During WWII, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk as a “miracle of deliverance.” The event was so widely celebrated that Churchill had to remind people that “wars are not won by evacuations.”

Trapped by Hitler’s forces and with one route of escape, the Prime Minister had admitted that only 20,000 to 30,000 troops seemed likely to make it out safely. On hearing this, King George VI called for the people of Britain and of the Empire to commit their cause to God in a National Day of Prayer. They poured out their hearts to the only One who could deliver them and—in God’s providence—they were delivered.

Out of gratitude, people across Britain observed a Day of National Thanksgiving. Up and down the country, choirs and congregations sang the words of Psalm 124.

“What if the LORD had not been on our side? Let all Israel repeat: what if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us? They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger. The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives” (Psalm 124:1-5).

Perhaps you’ve witnessed a deliverance by Almighty God in your life. Whether a healing, a wondrous provision, or a beautiful reconciliation, you carry with you a sense of humble gratitude to God who chose to intervene in a situation that seemed utterly hopeless at the time (Psalm 124:6-7).

God often works powerfully through hard things that come our way. But even when the answer isn’t what we hoped for, we can declare, “Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 5:1-16