his terms, regardless of who or where they are, irrespective of how bleak or unrighteous their past.
God made this pledge because he understands that:
- Life is hard for everyone at times.
- Misery is a constant companion for many.
- Reborn believers are not exempt from affliction.
- We all need his help to survive our ordeals intact.
God initially conveyed this promise to the Israelites when they lived in Egypt during the tenure of Joseph. Genesis 50:24-25 records the original pledge.
Soon after that, God let the Egyptians enslave the Israelites, the antithesis of coming to their aid. He fulfilled his promise of deliverance 400 years later, as recorded in Exodus 13:19.
Each intervening Israelite generation must have fervently wished God would fulfill his promise of aid and end their slavery. Their suffering undoubtedly raised questions about his trustworthiness.
However, the Israelites knew God had previously come to the aid of their forefathers through Joseph. Their very existence was living proof of his past faithfulness.
They also knew God had warned Abraham, their patriarch, that his descendants would be enslaved in a foreign land for 400 years. This prophecy, which also described their eventual release, is recorded in Genesis 15:13-14.
God’s promise of aid verified his goodness and reaffirmed his commitment to the Israelites. It gave them an additional reason to believe—however faintly at times—that he would eventually liberate them.
The Israelites demonstrated their faith in God by passing on his promise of aid to succeeding generations for four centuries.
In the interim, God responded to their faith by giving them the comfort, strength, and stamina they needed to endure their enslavement. He also produced goodness through it.
We long for abundance, security, safety, and satisfaction. Instead, we endure unfair and unnecessary hardships. We live with sorrow, stress, and uncertainty.
Our suffering frequently raises questions about God’s character, compassion, and competence.
However, we see evidence of his excellence everywhere. We recall his warning about the inevitability of suffering. So we believe—perhaps tentatively at times—that he will come through for us.
God’s promise of aid validates his goodness and affirms his commitment to our welfare. It assures us that he will ultimately resolve our situation as he deems best, an appraisal we can trust.
In the interim, God responds to our faith in him by helping us endure our afflictions and by producing goodness from them.
The promise—God will surely come to your aid—includes six inherent truths about God that justify our faith in him during distress.
- God exists. The cosmos, nature, and life itself affirm his existence.
- God is present with us. He delivers personalized aid in real-time.
- God sees our plight. Awareness always precedes benevolence.
- God cares for us. Otherwise, he would promise nothing.
- God has the resources to help us. He has already provided for our physical and spiritual sustenance.
- God has obligated himself to help us. Note the extra emphasis in his pledge.
The promise does not merely state, “God will come to your aid.” It declares, “God will surely come to your aid.”
These six truths are reiterated many times throughout the Bible. We, therefore, know God’s promise to the Israelites also applies to us today.
The nature of God’s aid does not always coincide with our preferences.
If it were up to us, God’s aid would always be preventative. He would arrange our lives in such a way that we never encountered affliction.
Alternately, God would minimize our suffering when we do encounter affliction by quickly improving our adverse circumstances.
For reasons we may not understand until later in this life or the next life, God does not always resolve our dilemmas as we wish.
So how does God come to our aid during distress?
First, he delivers peace, hope, comfort, strength, and stamina, as we walk in harmony with him.
Second, he produces goodness from our afflictions in our lives, in the lives of those within our circle of influence, or both.
Third, he resolves our situation in accordance with the designs and objectives of his plans for us and the people in our orbit.
This means God may:
- Work out the timely solution we prefer.
- Delay our desired outcome to ensure an optimal result, to protect us from hidden risks and temptations, or to accomplish another aspect of his will in or through us.
- Guide us to an alternate outcome that is ultimately better than our first preference.
- Do nothing—from our earthly perspective anyway—for reasons that are unclear today, but will eventually make sense, either later in this life or the hereafter.
Accessing God’s Aid
God provides a common good for everyone. He hears the humble cries of contrite seekers.
But access to the full array of God’s aid is subject to our alignment with him. Certain aspects of his benevolence are unavailable to those who live independently of him.
Here is what we must do to access the full array of God’s aid amid affliction.
Walk in harmony with God. Walking in harmony with God requires us to be reborn spiritually, to commune with him regularly, and to live by his principles and obey his precepts as consistently as we can. The Holy Spirit helps us in this regard.
Submit our requests to God with thanksgiving and deference. God wants us to tell him about all our concerns, but he also wants us to thank him for the goodness we still see. God wants us to request the outcomes we prefer, but he also wants us to subordinate our will to his.
Utilize the provisions God has already made. He has supplied many tangible and spiritual resources to help us live contentedly in a troubled world. God expects us to make good use of them, to the extent we can.
Trust God to come through for us. To access God’s aid, we must place our faith in him. We must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him on his terms.
God’s promise will retain its relevance for all humanity until the end of the current age, no matter how much medicine, affluence, technology, and social progress improve our quality of life.
Affliction will continue to characterize the human condition because evil in all its forms will invariably generate suffering. Therefore, we will always need God’s help to endure distress.