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  • Wayne Hoag

A Refuge in Troubled Times

“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” (Psalm 46:1-3).

We serve a God who is the God of the here and now, not just a God of yesterday or tomorrow. He is very present now! He is very present in times of trouble! In Philippians 4:4, the apostle Paul said, “The Lord is at hand.” He is present, He is here, He longs to be our refuge and strength in troubled times.

There is no place in the Bible that promises a life without trouble or trial or tribulation. But in the middle of trouble and trial and tribulation, Jesus says, “l have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He alone is the one who can fill our hearts with peace in the middle of the storm.

One of my favorite Proverbs says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10).

Again, and again the Scripture call us to run to the One who is our strength, our tower, our refuge, our guardian, our deliverer, in times of trial and tribulation. Trial and tribulation are facts of life, whether, in such times, we run to Him or don’t runt to Him, is a matter of choice.

In my sermon this past Sunday, I shared God’s remedy for fear, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

It is obvious that we are living in trying times, times that can fill our hearts with paralyzing fear. Fear that stops us in our tracks and challenges our ability to think and act with clarity. Yet my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord Jesus, the One who is a refuge for our troubled souls is reaching out and saying, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you will recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me, watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting upon you. Keep company with Me and you will learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message). Will you come to Him today?

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