The Believer’s Refuge and Strength

Introduction

We live in a world where few have true and secure hope either for the present or the future. Paul tells us that those who do not know Christ as Saviour are without hope. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). This Psalm of David teaches us that we have a refuge even when the world is headed for destruction.

God is our Refuge

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-3).

He is our hiding place and shelter from all the troubles in the world. When the troubles of life get us down, all we need to do is run to Him and find renewed strength to continue. Our God is with us every step of the way. There is no difficulty too big for Him to solve. There is no fear He cannot comfort us in. The unsaved worry about global warming, the credit crunch, and disease, but those who know the Lord can make a choice to have faith instead of fear. The “refuge” is literally “a place of trust.” “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12). All who trust in Christ have such a place of refuge for their souls. “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10) … “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

The Nearness of God

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalm 46:4-7).

God is with us, so why should we fear or be anxious over anything in this world? The earth may by be moved by natural disasters, but since God is not moved, neither ought we to be. The mountains might shake, but God is not shaken, so neither should we be. The kingdoms of this world might revolt against the Lord and His people, but He is still on the Throne. “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision” (Psalm 2:4) … “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing” (Isaiah 40:15). It all comes down to who or what we put our faith in. He who is with us is our constant and abiding refuge and strength.

God is at work

“Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalm 46:8-11).

Yes, terrible things do happen to the righteous, but none of them are overlooked by God. He will deal with those who do not believe in due course. He will destroy everything they thought was their security. When everything comes to an end, only God and His people will be left standing. Then, though too late, the world will realise that only the God of Jacob, the Lord of Hosts, is the solid Rock of eternal salvation. Remember, He who spoke the universe into existence only has to speak to dissolve it. “Leave off to oppose Me and vex My people. I am over all for their safety” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary).

Conclusion

We can do one of two things; we can either get caught up with the fears and worries of this life, or we can still our hearts as we trust in the One who died on the cross to deliver us from bondage. Our God provides us with a river of eternal life to gladden our souls and cause our hearts to rejoice despite the troubles we might face.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91).

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