“. . . [W]e confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’” —Hebrews 13:6 (NASB)
If we are frank with ourselves, we can admit that we often need help. Things usually go better if we have help. When we use words to characterize God, words like Creator, Almighty, Lord, and King come to mind. “Helper” doesn’t usually make the list. Somehow it doesn’t seem majestic enough for God, does it? But while God has all the power and might that our initial list implies, He is also an intimate and personal God who relishes His role as our Helper. So what does it mean to have God as our helper, and how does His help keep us from being afraid? Let’s find out what kind of helper God is and explore the concept of fear along the way.
The writer of Hebrews surrounds this passage with reminders of the qualities that God possesses as a helper. First, God never changes (Hebrews 13:8). God is eternal in nature. God always has, always does, and always will have the very help we need. It will never run out.
Second, God will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5). Have you ever counted on someone, only to have him or her leave you? God will never do that!
Third, God will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). In other words, God never abandons us! He never changes His mind about us or decides that we’re not good enough for His help. As we begin to recognize God’s eternal, ever-present nature, we draw closer to Him. In so doing, our fear grows.
Wait a minute!
Having God as our helper is supposed to keep us from being afraid, but it actually grows fear in us?
You see, there are two kinds of fear. Let’s call them Fear A and Fear B. Foreboding, worry, panic, and dread characterize Fear A. It is rooted in the things of this world. At the core of Fear A is uncertainty. We are all too familiar with Fear A, but God wishes it were not so.
Fear B is the polar opposite of Fear A. It refers to “being in awe” of His power and greatness, and is characterized by reverence, conscience, and wisdom. Fear B is rooted in God and in the things of eternity. It comes from knowing God and having a close personal relationship with Him. Those who know God have deep respect for Him and a reverential awe of Him (Psalm 8:1). Those who know God experience His influence in their lives through a conscience that seeks what He finds righteous and just (Acts 24:16). Fear B aligns our goals with God’s goals. Fear B is the source of all wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). Being close to God gives us unlimited opportunities to ask for and receive His wisdom! When we put this whole package together, we can see that at the core of Fear B is certainty. When Fear B grows, it drives Fear A out! Reverence, conscience, and wisdom force out worry and dread.
Having God as our helper is great indeed! We can say that with all certainty. That’s the truth.
The Lord is your helper. He will always be with you. He will never abandon you. You will fear Him and He will lead you to wisdom, reverence, and conscience, and you will be certain of your eternal future and well-being. Therefore, you will not be afraid of anything, any person, or any situation this world may throw at you.
That’s the YouTruth. The Lord is your helper.
© 2009, 2011 Dan Buckhout
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