God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
If we are a child of God, there are three very great reminders for us in this verse.
“God is our refuge” – A refuge is a place we go when we need shelter or protection from something. Like when it’s raining and we run under an awning or during World War II when an alarm would sound and people would run to bomb shelters. God is like this for us. He’s a refuge. We can run into Him when we need shelter and protection.
“God is our…strength.” – God isn’t like a mad scientist that creates a nuclear bomb and then loses control of it. No, our Creator has control over His creation. Our Lord is sovereign. All of that sounds impressive — and it is — but our Lord also shares this strength with us. We are told in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that, “when I am weak, then I am strong.” From where does this strength come? From God. He is our strength when we let go of ourselves and give ourselves to Him.
“God is…a very present help in trouble.” – Many of us, myself included, often feel like we are in our mess by ourselves. This isn’t true. God is our refuge. God is our strength. And God is also there to help us in our moment of trouble. For sure, trouble can mean many different things. It might mean a problem at work, the moment and addiction rears its head, imminent physical danger, not enough money in the bank, or many, many other things. Trouble comes in all different sizes, shapes and colors, but it doesn’t matter, we still have the promise that God is “a very present help in trouble.” So how does He help? This comes in many different ways as well, but the most important thing to remember is that God is our Lord, He is sovereign and this moment in time has been ordained for you. He’s there as a refuge. He’s there with His strength. He’s a very present help. We are transformed when we can put our “trouble” into the perspective of God’s sovereignty. As Paul says in Philippians,
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
If we can share this perspective, it changes how we react and go through situations. God may give you the strength to life a car off of a friend or God may provide a job or God may heal an illness. Or He may not. And even if we don’t see the earthly cure or provision, ultimately, our reward is in heaven.
Often we hear the testimony of “GOD SHOWED UP.” Well, I get the idea, but God didn’t miraculously just show up. He was always there, “a very present help in trouble.” Our perspective changes — mine change — when we live with this reality moment by moment.