Promise Basics

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 often need his help to survive our ordeals intact.

Original Context

God initially conveyed this promise to the Israelites through Joseph when they lived in Egypt. Genesis 50:24-25 records the original pledge.

Soon after, God let the Egyptians enslave the Israelites, the antithesis of coming to their aid. He fulfilled his promise of deliverance four hundred years later, as memorialized in Exodus 13:19.

Each intervening Israelite generation must have fervently wished God would fulfill his promise of aid and end their enslavement. Their suffering undoubtedly raised questions about his trustworthiness.

However, the Israelites knew God had previously come to the aid of their forefathers by rescuing them from a famine in their homeland. 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 four hundred years. Genesis 15:13-14 records this prophecy, which also describes their eventual release.

God’s promise of aid through Joseph reaffirmed his goodness and commitment to the Israelites. It gave them an additional reason to believe—however faintly—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.

Present Relevance

Like the Israelites, 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 and recall his warning about the inevitability of suffering, so we believe—perhaps tentatively—that he will come through for us.

God’s promise of aid validates his goodness and confirms his commitment to our welfare. It assures us 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 producing goodness from them.

Six Truths

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 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.” Instead, it declares, “God will surely come to your aid.”

The Bible reiterates these six truths many times. We, therefore, know God’s promise to the Israelites also applies to us today.

Our Preferences

The nature of God’s aid does not always coincide with our preferences.

God’s aid would always be preventative if it were up to us. He would arrange our lives so that we never encountered affliction.

At the very least, he would minimize our suffering 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 for us or expect from him.

God’s Plans

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 either 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.

But here is the pivotal point.

God’s plans for us and others encompass more than the pleasantness of our current circumstances.

They also include our understanding of his excellence and the effectiveness of our ministry—now and in the future.

God considers all these factors when he responds to our prayers for relief amid affliction. This means he 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 choice.
  • Do little or nothing—from our earthly perspective anyway—for reasons that are unclear today but will eventually make sense later in this life or the hereafter.

We may dislike God because he helps us endure suffering and uses it for good instead of preventing it altogether or quickly alleviating it once it materializes.

But this criticism implies that our judgment is better than his. If that were true, he would not be God. We would be God.

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.

Walk in harmony with God. Walking in harmony with God requires us to be reborn spiritually, commune with him regularly, 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 amid affliction he also wants us to thank him for the goodness we still see. God wants us to request the resolutions 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. He expects us to utilize them to the extent we can.

Trust God to come through for us. To access God’s aid, we must express faith in him. We must believe that he exists and rewards those who seek him on his terms.

Enduring Relevance

God’s promise will retain its relevance for all humanity until the end of the current age because evil will always generate suffering for everyone, no matter how much medicine, affluence, technology, and social progress improve our quality of life.

We will invariably need God’s help to endure the resulting distress.

Read More About God’s Promise

Further insights about God’s promise are detailed in the section of this website entitled Promise Backstory.

The elements of his aid are detailed here. The goodness he produces through suffering is described here.

The context of God’s promise, including the Israelite exodus from Egypt to the Red Sea, includes several lessons that apply to us.

These include the inscrutability of God’s wisdom, our disappointment when he fails to live up to our expectations, why we must often wait for him to act, the depth of his patience when we get angry at him, and the significance of his dramatic guidance.