by Stephen F. OlfordA Call to Remembrance
Text: "Having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great" (Acts 26:22, NKJV).
Thought: Paul here reviews the period since his conversion and triumphantly declares, "Having obtained help from God, to this day I stand." As we draw to the close of another year, let us emulate the great apostle and acknowledge that only through the help of God have we continued to this day. It is good that we should remind ourselves of three important factors regarding this divine help:
1. The Source of This Help: "Having obtained help from God." It is so important that we should recognize that "through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23). Even though we have often failed Him He has never failed us; He has been our source of help moment by moment. We have proved again His promise, "‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear'" (Heb. 13:5,6).
2. The Secret of This Help: "Having obtained help from God." The secret is bound up in that word "obtained." There has been no demand made upon us for which we have not found adequate help in God. Indeed, without the indwelling life of Christ we would be utterly helpless and hopeless. No wonder the writer to the Hebrews bids us "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
3. The Strength of This Help: "Having obtained help." The word "help" means assistance or aid. There is only One who embodies this help and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our life, our strength, our all. Those of us who have proved this can say with confidence, "I am ready for anything through the strength of the One Who lives within me" (Phil. 4:13, Phillips).
As we look back upon 2001 let us sing with profound gratitude:
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come;
Be Thou our guide while life shall last,
And our eternal home!