One of my favorite pieces of congregational music is Isaac Watts’ hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” based on Psalm 90. The first verse affirms one of the most wonderful truths about Christianity: God has been a source of help and strength for people of faith throughout the ages. It reminds us, too, that God is there for us today in times of trouble and that he is our hope for the future:
O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home!
I especially like verse 2, which reads:
Under the shadow of thy throne,
still may we dwell secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.1
I find this expression of the majesty and power of God combined with the belief that God is all we need to keep us safe and secure to be very assuring.
Earlier (see 1 Corinthians 9) Paul introduced us to the theological idea of sufficiency; that is, having enough and being content with what one has. In this Bible Lesson, we learn that the reason we can be content is because God’s grace is all we need. Paul teaches us to rejoice even in our afflictions because they can become occasions to experience and share strength from God, whose grace is all sufficient.