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Help for the Helpless

Published 8/29/19

"Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"


• What help will you boldly ask God for?

• Difficult situations can wear us down and can convince us that we can't do anything to make things better. Why is this untrue? (Please explain.)

• Focusing on God's majesty and past miracles soothes feelings of helplessness. How do you think this helps?

Helplessness qualifies as one of the world's most frustrating emotions. Anyone who has spent hours trying to console a crying baby understands what it's like to feel that there's nothing he or she can do to improve a situation.

Maybe you're feeling helpless today because you're out of work and have no job offers, despite all of your applications. Maybe you have an autistic child and are struggling with understanding and communicating with him. Perhaps your spouse is suffering from depression and you don't know how to help her.

Job recalled that God helps those who have no power and saves those who have no strength. He then spent time considering God's majesty. He talked about the Lord's creative power and control of the natural world, including the wind, water, and creatures.

Jesus displayed this power as well in His earthly ministry. Consider the thirty-seven miracles documented in the Gospels, including turning water to wine; feeding thousands; calming a storm; walking on water; healing the blind, lame, sick, and demon-possessed; and raising the dead to life.

One of my (Pam's) favorite accounts is of the woman in Mark 5 who suffered from uncontrollable bleeding for years. What helplessness she must have felt as she went to physician after physician, only to find the problem getting worse. She didn't let that helplessness cripple her. She took the risk to touch Jesus' robe and experienced the miracle of healing.

Contrast this with the phenomenon of learned helplessness, when we give up trying because of consistent failure. Years of psychology research shows that anytime we feel stuck in a bad situation, we're at risk of surrendering to our helplessness, and thus we can miss when escape is possible.

Our world today looks very different from biblical times. But our God is the same. He still has the same power and remains our help in times of trouble. Job shows us that we need to focus on God's majesty and power most when we are at our weakest.


Lord, I am awed by Your majesty and power. Today I boldly ask for Your help in the challenges I am facing. Amen.


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