Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts on Psalm 46:1-3 (NASB)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Times of trouble come to all of us. Believers are not exempt from trouble, despite what some might tell you on television. And we all know that, don’t we? We all have friends and relatives die. We all get sick, and some get really sick. Some have financial trouble, marital trouble, kid trouble, job trouble and even church trouble. Trouble is out there and will always be.

The promise is not that we will not have trouble, but that God will be there to help us in trouble. This verse says God is three things in times of trouble, our refuge, our strength, and our very present help.

God is our refuge. A refuge is a shelter from trouble or danger, as in your house being a refuge from a bad thunderstorm. God is our shelter. We can run to him when trouble comes and look for shelter from the storm. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us that, when we bring our anxieties to God, his peace will guard our hearts and our minds.

God is our strength. Sometimes we just feel weak. Our problems are too much, or they have gone on too long, and we just do not feel like we can continue to bear them, much less solve them. But God not only gives us strength, he IS our strength. We fall on him and he lifts us up and strengthens us so we can continue on.

Finally, he is our very present help in times of trouble. He will help us in the present, not just in the future. He is there with us. We can pray for wisdom, for discernment, for relief, and he is there.

And it doesn't matter what the trouble looks like. Even if mountains slip into the sea, he is there for us. Therefore, we do not need to fear. If you are afraid, don't look at the problem, look at God. The physical things we see are a present reality, but so is the nature of our unseen God. Put your trust in him, call to him for help, and do not fear the world.
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