By Pastor Teck Uy

If we have to look back and reflect on how we got to where we are today, many will joyfully testify that it was just by God’s grace that we survived many of the challenges that came our way. This was the same testimony of the Psalmist when he said, “Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your love, O Lord, supported me” (Psalm 94:17-18). Indeed, the Lord is our help and without him we cannot overcome the testing of our faith. Many of these tests come one after the other. But the Lord is faithful and he promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

If asked, I believe that even the apostle Peter would testify that unless the Lord was with him, he would have drowned when he started to sink while walking on water. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt.14:30). But why did Peter start to sink? It is possible that, although he started his walk full of faith, he did not receive any encouragement from the rest of the disciples that were with him. Had someone cheered for him, he could have walked confidently without fear. But because he could not see anyone cheering for him as he looked around, he saw the waves and the wind instead. These caused him to fear and he started to sink. But the Lord was quick to extend his hand and Peter was saved. Peter’s experience tells us that we need the encouragement of one another but ultimately, our help comes from the Lord.

But how will the Lord save us from our troubles? Will we see the same hands that were extended to Peter? Today, we do not see the physical hands of the Lord but he has given us his words and in it we can find HELP – an acrostic for Hope, Endurance, Leading and Perseverance. Our blessed Hope is the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). In our most difficult situations, we shall not be dismayed for he promised that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. He shall not be late even for a minute, just as with Peter. But while we wait for his deliverance, he shall give us Endurance to bear the load. The Lord uses hardships as discipline and we need to endure and learn our lessons well. These are not meant to punish us beyond recovery, but are a way of God showing us his love (Heb. 12:7).

Since the way ahead is murky, we need the Leading of the Lord so that we shall not be ensnared by the works of the evil one. The Lord himself will “lead us in paths of righteousness for his name sake” (Psalm 23:3). There is so much wickedness around and unless the Lord is with us and leads us, we can easily be trapped and swallowed alive by them. But the Lord is faithful and he will not let the righteous fall into the trap of the wicked.  Finally, we need to Persevere in our walk with the Lord. It is good to be able to bear the load but we need to move on. Our troubles in life should not stop us. In his epistle James said, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

It is encouraging to know that even when our feet are slipping and are about to give way, we can count on the love of the Lord to sustain us. Experiencing this situation, King David said, “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19). Yes, the Lord will not let our feet slip but will give us enough space to reposition ourselves and be steadied in our walk. He gives us enough allowances to be restored back to him. In particular, we are given 1 John 1:9 where we can repent of our sins and be forgiven when we sin against the Lord. This gives much comfort and encouragement to those who are carrying heavy loads, especially the burden of sin, and are about to give up. We can always count on the Lord’s sustaining grace.

As for those who are waiting for their deliverance, be encouraged by the fact that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). This being the case, we should not fear testing and trials that will come. The Lord is only a prayer away. He assured us saying, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). If we are admonished to dial 911 for help in times of emergency, the more that we should call on the name of the Lord for he is able to help us quickly. He will not delay, just like he did not delay in extending a helping hand to Peter when he was sinking. Let us always remember that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Praise the Lord!