God Is Our Refuge
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
Emily stood on third base, nervously waiting for the final pitch. The softball game score was tied, and this was her last chance to get a run for her team. Crack! The ball sailed past her. Her heartbeat doubled, and she ran for home plate as fast as she could. The outfielders were yelling at each other, but Emily did not listen. They would throw the ball to home any second, but Emily did not look behind her to see how close they were to getting her. Faster, faster! she thought. She ran harder than she had ever run before.
Emily was not thinking about being tagged on her way to home plate. She was not thinking about the catcher getting the ball before she got there. She was thinking only about one thing: getting to home plate as soon as possible. The catcher held her arms out for the ball, waiting. Emily dove, sliding through the dust and over the plate. Thump! The ball hit the catcher’s mitt. Emily paused and listened. “Safe!” yelled the umpire. Emily stood and smiled. Safe.
Emily must have felt a little like the man who wrote Psalm 46. His country was at war, and he was surrounded by danger and death. But he was not afraid. He knew that no matter what happened around him, he was safe with God. He calls God his “refuge.” A refuge is a place of safety in danger, a place that you can run to for help and comfort. The author of Psalm 46 did not waste time being scared. Instead, he remembered that God is always there to give help in times of trouble.
God is still a refuge for Christians today. Sometimes life seems scary, but we know that God is our “refuge and strength.” Like the author of Psalm 46, we need to remember that God will protect us if we trust Him. Then, like Emily, we need to run to Him in prayer.
God keeps you safe in times of trouble.
» When life seems scary, do I remember that God is my refuge?
» How can I “run to Him” today ?
Truth In Real Life
“I care not where I go, or how I live, or what I endure, so that I may save souls.”
David Brainerd – who came to be known as the “pioneer for modern missions” – was born on April 20, 1718, in Haddam, Connecticut. The year that he was born, Jonathan Edwards was 14 years old, and Benjamin Franklin was 12. The world was being prepared for the Great Awakening.
Brainerd did not have an easy life. His father died when Brainerd was 9, and his mother died when he was 14. After his mother’s death, he was sent to live with his married sister. Incredibly, by age 20, he was beginning to desire to be in the ministry, yet he wasn’t even a Christian yet!
At age 21, Brainerd genuinely trusted Jesus Christ and gave his life to Him. He enrolled in Yale University, where he studied hard. He was often sick, yet he did his best. While he was in college, the First Great Awakening began, and the famous British evangelist George Whitefield visited to preach in the British North American colonies.
Before he finished at Yale, Brainerd was expelled for refusing to apologize for something he believed. He left Yale and became a missionary to the Indians. It was not his idea of the best timing or how he had planned to go into ministry, but for him, it was God’s leading in his life.
During the month of his 25th birthday, Brainerd moved to a reservation and began preaching the Gospel to the Native Americans, specifically the Delaware tribe. He lived alone in a small wigwam and traveled around to preach. In less than one year, he was pastoring a church of over 130 Native Americans who had become Christians – an amazing exhibit of the grace and power of God’s Gospel!
Sadly, Brainerd became ill (probably with tuberculosis) and died when he was just 29 years old. He died in the home of Jonathan Edwards, whose daughter he had planned to marry. David Brainerd was actually a Christian himself for only eight years and a missionary for only four years! And yet he is known now as the most influential missionary to Native Americans ever. His story serves to remind us that God uses those who trust Him, even when it is hard.
Are you willing to serve God even when you face tough times? Do you find yourself forgetting sometimes that God can make His strength perfect even in your weakness?
Isaiah 40:29 – He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.