God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Text: 2 Chronicles 32:1-8

We sometimes hear the phrase: ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ This phrase is not in the Bible, but the principle exists. In order to take full advantage of what God offers, we must do what we are able to do.

Example: Hezekiah Defending Jerusalem Against the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32:1-8)

  • What did he do? … cut off their water supply, rebuilt the wall, made weapons and shields, appointed officers, encouraged the people
  • Why? Did he not trust in God? … he did (v. 7-8), but he needed to do what he could do
  • Same is true for us today – notice a few examples below

Providing Food

  • Jesus told us to pray for our daily bread (Matthew 6:11) – does this mean we should pray & wait for God to miraculously provide food? … no
  • We have a responsibility to work (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10) – for those who cannot work, God has provided a way for them to be helped also (Ephesians 4:28; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 5:16)
  • We must also be good stewards of what we have (Luke 15:11-16) – when money is limited, we need the right priorities (1 Timothy 6:8)

Gaining Wisdom

  • We are told to pray for wisdom (James 1:5) – we can be confident that we will receive it (James 1:6-8) … but how?
  • Remember what wisdom is – the application of knowledge
  • So how do we gain wisdom? … first, acquire knowledge (2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 3:4); second, apply knowledge (Hebrews 5:14; James 1:22)

Obtaining Forgiveness

  • God is willing to forgive us (Matthew 6:12) – but this forgiveness is conditional (2 Peter 3:9)
  • Forgiveness is impossible without grace (Ephesians 2:4-5) – but we still have a responsibility
  • Forgiveness for the non-Christian – plan of salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 22:16)
  • Forgiveness for the Christian – repent & pray (Acts 8:18-23; 1 John 1:9)

Growing in Strength

  • Paul said he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13)
  • He prayed that other Christians would be strengthened as well (Colossians 1:9,11) – as with everything else, we have a responsibility to be strengthened through Christ
  • We must take advantage of those things that can strengthen us – the word of God (Acts 20:32; Matthew 4:4); the example of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3); the encouragement of brethren (Hebrews 3:12-13; 10:24-25)

Conclusion

  • Everything good comes from God (James 1:17) – but we are responsible to do what we can to take advantage of His blessings
  • Avoid two extremes – (1) don’t think that God does everything & you do nothing, and (2) don’t think that you do everything with no help from God
  • Acknowledge your need for what the Lord provides & work hard to obtain what He offers

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