I am loving sitting down each morning for my quiet time and drawing my laptop onto my lap to write, because I never know exactly where God is going to take my thoughts and direct my writing. Nevertheless, He always gives me something to say and I am thankful! If you are out there praying for this series, please do. I often find myself feeling under attack when I begin one of these months of writing: fearful of having nothing to say, overwhelmed by the commitment, etc. This month's topic is great for combating those things, but I covet your prayers as well. I was grateful for a friend last Friday who reminded me in my stress and exhaustion, Run to the Refuge! Thanks, Shannon.
Today we're gonna talk trouble. Troubles. We are all too familiar with them, aren't we? Enemies cause us trouble; our own sin gets us into trouble; life throws trouble our way. Trouble takes on many forms, and comes from within and without. And trouble can get us D-O-W-N really quick. We hit a bump in the road and the evil one uses the opportunity to lure us into his lair of despair an hopelessness. Before we know it we believe that God is powerless to help us because the trouble is too huge.
His Word knocks some sense back into us:
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
God as an ever-present refuge from trouble is a refuge from fear!
In the midst of trouble, God is there and He is a refuge from our difficulties. Two observations about when life gets rocky. The first is that when trouble is on our minds, we often jump to the worst case scenario. I love that the Psalmist seems to know that's what we do, because he addresses it directly. Because God is our refuge and strength and an ever-present help in trouble, we don't have to fear even if the worst happens like, say, the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea! In our refuge God, we are so secure. He shelters us as a refuge, gives us strength, and helps us in our troubles. The worst case scenario probably won't play out, but if it does, He is still God and we are still safe in Him.
The second observation is that when life is full of trouble, we often take our eyes off of God and let ourselves be consumed with gazing at the trouble. Psalm 46 is an excellent antidote for this, because the Psalmist fixes his gaze on the Lord. He thinks about the river whose streams make glad the city of God, of His holy place and how He fills her, of His power to melt the earth with His voice. He remembers that God with with him and a fortress to him. Come and see the works of the Lord, he says. And finally he quotes God as saying, Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
Are you in trouble today? The Lord is your refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Let go of fear and the worst case scenario by taking refuge in Him. Let go of trying to fix it or control it by worrying and gazing at the problem and instead fix your eyes on the Mighty God who can melt the earth with His voice. He is your refuge and strength!
- Two verses from the New Testament come to mind when I think about trouble. From these, how is God a refuge from trouble?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:35 & 37
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
- Read and pray through Psalm 46, specifically ask God to help you take refuge in Him in any troublesome things going on in your life right now.