God Is Our Refuge And Strength: POWERFUL Encouragement For Unstable Times

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.

Hey, I'm Stephen Altrogge. I'm a dad and published author. I've written for The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, ERLC, Church Leaders, Crosswalk, and many more outlets. You can follow me on Instagram and Facebook .

8 thoughts on “God Is Our Refuge And Strength: POWERFUL Encouragement For Unstable Times”

  1. I was just opening my Bible to read when I saw this blog. I’m sitting in a hospital because my husband has late stage pancreatic cancer. This experience is teaching me to “truly” turn things over to God that are out of my control! Everything about this is “out ofmy control” so I’m watching, trusting and waiting to see how my Abba is going to answer all the prayers being prayed for us! Thank you for writing and posting this. I love Ps 56:3-4 because it says, “in God whose Word I praise”!

  2. Thank you for posting these verses and words of who God is and his provision when we battle both small and big challenges. LIfe can seem overwhelming at times and yet we can find all we need in HIm. Thank you for laying out specific, wonderful truths from God’s Word to remind me of that today. Praying for you and for Mary and her husband (from comment above).

  3. If it’s okay with you, I plan on reading this at a memorial service today for my next door neighbor who passed away as a believer in Jesus Christ.
    Thank you, Stephen, for allowing God to use you as a vessel for spreading the truth of the Gospel.
    Love this piece! Praise God!

  4. Praise The Lord Bro. Stephen! you are absolutely right! God is our Rock, our stability, our Safe Haven and so much more. He is everything we need when we need it. That is so encouraging! I was attacked by Satan 3 times already back to back to back just this morning because I won’t yield to the worlds way of thinking nor doing. I told the spirit of Satan that I will believe The Bible and nothing will change that. I thank God for His Holy Spirit that enable me to discern the spirit of the devil, this can only be done by The Power of God. Even though we experience trials and tribulations God is right There with us to see us through. Pain nourishes strength and courage so tribulation is necessary. Satan wants us to believe that we a fighting a loosing battle but he is a lie and the truth is not in him. He will attack you through the people that are most close to your heart to come against you, because you choose to stand on the word of God and not compromise. That can be very painful and challenging but nevertheless not at my word but The word of God. So Brother Stephen, stay encourage knowing that God will never allow us to be put to ashamed for Christ’s sake! Thank you for allowing me to share! Continue walking in God’s Favor in Jesus name! Amen!

  5. Yes Psalm 56:3-4 is my catch today. It’s amazing how my heart stirred when I read it although I have read before. When I am afraid I will put my trust in the Lord. Thanks for the post

  6. Thanks for the post – great reminder of our need to rely on God during hard times..
    Not too sure about the stars/well quote though, as apparently the reality suggests that this isn’t the case.
    Keep writing/sharing & be blessed

  7. I just experienced that this weekend. My husband had a heart attack. He survived. I was on autopilot through the whole thing. But I know it was God’s strength getting me through it. My Husband is home and resting now but I would have been a total basket case if I didn’t know God was my refuge.


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