Best of Daily Reflections: Trust the Lord, Your Helper and Your Shield

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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O Israel, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield.

O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield.

All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD! He is your helper and your shield.

Psalm 115:9-11

The other night, I woke up about 4:00 a.m., worrying about my life. When I get into that state of mind, I can’t fall back to sleep. It feels as if my mind is spinning out of control, coming up with more and more things about which to fret. Of course, before too long I add the lack of sleep to my list of preoccupations. How will I make it through the next day if can’t sleep beyond four in the morning?

I know myself well enough not to stay in bed when I’m running on my worry wheel like a nocturnal hamster. So, I got out of bed and went out into our family room when I could pray out loud. I told God all the things that concerned me, holding nothing back. Then I got to a watershed moment. Would I trust to God all of the things I had laid before him? Would I trust the God who has been so utterly trustworthy in my life? Or would I snatch back everything I had given to God so that I could brood about them some more?

I wish I had remembered Psalm 115 that night. I needed the reassurance and the repetition from the middle of that psalm. Three times, it urges God’s people to “trust the LORD!” Three times, it reminds them why: “He is your helper and your shield … your helper and your shield … your helper and your shield.”

The word translated as “helper” is ‘ezer, a word that means, well, “helper” or “help” in Hebrew. This word is first used in Scripture to describe the woman as man’s helper in Genesis 2. But it usually points to God as the one who helps us in our weakness and neediness. You may recall Psalm 121:1-2, “I look up to the mountains—does my help (‘ezer) come from there? My help (‘ezer) comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth!” ‘Ezer is the last part of the word Ebenezer, which, in Hebrew, is a “stone of help.”

The Hebrew word translated as “shield” is magen, which means “shield” as in something used for protection in battle (see 1 Kings 10:17, for example). Many times throughout the Psalms, God is pictured as our shield (Ps. 3:3, 5:3, 7:10, 18:2, etc.). If we were speaking prosaically, we’d say, “God protects us.” More poetically, he is our shield.

Of course, the challenge for people of faith is that God does not always help us or protect us in the way we would prefer. We might even begin to doubt God’s help or protection. Psalm 115 reminds us of what is true. I urge us to trust God, even during sleepless nights, because God is there for us. He is our helper, the one who gives us strength and guidance. God is our shield, the one who protects us in difficult times.

O Mark in the middle of the night, trust the LORD!
He is your helper and your shield.

O reader of this reflection, trust the LORD!
He is your helper and your shield.

All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD!
He is your helper and your shield.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you sometimes wake up at night worrying about things you wish you could entrust to the Lord? What helps you to trust the Lord? When is it hard for you to trust? Why? When have you experienced God as your helper? As your shield?

PRAYER: Gracious God, you are indeed my helper, my shield. Thank you for all the times you have helped me, all the ways you have protected me. Of course, the truth is that I don’t even know the half of it. You have done so much more for me than I realize. Thank you for your gracious faithfulness.

Help me, Lord, to trust you. When I am worried, may I trust you. When I can’t sleep, may I trust you. When I wonder about the future, may I trust you. When life is going wonderfully, may I trust you. In all things and at all times, may I trust you. Amen.


Mark Roberts is the Executive Director of Digital Media and the Theological and Cultural Steward for Foundations for Laity Renewal. He is the author of eight books, including No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. He lives in Boerne, Texas, with his wife, Linda. Their children spend most of the year away at college on the East Coast.