06 September 2015

GOD IS OUR REFUGE, SO BE STILL


Psalm 46:1-11

This world is a crazy place that can leave a person asking a million questions along with doubting everything we thought to be true and foundational. For example: Where are you God in the midst of our calamities? With crime and murder on the rise. The taking of innocent life through abortion, people fleeing their own country in fear as it is in Syria. The destruction of family through divorce or young adults walking away from a faith that was never theirs in the beginning. Spouses who have been exposed by the perversion found in the hacking of Ashley Madison website. I read an article that Ed Stetzer wrote and the opening paragraph said this ”This week, I’ve already written a couple of posts on the Ashley Madison hack and information leak because pastors, Christian leaders, and families are facing devastating revelation and the after-effects of public sin. Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be.”

This is really sad for so many churches, not to mention the number of churches closing their doors and people abandoning the fellowship and walking away from true biblical Christianity. The question comes down too……What is a Christian to do? Were living in a world of troubled times of unrest and weariness, whether your saved or unsaved. Panic, pandemonium, fear, doubt, confusion, sadness results in a life that has no hope for many people today! I don’t know what’s worse! The actual events happening around us or to see the defeat in the people around us, as they go through this. 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.” 2 Tim 1:7. 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.” John 14:27

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

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 a Monday afternoon waiting for the results at the hospital in Winnipeg! Losing a child whether they’re in the womb or outside the womb is tragic. See, Julie and I would be the first to say “we never saw this coming or that we would ever expect this happen, especially after having 4 health pregnancies!” The same goes for any tragedy...... no matter what situation God puts you though you can always find refuge in Him. If you don’t believe me read the book of Job.

“Refugee” means “a shelter or protection from danger or distress. God is for us as a place to which we may flee for safety; a source of strength to us in danger. A strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place unapproachable 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
In this Psalm alone we find comforting truth to know that God is here in the midst of whatever is going on in our lives! 

In this Psalm we learn some wonderful truth to help us understand that place of rest! We find refuge, confidence and safe condition under God’s care through every circumstance. (v1-v5). We find refuge in his wonderful deliverance from our enemies. (v6-v9). We find refuge and reason to the magnifying his name. (v10-v11)

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
You're not.
When I'm Confused and discouraged
You're not.
When I'm Fickle and unfaithful
You're not.
When I'm Doubtful and disheartened
You're not.
When I'm Fearful and anxious
You're not.
When I'm Short-sighted and fearful
You're not.
When I'm Tired and about to quit
You're not.
When I'm Lacking in hope and love
You're not.
When I'm Shocked and surprised
You're not.
When I'm Angrily withholding grace
You're not.
When I'm Unfaithful to what I've promised
You're not.
When I'm Selfish and disloyal
You're not.

Oh, Lord of Faithfulness and grace
I am so thankful That In those moments
When I'm Losing my way
You're not.”


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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

A Christian [a child of the living God] can find a deep rooted joy and comfort when we’re 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 it’s doing exactly what He (God) wants it to 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, cautiously 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. 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

So as the Psalmist writes “Be still and know..” (Ps 46:10). Acknowledge God’s supremacy in your life. Acknowledge that no matter what lies ahead He is my refuge to see me through my present or coming storm. God sometimes allows us to enter into discouraging situations for the primary purpose of testing our faith…….we must refuse to give up in despair. Like Jonah in the belly of the great fish, we must turn to the Lord when our soul is fainting within us, trusting Him completely. “Hudson Taylor was so feeble in the closing months of his life that he said to a dear friend, ‘I’m so weak that I can’t work or read my Bible, and I can hardly pray. I can only lie still in God’s arms like a little child and trust.’ And that is all the Heavenly Father asks of you when you grow weary in the fierce fires of affliction.”

Please remember that! Especially when you are faced with the question of “Why LORD And where are You?” when the world is crumbing all around us! He is our ever present shelter and refuge.....NEVER FORGET THAT! Do you truly believe that? Better yet! Are you truly resting in Christ alone?

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