There is a lot happening around the world today or has happened! It’s a very busy place, a tragic place to be a part of these days! TAKE FOR EXAMPLE:
• The problems in the Middle East
• The social and governmental structure of Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Chile, even the United States of America with their financial debt problem!
• The destruction of cities through war and rioting [England being one of them]
• Terrorism from religious and social groups [Especially after witnessing 9/11 nearly 10years ago] or the gang activity across Canada at this moment with the latest killings in BC, Winnipeg and Montreal.
The power of water and the devastation it leaves behind in the after math! The Philippians that killed thousands and thousands of people.....Japan......the South when Hurricane Katrina hit.
• The amazing power found in earthquakes and the ripple effect it leaves to those in its path! The nation Haiti was almost completely destroyed structurally. Japan which lead to the massive Tsunami that totalled many cities!
We all go about our day to day lives as everything is ok! But when something happens what is the number one response the world tends to do when something of this magnitude happens Panic, pandemonium, fear, doubt, confusion, sadness.......and sadly the end result is a life that has no hope! I don’t know what’s worse! The actual event of devastation that is taking place. Or to see the defeat in the people around you as they go through this! Because you realize they have no hope! What’s worse, is to see Christians following suit with the world when it comes to these kinds of situations in life! God has not given us a spirit of fear but of sound mind and a hope in eternal things! Paul said to Timothy “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” The Bible also says “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" Rom 8:15. Jesus said “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt 10:28
Jesus also said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” David penned these words “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps 27:1. Do you remember what Jesus said after the rich man walked away weeping "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matt 19:26. So we can say with the Hebrew writer “......The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?" Heb 13:6. Why? This is where we [Christians] put our hope and trust into...the sovereign hands of Almighty God. The only place where a person will ever find refuge and strength in times of troubles or distresses. We have the Holy Spirit to keep us focused when we are faced with trials and tribulations. I truly believe this! Why? This is one thing that helped our family when we were faced with the unknown on Monday afternoon! We would be the first to say I never saw this coming or that we would ever expect this happen [especially after having 4 health pregnancies] to us! The same goes for any tragedy...... except if you live on the coast or in a highly known area of natural disasters! But, no matter what situation God puts you though you can always find refuge in Him. See by definition refuge means........ Shelter or protection from danger or distress.
A strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place inaccessible to an enemy. According this Psalm it literally means, “a place of trust” As the Psalmist says He is sufficient in circumstance! (v1) “a very present help in trouble” This is a blessed promise of God’s divine providence in our lives! “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Ps 9:9. Paul Tripp wrote this great reminder of what it means to be safely put into the arms of God!
When I'm Weary and exhausted
When I'm Confused and discouraged
When I'm Fickle and unfaithful
When I'm Doubtful and disheartened
When I'm Fearful and anxious
When I'm Short-sighted and fearful
When I'm Tired and about to quit
When I'm Lacking in hope and love
When I'm Shocked and surprised
When I'm Angrily withholding grace
When I'm Unfaithful to what I've promised
When I'm Selfish and disloyal
Oh, Lord of Faithfulness and grace
I am so thankful That In those moments
When I'm Losing my way
God is always there! This is what it means when the Psalmist says “he is our refuge” So my question to you and me is......Do you believe this? Because this Psalm brings great comfort and joy to the Christian heart! It brings great comfort to me! I want to leave you with something to ponder this week about what it means to be under His sovereign care.
1. WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS NAME
Prov 18:10“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
2. WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS SOVEREIGN PROTECTION
Ps 18:2 “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
3. WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS POWER TO ACCOMPLISH THE UNTHINKABLE
Jer 32:17 “Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.”
4. WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS ETERNAL PROMISES
1 John 2:24-25 “Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life.”
5. WE FIND REFUGE IN HIS FAITHFULNESS
Heb 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
What does it mean to be gripped by God? That a Christian [a child of the living God] can find a deep rooted joy and comfort when we are facing a world that looks like its spiralling out of control! This is where I find comfort! Because it’s not spiralling out of control! The world is moving perfectly and its doing exactly what He wants it too by His sovereign hand.This reminds of the story Ravi Zacharias told when he personal experienced God’s sovereign hand of protection.......He said this “I was in Vietnam in the early seventies. Four missionaries and I were in a Land Rover driving from Dalat to Saigon. It was a full day's journey with detours and roadblocks. As we entered a rather long and desolate stretch, one of the missionaries warned, "We are now entering the most dangerous part of the country." No one said anything. All of a sudden, the engine began to sputter, chug, choke, and die. There we were, stranded, with nothing except the woods in sight. We tentatively stepped out of the car, warily looking left and right. As we stood on the side of the road, a white jeep approached. Relieved that someone could help us, we waived white handkerchiefs and our arms, pleading for him to stop. The driver just swerved away from us and sped along. But fifteen minutes later...somehow...our car started again. We don't know how it got "fixed," our driver simply turned the key and the Land Rover roared from its slumber. We all jumped in and drove off. We had not driven but a few hundred yards around a bend in the road when we saw the white jeep overturned, ambushed and four bloodied bodies motionless on the roadside. We were numb. The stunned look in each of our eyes told the story. Thank God for our breakdown or that would have been us.”
GOD IS AWESOME! And He is our shelter in times of storm and as Isaiah said in chapter 40! “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:28-31. Please remember that! Especially when you are faced with the question why LORD? Or when the world is crumbing all around you! He is our ever present shelter and refuge.....NEVER FORGET THAT!