Devotional – “Good Desperation” (11 April 2018)


“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.”

– Psalm 121:1, 2 (ESV)

We usually think that the words “good” and “desperation” don’t fit well together. That is generally our perception of things. But there is indeed the case that it is good for us to face times of desperation; it is good for us to face times when our abilities and resources are exhausted; it is good for us to face circumstances in which we have nowhere on this earth to turn for help. I say this because it is during such episodes in life that we lift our voices and our eyes toward heaven and cry out, “From where shall my help come?” At such times, we are forced to see the weaknesses of those things in which we place so much trust. Our strength has failed, our wisdom has played out; our money and influence and skill have all run dry. Our friends have proven no help. We are at bottom. At such times, we have to face the fact that those things which seem to offer so much support and which seem to produce stability (or rather, our perception of stability) for us in this life are, in fact, incapable of bearing us up when the truly severe trials come our way. And so, by God’s grace and according to His promises and because we are His in the Saviour, we find that the ultimate answer to our question is this: “My help comes from the LORD.”

When we learn that truth, then our worship of the LORD becomes sweeter and more precious to us and more desirable to us. When we learn the truth of that phrase, “My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth,” then we enter our times of gathered worship on the Lord’s Day more eager to praise Him and more eager to sing about His attributes and His works; we come, not out of mere obligation and not with a subtle reluctance which must be overcome, but we come gladly. We come to worship, and we are glad to be there because we know that the LORD is our Helper. Meditate on the fact that God is your Helper-your unfailing, ever-present, compassionate Helper-and see if such meditation does not create in you an eagerness to sing to the LORD and an eagerness to speak words of praise to Him and an eagerness to hear what His Word says.

– John Butler