God Is a Refuge
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear." (Psalm 46:1-2a)
Tiffany''s day had been awful. She was the last one picked for a kickball team at recess, her science test grade was her worst yet, her chocolate milk squirted on her favorite shirt at lunch for all to see, her mom was late picking her up from school, and her brother Chris was now bugging her the whole way home from school. "If only I could get some peace and quiet!" she screamed to herself, yet trying to appear outwardly kind. As soon as the car pulled in the driveway, Tiffany ran all the way up the stairs to her bedroom and locked her door. She picked up her favorite stuffed animal (a frog named Gus) from her bed and dove into the back corner of her closet. Hopefully no one would find her here. Only three seconds passed before Tiffany was crying and telling Gus all about her horrible day. Remembering the details of each dreadful experience brought more and more tears. Of course Gus couldn''t respond, but at least Tiffany felt better!
Do you have a quiet place like Tiffany''s closet where you can just think about things? Or maybe you feel better after telling your dog or your favorite toy about your troubles. If you have a place or thing like this in your life, then you have a refuge. A refuge is a place of safety or protection. You may not always need protection from physical danger, but Satan often tries to discourage you and get your focus away from God. And that requires major protection! The Bible tells about a Refuge that is better than any place or thing that you could look to in order to make you feel better when you are upset or discouraged. That refuge is God. We can go to Him in prayer and ask for strength and encouragement.
If you read through the book of Psalms, you will see that the Psalmists refer to God as a refuge 17 times. Of all these references, three particular truths must be kept in mind:
1. God is always ready to be your refuge. He is "a very present help" (Psalm 46:1). That means He will be there for you; He will not be going anywhere else.
2. The refuge God provides is perfect for times of trouble. (See Psalm 9:9.) You can feel confident running to Him in prayer when things are difficult because you know He can help.
3. God will bless you when you choose Him as your refuge. He promises to keep evil and harm away from you when you are trusting in Him. (See Psalm 91:9-10.)
God offers you the best possible place of protection and encouragement.
» Who or what am I looking to for encouragement when I''m disappointed or upset?
» To whom should I be running during these times?
Truth In Real Life
“Today is mine. Tomorrow is not my business.”
Born to missionary parents in Belgium on December 21, 1926, Elisabeth Elliot was only a few months old when her family moved to the United States. Her father was the editor of the Sunday School Times – a Sunday School paper read and distributed by hundreds of churches around the country.
Elisabeth Elliot is best-known for her marriage to the missionary, Jim Elliot, who was captured and killed in Ecuador by Auca natives in January of 1956. Their daughter Valerie was only 10 months old when Jim was killed, and Elisabeth was heartbroken over their loss. She could have given up and gone home like most people would have done.
But instead, Elisabeth chose to stay. She continued working with the very same people group who had taken her husband’s life. She met two Auca women who agreed to live with her as roommates for one year. Because of her friendship with these ladies, she was able to reach into the tribe and win over many souls to Jesus Christ.
When Elisabeth and Valerie returned to the United States, two years after the death of Jim Elliot, Elisabeth began writing and speaking. Her most famous book is titled Through Gates of Splendor: the true story of Jim Elliot and the other four young missionaries who were speared to death while trying to share the Gospel with the Aucas in Ecuador.
Elisabeth Elliot, whose unmistakable courage encouraged many around the world to consider Who God is and why His Gospel is so important, is recognized now as one of the most influential Christian writers and speakers of the 20th century.
What would it take for you to give up on God and what He wants you to be doing? Elisabeth lost her husband and yet was still concerned about the souls of those who killed him. Do your decisions magnify God’s grace and truth in a powerful way in front of people who are watching you?
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.