The Lord is our Refuge and Strength (Psalm 46:1)
Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
One early Sunday morning, while driving to church, I noticed a turtle on its back in the middle of the street not far from church. I stopped my truck, walked over to the turtle and placed the turtle upright on its belly. Since it was early, I wanted to stick around and make sure the turtle would come out of its shell and move along. During this time, I began to wonder how this could have happened - if it were a dog or another animal. I also wondered how long the turtle was in this condition. Then this thought hit me! How a believer’s security and strength are found in the Lord.
Psalm 46 expresses trust and confidence in God during a time when the situations of life are unstable or unsecure. When troubles come, disasters strike, or temptations arise, we usually trust in our own strength. That is when we have a tendency to look within ourselves. Psalm 46 compels us to turn our attention to the LORD. If we do this, we can enjoy the peace of God. The word “refuge” gives the picture of a shelter from danger.
This is where the turtle becomes our teacher. Turtles may move slow and spook easily; however, they quickly slip into their shell. They are quick to seek refuge in their shells where they remain very still. The captivating characteristic is its shell, which offers protection. A turtle’s shell is covered by square plates called scutes. They add an extra hard layer to the turtle’s shell and are made of a material called keratin. This helps protect the turtle from the elements, predators, from the hardships of life. The great strength of the shell is not on the outside, but on the inside. The inner layer of the shell gives it its strength, shape, and support. What a reminder to us that our strength comes from within when we put our faith in the Lord. As the turtle seeks refuge in its shell, we are to seek refuge in the Lord. He is our shell and our source of security and serenity.
The Lord is our true security in the storms of life. Isaiah 4:5-6, “And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. 6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” David well knew that God was his refuge and strength. He had experienced God’s providential deliverance on numerous occasions. The idea of a “very present help” is that of one being near at hand. When trouble comes, God’s help is right beside us for He said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). He is readily available to help if you will take refuge in Him and trust in His strength. It’s not like God is just hanging out on the sideline when we’re in trouble. When we find ourselves facing trouble, God is already on the scene.
When trouble strikes, God is sufficient to get you through. The fact that God is our refuge and strength does not mean that we are exempt from predicaments and difficulties. The abundant life is not an uncomplicated life. We need to be clear on this because many false teachers today claim that it is God’s will for every person to enjoy prosperity and perfect health. They teach that since Jesus has promised to answer the prayer of faith, all that stands between you and material prosperity and physical health is your lack of faith. Confess it as yours by faith, and it’s yours, according to this heresy. God does not exempt Christians from these circumstances. Troubles come into the lives of the saved and the lost. The question is, when trouble strikes, do you want to face it with God as your refuge and strength, or do you want to find help elsewhere? Psalm 46 shows that when trouble strikes, He is present to help us in every way we need it.
Regardless of the circumstances we face in life, no dilemma is too big for our God. God is our refuge and strength. If we will learn to take refuge in Him and lean on Him alone for strength, then with the psalmist we can face the most challenging crises with confidence because God is with us and He is sufficient. But we would be in error if we thought that God insulates us from problems. The power and ability to face the difficulties and uncertainties of life is found in God. No dilemma, whether physical, emotional, relational, financial, or spiritual, is too big for our God. If we will learn to take refuge in Him and lean on Him alone for security and strength, we can confront the calamities with confidence, because God is with us, for us and He is sufficient.
God is sufficient to get you through any trial you encounter. He is the one who keeps us and sustains us. Whatever personal catastrophe you face; a major health problem, the death of a loved one, the loss of your job, emotional problems, relational conflicts, or whatever, God is bigger than your problems. When circumstances are out of our control, we can run to God and find refuge and rest in Him. Our most challenging struggles are easy for God to handle. The Lord is our refuge, our strength, and always near when trouble emerges. God is sovereign over all things. We can hide in Him, knowing that every struggle and challenge we encounter is easy for Him to handle.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for being my refuge and strength. Strengthen me that I may stand fast in the evil day and to trust in Your Word, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.