God is Our Refuge

by Peg Rhone

Ever since there have been two human beings on this earth, there has been trouble. By the time there were four the first murder was committed. Man’s inhumanity to man will not cease until the final day of judgment. At times the degree of trouble seems more intense than at other times. But whether trouble is big or small, the answer is still the same:

God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble.

Recently in our nation’s capitol the so-called “sniper” has struck fear into the hearts of communities around the Beltway. It seems like the focus of the nation is upon this madman. But truly our focus needs to be elsewhere. Whether the threat is one man, or an army, there is a refuge, a place of strength, for every believer, and that refuge is our God.

Psalm 46:1-3,7-11
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.

A refuge is a shelter, a place that protects from danger or trouble, a place of safety. The Psalm says that “God is our refuge and our strength”. When we go to God in the midst of troubled times, and lean on Him rather than be swayed by the circumstance around us, then we are strong through Him.

Who or what is stronger than God? No one! Nothing! God is Almighty and He is over all. He sets kings up and takes them down. He knows that there is going to be trouble in this life, and so he has given great words of encouragement to His people.

Psalm 46:7-11
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
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.

God is our refuge. “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea…”. Those dramatic circumstances sound like the end of the world! But for those of us who trust in God, we need not fear because we know that “the Lord of hosts is with us”. Even if the world crumbles around our feet, He is our eternal refuge and we need not fear what man can do to us.

God is our ever present help in trouble. He never leaves us for a moment. Not in the best of times, and certainly not in the worst of times.

Hebrews 13:5,6
… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Psalm 50:15
And call upon me [God] in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

The great Psalmist David had plenty of trouble in his life. His life was constantly on the line; someone was always after him. His response was to look to God, to trust in Him, and to sing praises unto His name.

Psalm 57:1,2,7
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.
I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.

David’s heart was fixed; he sang praises unto the Lord. Just like Paul did when he was beaten and put into prison, he sang Psalms and witnessed to the other prisoners. It is no great feat to praise God when everything is going great. Praising Him in the midst of trouble is true Christianity.

I Peter 1:6 and 7 says that we can literally jump for joy in the midst of temptations because the trying of our faith is laying up heavenly rewards as we trust in God.

I Peter 1:6-8
Wherein ye greatly rejoice [literally to “jump for joy”], though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

Everyone on earth is going to experience hard times, but we get rewarded if we go through them with the right heart, that is, resting in the shadow of His wings. Putting our trust in Him is what will be found unto “praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”.

That is why we need to be still and know that He is God. We need to fix our heart upon Him at all times, and give Him praise.

Psalm 57:7-11
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

Hebrews speaks of those who have fled to God for refuge, that we lay hold on the hope that is set before us. That hope is the anchor of the soul. Without it we would be tossed to and fro like the unbeliever who has no hope.

Hebrews 6:18,19
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Ask yourself the question, “do you believe that Christ is coming back?” Do you believe that we have and everlasting future with God? Well, if you trust God with your future, then why don’t you trust Him with today?

“Be still, and know that I am God…” When the waters of life roar, and the mountains shake, God commands us to be still and know, to be certain, that He is God! We are to take our refuge in the shadow of His wings.

Three believers in the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, had this trust in God. Because they would not bow down to the image of Nebuchadnezzar, he threatened to throw them into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are a lot of places I would like to visit, but a burning fiery furnace is not one of them. Nebuchadnezzar asked them the question, “who is that God who shall deliver you out of my hands?”

Daniel 3:16-18
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

In hindsight we know that God delivered them, but they did not know that when they took a stand. They did not know what their future held, but they knew Who holds the future. They would rather burn than bow. They would not be swayed by the fear and pressure of their surroundings, no matter how outrageous. That day they accrued a lot of “heavenly gold”! Their faith was tried and true.

I Peter 1:6,7
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Romans chapter 8 clearly shows that there will be hard times in this life.

Romans 8:38, 39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

None of the trials of life can separate us from the love of God; it is our job to be fully persuaded of that reality. Whether it is war, famine, finances, madmen, traffic jams, or general stress, God is still our refuge, and our very present help in time of trouble. Praise God for this message of hope and strength. With His help, we can stay focused on our true priority, which is the coming Kingdom of God and everlasting life with Him!