As I was sharing with my mother a truth the Lord has been reminding me of lately, she asked if I had ever written about it on my blog. The truth of God being a refuge has been a source of so much comfort for me. I hope it will be for you as well.
When I was going through a really dark time in my life, I felt as if I was grasping desperately for help, but I couldn’t find anything to grab a hold of. I was seeking God through prayer and reading the Bible, but I was still struggling. Christ is the Answer to any problem we could ever encounter. I knew and believed this. Still, I couldn’t seem to find rest. It was very difficult! I would sit in the middle of my floor, with my Bible opened and a notebook beside it...just not knowing what to do.
As I flipped through my Bible one night, I landed on a familiar truth in the Psalms. “God is my refuge!" The word ‘refuge’ stuck out to me, partially because David used that word so often. But, what did it mean? That was my question. It had become a Bible word that I knew, but didn’t really ‘know.’ So, I looked it up. It was then that I was reminded again where my hope was to be found. This was a truth I could cling to, even in confusion.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
A refuge is a shelter or a place of protection. The verb form means to ‘set aside.’ It comes from the Hebrew root word ‘chasah.’ We are to find God to be the One we go to for help and strength. God told the Israelites to create cities of refuge. Those who found themselves in danger would have a place to flee to (Numbers 35:11). There, they found safety.
Though we do not run to cities of refuge, we have Christ who is our Refuge. He is our shelter, and we have unlimited access to Him. We can come over and over again a thousand times. This is true, no matter the circumstances. Nothing keeps us from the love of God (Romans 8:38).
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.” Psalm 57:1
TELL ON YOUR ENEMY
In difficult times, we can flee to God. We may sometimes have the same unresolved anxieties, the same questions, the same fears, and the same confusions. Still, we can run to God, Who is merciful! I heard a pastor say in a sermon once, “tell on the enemy.” Tell God what the enemy has been saying to you. Tell God the lies the enemy has been saying about God Himself.
Go ahead and spill it all, leaving nothing in the darkness. If you still feel terrible, continue to go back to Him over and over and over again. Eventually, you will find Him to be your Peace. He listens to the prayers of His people (Psalm 116:1). As you read His word, You will see that He is good, faithful, and a source of comfort.
DON'T BE SURPRISED
We should not be surprised when we face trials. Our Savior promised we will have trouble in this world. However, He also told us to be encouraged, because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). What has been your refuge? What have you turned to in times of trouble?
Has it been social media? Has it been Netflix? Has it been a friend you have been clinging to? Has it been shopping? Maybe it has been excessive eating, or something else other than God. If you have sought rest in these things, then you know well how empty they leave you. They all make a poor refuge. God is the One who will provide true rest for His people.
Even in the darkest of nights, Chrisitans have hope because they have God. Child of God, go to Him as Hezekiah did. When the Assyrian king severely mocked God, Hezekiah went to God and told Him what His enemy was saying (2 Kings 19).
We often try to wrestle in our own strength. Though we are called to fight in faith, we fight following our victorious Captain. Go to your Captain during the battle, and tell Him your exhaustion, fears, gloom, and whatever else you might feel. Show Him your bruises and brokenness. He accepts the broken and contrite.
Sometimes you might not have words. He understands the silence. What’s most important is that you go to Him over and over and over again. Make Him your refuge! Let Him be your safe place, and you will find a rest that cannot be found outside of Christ. It is a satisfying rest...one that will last longer than anything the world can give.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some ice-cream, Netflix, and shiny pretty things, but they can’t be my rest. Christ is all in all! The true Refuge!
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