There are times when it seems like God is inactive, as if he is asleep or on vacation. Because he is invisible, we look for evidence of his existence and can forget that God is always at work in our lives. Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The Hebrew word translated present, mâtsâ’ (maw – tsaw´) means to come forth, appear or exist (4672). Although God is always with us, we notice or are aware o his presence most when we are in trouble.

When Sennacherib king of Assyria threatened to attack Jerusalem, he used psychological warfare to intimidate the city’s people. The type of trouble the people experienced was an anguish of soul, a distress of a psychological or spiritual nature. What they needed was assurance that God was near. The psalmist declared, “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early” (Psalm 46:5).

Often times, fear causes us to run. We want to get as far away from our trouble as possible. One of the ways that God challenges us to trust him is to wait, to not do anything for the moment. In their time of distress, God told his people, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). Isaiah said to the rebellious children of Judah, “Therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still” (Isaiah 30:7).

The primary reason God doesn’t want us to react to our emotions when we are in trouble is we usually make things worse. If we stay and watch to see what will happen, we get to see God at work, and may witness a miracle. Psalm 80 focuses on God’s ability to break forth in a situation like the sun coming up over the horizon. The psalmist prayed, “Stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved” (Psalm 80:2-3).

Three times in Psalm 80 the phrase “turn us again” appears, emphasizing the importance of connecting with God at a personal level. God’s people turned away from him continually and did not obey his commandments as they were instructed to. In spite of this, the LORD remained faithful and responded to their cries for help. The psalmist, pleading for God to intervene on Judah’s behalf, requested of the LORD, “Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit thine vine” (Psalm 80:14).



A pattern that developed very early in my life was never asking anyone for help. It seems like my attitude has always been, I can do this by myself. When I was married, my husband was in the Marine Corps. Five months after our youngest son was born, he left on a six month deployment overseas. Even though many times I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of three small children, I never once asked anyone for help. Over the course of our 20 year marriage, my husband was gone a total of 7 years, and I can’t remember one time I ever asked anyone for help.

It says in Proverbs 11:2, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” The word translated lowly, tsâna‘ (tsaw – nah´) means to humiliate (6800). It is referring to the characteristic of humility, not in the sense that one has it, but that it is being developed or formed in a person. Pride and humility are opposites and to a certain extent you could say that as one increases, the other decreases. Therefore, the process of being humbled or humiliated involves the removal of pride and God often uses our shame as a part of the process.

Asking for help may not seem like a humbling experience, but if you are or know of someone that is filled with pride you understand why it is so difficult. At the core of pride is a sense of independence. Being able to take care of myself made me feel secure. In some ways, taking care of myself was a coping mechanism that enable me to survive in what I perceived to be a very dangerous environment, but more than anything else, it kept me isolated and prevented me from being hurt or disappointed by people around me.