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. Psalm 46:1-3
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
A few days ago, an extratropical cyclone approached the peaceful city of Montevideo, Uruguay.
Days before the storm arrived, the nation's meteorological department started to send out warnings and declared an "orange alert." Their prediction left all of us highly concerned as we began to wait for something bad to come.
As the storm approached, the people took practical measures. They evacuated offices and schools, and returned to the relative security of their homes. This they did so they might be in a familiar place from which they could deal with the high winds, which were predicted to hit the city.
No matter where you live, there will come a time when you will find yourself facing a fearful situation. Natural disasters, illnesses, economic insecurity, personal and family difficulties take us to uncomfortable and frightening places ... places where our ability to cope or problem-solve is severely limited.
Amazingly, many Christians only turn to the Lord for help when their own strength and resources have been exhausted. All too often God is only consulted as a last resort. It is far better for the Savior's redeemed brothers and sisters to look to God for assistance at the very beginning of a challenge.
That is what we are encouraged to do in Psalm 46 where God reveals Himself to His people as being their "strength and refuge." It says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."
This Psalm is a beautiful declaration of God's chosen people who are confident they can trust Him for guidance and direction. Because of what the Savior has done for us on the cross and the empty tomb, we can show trust and total surrender to His gentle hand.
Yes, God's hand is there to help us, to be our strength in difficult times.
And just how difficult are the times the psalmist is talking about?
The Psalm evokes the most terrible disasters to affirm the strength of the Triune God's victorious intervention. Indeed, we have the complete assurance that, because God is with us, we will not fall.
We can be confident that Jesus can calm the storms of our lives, even as He calmed the storm which shook up His disciple on the Sea of Galilee.
THE PRAYER: Protector Father, with confidence and full assurance we come to Your presence. We know that in all the fears brought about by this world's storms and winds, we can be at peace. That is why today, and every day, we place ourselves into Your hands and declare, "The Lord Almighty is with us!" This we do in the Name of the Savior. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Maria Gabriela Silveira. She is 25 years old and a college student specializing in communication. She is a member of the Lutheran Church of Uruguay. Since 2011 she has worked at Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones ("Christ for All Nations") Uruguay. She directs the local office and works at the Lutheran mission in the city center. Since 2001 Lutheran Hour Ministries-Uruguay has supported the growth of the Lutheran Church in Uruguay. This is done with evangelistic projects focused on the production of reading materials, workshops and activities to bring Christ to the people.
In this South American country of 3.4 million people, where religion is downplayed, LHM-Uruguay utilizes radio programs like "Focus" (a 30-second spot covering a variety of topics) and "Message of Hope" (60-minute programs speaking about faith and hope). Other outreach efforts include local performances, craft workshops, and special events celebrating certain days like Children's Day, Mother's Day, and Christmas. Additionally, Project JOEL and other biblically-based resources connect with youth, helping them make sound value judgments and healthy decisions. The homeless and unemployed are also assisted through this ministry center's food distribution program.
To learn more about what's going on in Uruguay, check out how this ministry center is using the Bible study Un hombre llamado Martin ("A Man Named Martin") to teach about Martin Luther and the Reformation. You can do this by clicking here to visit its blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries