"In the Best Refuge"
April 23, 2017
Psalm 46:1-3 - 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.
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
There are several occasions God has given me the opportunity to serve in places affected by earthquakes, fires, or floods. I have seen how years of effort, fatigue, exhaustion, and struggle were wiped out in only a couple of minutes. Feelings of anguish, despair, and frustration emerged in the hearts of those who lived these experiences.
It was here, in the midst of desolation, I was privileged to share the Gospel message.
But I wonder, is an earthquake, a flood, a fire, or a hurricane the only disasters we face? Is it only to these that the psalmist refers in our text above?
If you think about it, you will find this same reality at hospitals, schools, and homes. It is the reality we experience in our own lives. I am speaking of figurative earthquakes that come to us in illnesses, financial problems, crises in the family, and so many other ways. True, these problems may not destroy the walls of our home, but they can devastate the walls of our hearts.
Lack of hope, depression, and fear of an uncertain future can inundate our hearts.
It is especially at these times we need to remember how sin seeks to break down our faith, our hope, and our joy. Sin and Satan wish to destroy everything good the Lord wishes us to have. We are left wondering when will the earth cease to tremble? When will the flood abate?
The answer seems to be not very encouraging. As long as we are in this life, the earth will continue to shake, the waters overwhelm, and the mountains tremble. The only question unanswered is where shall we go for refuge?
If we seek refuge in our own strengths, we will find little or no relief. Self-help books tell us to find strength within ourselves, but experience will prove their advice is unreliable and untrustworthy.
Far better to trust the Lord who assures us that "God is our refuge and strength." The Triune God is the One who seeks to protect us and give us strength. He sent His only-begotten Son to overcome the sin which condemns us. Jesus' life was given so forgiveness might be given to all those who have been adopted into the family of faith.
It is this great God who has given everything we need. He is the sole Source of the protection, encouragement, and comfort that fills our lives with hope. He is the One whose Son died on the cross, overcame the tomb, and sustains us -- even when the world seems to be crumbling around us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in each day help me see Your hand of love and protection. Especially in the midst of pain, may I look to the Savior in whose Name I pray. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by the Rev. Alejandro López. Until last year, Lopez was the pastor of the Confessional Lutheran Church of Chile and chaplain of a school. He has served with Lutheran Hour Ministries through various Chilean catastrophes. He is currently the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Panama, and is the pastor at the community of Sorá.
In this South American country of nearly 18 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Chile, known in-country as Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones operates from its ministry center in Santiago. There it serves as the primary evangelism partner of the new Evangelical Lutheran Church of Chile (IELCHI). Conducting Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops and distributing outreach literature and topical booklets in places like public health clinics, this ministry center works in conjunction with affiliated IELCHI congregations and mission starts. Additional LHM-Chile activities include youth music programs, elder care programs, holistic women's workshops, and drug abuse prevention programs.
Read a brief but moving story about Ana and Maria in the blog from LHM-Chile. You can do this by clicking here.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries