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God helps those who help themselves

Is there any truth to that?


Have you ever heard the phrase, "God helps those who help themselves"? Have you wondered if it's an actual Bible verse? I actually heard this phrase a lot growing up in the 1960s. I wasn't raised in a Christian home; I actually wasn't even allowed to go to church with any of my friends. Yet, this phrase was a very popular one in my house. So, even though I wasn't raised in a Christian home, I grew up thinking God helps those who help themselves.


Later in my life, even after I became a Christian, this phrase stuck with me for a long time. I thought, if God helps those who help themselves, then I must be independent and do things on my own. I was a very independent child who had become a very independent adult. So, even though I was a devoted Christian and read my Bible daily, I was not allowing God to help me; I was trying to do life all by myself. And trust me, life can be a very hard thing to do all on your own, by yourself. But then, you probably already knew that.


I don't even remember when it was, but there came a time when I felt a conviction that I wasn't allowing God to do His work and help me in my life. I tried to find in the Bible where it said that God helps those who help themselves, and was unable to find it anywhere! Instead, I found scriptures that said things like, "Come unto Me all who are weary" (Matthew 11:28-30) and "If you need wisdom, ask God" (James 1:5). I found all kinds of scripture that was telling me to let God help me! Then, I found it! A verse that said God had sent us a Helper who would teach us all the things we needed to know (John 14:26). If we were supposed to help ourselves, then why would God send us a Helper? And, finally, I struck gold! I found a verse that said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).


Soon it became clear to me that if I needed God's strength to help me do all things, as the Bible said, then surely I wasn't supposed to do all things on my own. If I wasn't supposed to do all things on my own; then that meant I wasn't supposed to help myself, but rely upon God to help me. Now, that's not to say that we don't need to help ourselves in our day to day activities. Of course we do! God also gave us the minds and abilities to function on a daily basis. But, when things in life get you down, you don't have to face them and deal with them all on your own. If you are at a point in life where you need help, God will help you or provide you with the help you need. Whether that help is in the way of providing money you need to pay your bills, or to give you wisdom you need in making an important decision, to giving you peace about a situation in your life. Sometimes, God uses other people to help us when we need it. For instance, if you need 20 bucks to help you get though the week and someone offers you 20 bucks, don't turn them down. Don't let pride get in the way of receiving the help that God is trying to provide.


So, if we are trying to solve all of our problems on our own, as I sometimes still do, then we need to realize that God truly is there to help us. We don't need to do it all on our own. All we have to do is tell God our needs and thank Him for His answers and help (Philippians 4:6-7). If we do that, He will give us peace and the help we need take care of those problems.


In essence, God does help those who help themselves...as long as we are helping ourselves to what He is offering. There's a song that reminds me of how we should lean on God for His help every time I hear it. It isn't even a Christian song. Take the time to listen to it some time, it may help to give you an understanding of what God is trying to tell us. That song is, "Lean on Me", by Bill Withers. To make it even easier to listen to it, here's a link to the song on YouTube.


Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!

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