“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” Psalm 46:1–3
What or who is your refuge?
Every child of God knows what their answer ought to be but that doesn’t mean that our answer naturally is what it ought.
How do you know if God is your refuge and strength?
I’d have to say that the answer to that question is found in our focus text. Our text begins with a sentence proclaiming that God is both our refuge and strength and immediately follows that sentence with one beginning with the word “therefore.” The message of this single word is that whatever follows is a natural progression, an inevitable continuance, a logical development of what had been stated before. So the message of the first verse of Psalm forty-six is that when God is our refuge and strength our hearts are cleansed of all fear.
In Jesus’ Sermon of the Mount our Savior says that we’re to be anxious for nothing. He assures us that God knows our needs and that he’s providing for them just as surely as he provides for the needs of the wild creatures and plants. Jesus then instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” promising that all the things we need will be added to us.
So when fear regarding the uncertainties of life is replace by trust and confidence that God has provided for every need in our lives and that all things are working according to his love and will then we’ll know that God is our refuge and our strength.
So does God being our refuge mean that nothing frightening will ever happen in our lives? No. The psalmist continues his sentence about our not fearing with the words, “though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried away … and though the waters roar…”.
When God is with us in this sinful world we’re not promised that fearful things won’t happen in our lives but we are promised that we can find in him a refuge regardless of the terrors that surround us.
This kind of faith and trust is best received and lived day by day, and sometimes moment by moment. That’s how Jesus told us to approach the worries of life and my experience has taught me that his way is best. No amount of advance planning can ever account for everything that could happen. Therefore the best course is to turn to and trust God today as each today comes.