God Was Up All Night

The worship team and prayer teams gathered around me and prayed for me before I preached. Greg remarked that God was up all night working on this service and the people who would be there—including me. He thanked the Lord for this and praised him for his unwearying work on our behalf.

O what truth this is! For every Christian. Let me encourage you with it. Psalm 121:2-3 says it plainly: “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.” The one who helps you never sleeps. He stays up all night, every night.

Do you need help? I do. Where do you look for help? When the Psalmist lifted up his eyes to the hills and asked, “From where does my help come?” he answered, “My help comes from the Lord”—not from the hills, but from the God who made the hills. So he reminded himself of two great truths: one is that God is a mighty Creator over all the problems of life; the other is that God never sleeps.

God is a tireless Worker. Think of God as a Worker in your life. Yes, it is amazing. We are prone to think of ourselves as workers in God’s life. But the Bible wants us first to be amazed that God is a Worker in our lives: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4).

God is working for us around the clock. He does not take days off and he does not sleep. In fact he is so eager to work for us that he goes around looking for more work to do for people who will trust him: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show his might in behalf of those whose heart is whole toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

God loves to show his tireless power and wisdom and goodness by working for people who trust him. Jesus was the main way the Father showed this: “The Son of man came not to be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45). Jesus works for his followers. He serves them.

He keeps on doing this now that he is risen and reigning with the Father in heaven. Paul experienced this in a powerful way: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has worked through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed” (Romans 15:18). Christ worked for Paul all his life. At the very end of his life, in his last letter, he said, “The Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully” (2 Timothy 4:17). Through all his life Paul could say, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Jesus is the great Worker, the great strength-giver.

The eagerness of God to work for us is amazing. His eyes are running to and fro, looking for opportunities to work for people who trust him. And he is “pursuing us with goodness and mercy all our days” (Psalm 23:6). He is not just waiting for us to get his help, he is seeking ways to give us help. And he is doing this with overflowing eagerness. “I will not turn away from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good … with all my heart and all my soul” (Jeremiah 32:40-41).

No wonder he stays up all night. With all his heart and all his soul he works for those who wait for him and trust him. This is what we must believe—really believe—in order to “rejoice always” (Philippians 4:4) and “give thanks in everything” (Ephesians 5:20) and have the “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6) and “hate our lives in this world” (John 12:25) and “love our neighbor as we love ourselves” (Matthew 22:39).

What a truth! What a reality! God is up all night and all day to work for those who wait for him.


Pastor John

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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including A Peculiar Glory.

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