The Secret of Helpfulness

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

Those who know God best and live most in His presence will be the greatest helpers of their fellow-men in these times of trouble. For those who know Him best will trust Him the most, and it is written, "Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE, whose mind is stayed on Thee: BECAUSE HE TRUSTED IN THEE" (Isa. 26:3). This is true. It has been proved experimentally by the servants of God in the storms of the past; it is being surely proved by many of them in the present distress, and it will be proved still until days of strife end in universal peace under the sceptre of Him whose right it is to rule.

We have no word to say against natural fortitude, but the great need is men who are not stayed upon any human quality, however admirable, but upon Almighty God. These will be kept calm in the midst of panic. Yonder tree preserves its green leaf in time of drought because it is planted by the river, and its roots, striking deeply through the soil, are in touch with the waters, while other trees, less fortunately placed, wither and die.

The one who knows God and lives in communion with Him is like that tree. He is not distracted by circumstances, but is superior to them because God is his refuge and resource. For himself he can say, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" And to his brethren in Christ he can say, "Wait upon the Lord, wait, I say, on the Lord." Such a one has a place of absolute serenity and repose, for he can boast, "In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me."

This is the portion of the man who makes the Lord his choice and who seeks only after Him.

How God-honouring are the words, "Though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His holy temple." His own safety and concerns are put by this man into God's hands, and he confidently leaves them there, seeking only to know the will of God and to dwell more deeply in communion with Him.

This confidence in God will not make a man unpractical, or indifferent to the distress and anguish of others. It will not make him think or act selfishly, like those who would store their houses with provisions against a time of famine regardless whether their poorer brethren have food or not. No, being with God and having God with him, he will be entirely free from self concern, his heart will be compassionate for those in distress and he will go "about doing good," as did his Master and perfect Example. He will greatly strengthen his more fearful brethren by his own quiet but exultant faith as he says confidently, powerfully, effectively, "Wait on the Lord," for in so saying he will direct them to the One in whom is infinite strength, the ALMIGHTY GOD, the LORD OF HOSTS, whom every blood-bought child of God can address as Father, the One whose power and loving-kindness he himself is proving. May God give us men of this stamp today for His people's good, and for the blessing of the distressed multitudes.