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.
We are familiar with the idea of a refuge, a place of safety. Sometimes the term refers to efforts to protect animals, as in a wildlife refuge, a park, or enclosure where animals are protected from hunters. More often we hear of people seeking refuge as they flee violence or religious persecution. Others may be desperate to find a place of refuge during a storm that causes the sea to "roar and foam," or a severe quake, when "the earth gives way."
Even if we are not enduring violence, persecution, or raging storms, we still need a refuge, a place of safety, a place to hide. In times of illness and fear, in grief and guilt, where can we go? Those are "storms" of a different kind: trouble and worry that readily follow us into fenced enclosures and concrete strongholds. Where will we find a place to hide from troubles like that? We do not need to run anywhere or search in frantic fear for a safe place. "God is our refuge and strength." We do not have to find Him; He comes to us. He is "a present help in trouble," right beside us in all the circumstances of our lives. He is our refuge in days of grief and fear. He is our refuge even when sea and sky rage in a storm, or when mountains crumble and fall into the sea during an earthquake. God "set the earth on its foundations" (Psalm 104:5a) and told the ocean waves, "Thus far shall you come and no farther" (Job 38:11a). He created these things and still commands them.
God is our refuge, our ever-present help, because there was no refuge for His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. As the hour of His death drew near, Jesus did not try to hide or shelter Himself from the events to come. Soon He would be betrayed, arrested, and unjustly condemned to death. Yet He said, "And what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour?' But for this purpose I have come to this hour" (John 12:27b). The powers of evil roared and raged against Him as He hung helpless on the cross. Darkness deeper than any storm gathered overhead as Jesus suffered God's just judgment on human sin. In a cry of victory and obedience, Jesus called out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30b), and bowed His head and died. At His death, the earth gave way and the mountains trembled. Then, on the first Easter morning, the earth gave way once more as an angel rolled back the stone to reveal Jesus' empty tomb! By God's grace through faith in Jesus, we have a hiding place, a place of refuge and healing in the wounds of our crucified and risen Savior.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus, for the sake of Your dear Son be our refuge and our ever-present help in every trouble. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. When has your trust and dependence on God got you through a very difficult time?
2. When Jesus cried out, "It is finished!"—what did He mean by that?
3. If the earth were quaking all around you, do you think you could focus on God and His protection?
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