Nine ways God helps

Strength, consolation, and blessing. God helps in so many different ways. Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider illustrated this using the example of Jacob. And how do we obtain His help? Answers from a divine service.

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you. Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the Lord and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” These two verses from Isaiah 41 (verses 13–14) were used by the Chief Apostle in a divine service he held in Saskatoon in Canada on 12 March.

Here the prophet is addressing the exiled Jews in Babylon. He reminds them that they were elected by God through their ancestors, such as Jacob, to be saved by Him and to testify of Him to all the other nations.

What does this biblical event have to do with us today? “We are the elected people who have the possibility to be part of the bride of Christ,” the Chief Apostle said. Some might think: “O well, our congregation is so small and weak …” But poor Jacob had nothing, only a stone to lay his head on. And what happened? The promise was fulfilled and he became the father of a great nation.

“God wants to help us enter into the kingdom of God,” the Chief Apostle said. And what does this help consist of?

  • Protection: “He will always make sure that nothing can hinder our salvation. Sure, we have to deal with difficulties. But if God sees that it becomes too difficult, He will use His power to remove the obstacle.”
  • Grace: “He forgives us so that we can work unencumbered. And He tells us, ‘Do not worry so much about earthly things. That is an unnecessary burden you are carrying. Just forgive your neighbour. It will make things much easier for you.’”
  • Consolation: “If things become too difficult, the Holy Spirit will give us a glimpse of the glory of God. He will show us how great the love of Jesus Christ is. Sure, we cannot see it with our eyes, but we can see and feel it with our soul and with our heart.”

“God also helps us to obtain blessing,” the Chief Apostle continued. “How does He do that?”

  • Through the commandments: “Those who act according to His law, who put His gospel into practice, will have peace and joy in their hearts.”
  • Through examples: “One can also be peaceful and joyful in sorrow. That is not a theory: we can see it in our congregations. Just open your eyes.”
  • Through the gift of the Holy Spirit: “Give yourself enough time to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in your heart.”

And finally, God helps us to be true servants and witnesses of Christ by opening up our understanding

  • for His plan of salvation: “He will send His Son for the bride of Christ, but that is not the end of the story. This will be followed by the kingdom of peace in which all of mankind will be able to hear the gospel.”
  • for the proper motivation: “God does not force people to follow Him. He wants them to feel His love and then decide themselves to follow Him.”
  • for our own actions: “God wants us to be witnesses so that our neighbour can experience God’s love.”

And how do we avail ourselves of this help? Here Chief Apostle Schneider once again referred to the example set by Jacob: his unshakeable belief in the promise, his fight to the end, and his willingness to serve the Lord. “God will help those who struggle for their salvation, and He will bless them.”

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Andreas Rother
Canada, Chief Apostle, Divine service