Psalm 46:2-3 says:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
I’m so staggeringly grateful for this verse. I’m so grateful God is our refuge and strength.
Because lately, life has felt a bit more unstable than normal.
Work has been slower than normal, causing me to doubt God’s provision.
I recently moved to a new state, and suddenly all the things that were familiar are no longer there.
I’m getting older, which means I wake up with random aches and pains in my body.
And these are just the smaller issues. Like everyone else, I have my fair share of bigger struggles as well that constantly weigh on my mind.
The simple truth is that I need a refuge, strength, and a very present help in trouble.
And the good news is that God is all of those things.
God Is Our Refuge And Strength
What does it mean that God is our refuge and strength?
A refuge is a strong fortress. A structure that protects you from enemies or a storm or some other evil force. A refuge is a place of shelter and rest from the circumstances swirling wildly outside.
A castle is a refuge. A fortress carved into solid rock is a refuge. High walls are a refuge.
The stronger the refuge, the more confidence you can have in it. A fortress carved into rock is so much stronger than a tent. A castle provides infinitely more protection than a simple lean-to.
And the glorious news is that God is our refuge.
The strongest being in the universe, the one with all power and might, the one who keeps the planets in orbit and names the stars, is our refuge.
When circumstances are out of our control, we can run to God and find refuge and rest in him. Because he is sovereign over all things, we can hide in him, knowing that every struggle and challenge we encounter is easy for him to handle.
In Psalm 56:3-4, David says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?”
How was it possible for David to not be afraid? How could he say that flesh (people) could do nothing to harm him? Because David knew that God is our refuge and strength. He knew that he could run to God, trust in God, hope in God, and utterly rely on God.
David knew that God ALWAYS comes through.
David knew that God was his refuge.
David also knew that God was his strength.
Not only do I need a refuge, I need strength from God. If I’m going to honor God in all circumstances, I need supernatural, overwhelming strength. I can’t do it on my own. I need God himself to supply me with divine strength to honor him, even when life is draining and hard.
If God was only my refuge, I would eventually run out of strength to keep fighting the good fight. I would quickly tire out and flag.
The good news is that God, the one who has ALL strength, is my strength. He supplies me with his divine power, and through that divine power, I can actually thrive during hard times.
Did you catch that?
Because God is our refuge and strength, we don’t merely survive trials and tribulations. We thrive and grow through them, becoming more and more like Jesus Christ.
This is such good news.
God is our refuge and strength. He is the one who keeps us and sustains us and lifts our heads and keeps us going.
But it gets even better than that.
A Very Present Help In Trouble
Not only is God our refuge in strength, but he is also our very present help in trouble.
I love the word “very”.
He isn’t just our present help in trouble. He is our VERY present help in trouble. It’s not like God is just hanging out on the periphery when we’re in trouble. No, God is as near to us as he can possibly be.
When we find ourselves facing trouble, God is on the scene. He is present to help us in every way we need it. He is giving us the grace and mercy that we need.
Therefore, we need not fear, even when the oceans roar and the mountains rock back and forth. When the storm slams into us, we need not be afraid and tremble. When our heads are spinning because of all that’s happening around us, we can completely and wholly put our trust in God, knowing that he will keep us safe.
God is our refuge and strength and our very present help in trouble.
See The Stars Of Promise
Charles Spurgeon said:
We should never have such fellowship with Jesus as we do if we had not such troubles as we have. We cannot see the stars in the daytime, but they tell us that if we go down into a well we can. Sometimes God sinks wells of trouble and puts his servants into them, and then they see his starry promises.
There will be times when God puts us in “wells” of trouble. During those times of darkness, let us constantly look to God who is our refuge and strength. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, God was there with them.
When we find ourselves deep in wells of trouble, God is there with us.