God Was Up All Night

Help for the Weary, Strength for the Weak

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

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.

Oh, 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?” (Psalm 121:1), he answered, “My help comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:2) — 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.

The God Who Works

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 you, who acts 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 give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

“God loves to show his tireless power and wisdom and goodness by working for people who trust him.”

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 accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience — 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 strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed” (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.

With All His Heart and Soul

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. “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life” (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 make with them an everlasting covenant, that 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” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) and give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20) and have “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and to “not be anxious about anything” (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.