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What does “the Lord is my helper” mean (Hebrews 13:6)?

the Lord is my helper

Citing Psalm 118:6, the author of Hebrews writes, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, ESV). Here, believers are encouraged to rely on God for all their needs, especially in times of persecution. Because the Lord is on our side, we do not have to fear anyone or anything (Romans 8:31; 1 John 4:4).

The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Christians to persevere through trials and tribulations (Hebrews 10:32–34). Hebrews 13:6, then, is not just a statement of belief in God’s power and provision but is also a reminder to hold fast to our faith: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4, ESV). In doing so, James says, we will “receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (verse 12, ESV).

“The Lord is my helper” (Hebrews 13:6) is a declaration that represents continual reliance on God’s omnipotence. In Psalm 46:1, the psalmist writes, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” God is a constant source of help, reinforcing the idea that divine assistance is always available. For this reason, we should seek Him in every situation (1 Chronicles 16:11), knowing that His power is greater than our own (Matthew 19:26).

Next, the author of Hebrews writes, “I will not fear” (Hebrews 13:6, ESV). Although fear is a natural emotion, especially in troublesome and uncertain times, we are challenged to rise above it by placing our trust in God. In Philippians 4:11–13, the apostle Paul writes, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” In short, contentment is a direct result of entrusting our fears and concerns to God (Matthew 10:28; 1 Peter 5:7).

“What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, ESV) is a rhetorical question that highlights the limitations of human power compared to God’s power. This is not a display of arrogance; rather, it is a recognition of the relative insignificance of human threats before an all-powerful God:

“Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle”
(Psalm 24:7–8).

Since God is committed to working everything for our good (Romans 8:28), we have absolutely nothing to fear.

Hebrews 13:6 reflects a broader biblical theme of placing one’s confidence in God rather than our own finite understanding or circumstance. In Proverbs 3:5–6, Solomon advises us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” May we always believe that “the Lord is my helper.”

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What does “the Lord is my helper” mean (Hebrews 13:6)?
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This page last updated: February 29, 2024