God is Our Refuge

God desires to show us the path of life, especially in times of trouble. He can make all things work together for good as Romans 8:28 states: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Some people think God is the cause of everything that happens; however this verse does not support that notion. The devil and his cohorts are also the basis for some things that happen. The great truth of Romans 8:28 is that no matter what the source or the problem, God can cause things to work together for good. Many different kinds of struggles may happen throughout the course of our lives as is stated below in Romans.

Romans 8:35-36. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Verse 36 is a quotation from Psalm 44:22. Within the context of the Psalm, we observe that the believers then were treated this way, not because they were sinners or where at odds with Yahweh, quite contrary, they were persecuted because of their stand for God. Those who opposed them held such distain for them that all day long they tried to kill them considering them to be no more valuable than sheep ready to be slaughtered. Such adversities as these tempt people to get angry at God and blame Him for causing or allowing the negative difficulty. On the other hand, true believers run to God in times like these seeking His refuge. When we find His refuge, our faith is strengthened, hearts rejoice, and peace prevails. The outward situation or circumstance may not change, but inwardly we experience the goodness of God enabling us to overwhelmingly conquer. The mindset we want in difficult times is wonderfully stated in Romans.

Romans 8:37-39. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Refuge” means safety or protection from danger or distress, a condition of being safe, safe haven, sanctuary, oasis.

Psalm 5:11-12. Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, for they are rebellious against You.
But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.
For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Yahweh, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

Many are the ways that people seek refuge, all of which are pathetic compared to the refuge found in Yahweh. He is our sanctuary where we find gladness and joy. One morning, it began to rain and continued all afternoon, evening, and into the next day. Our clothes and tents were saturated. We were in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains undergoing a leadership training that included mountain and rock climbing, camping, and other outdoor stuff. The instructor told us to build a lean-to shelter from stuff in the woods. What? I was a city boy and did know what a lean-to was and certainly did not how to build one. So, I started looking around the base of the mountain for a dry place. I found a great place, a dry cave! While enjoying my new home, the instructor came by and pointed out the bear droppings leading into the cave. My refuge was already occupied by a sleeping bear. This experience is similar to the ungodly refuges we seek in times of trouble; they provide false safety more problematic than the original trouble.

Psalm 7:1. O Yahweh my God, in You I have taken refuge; save me from all those who pursue me, and deliver me,

David was inspired to write many of the Palms. The history of David can be found in the books of Samuel and compared with his Psalms, we clearly see he was an extraordinary believer. Another apparent reality was his limited knowledge regarding the spiritual warfare that Jesus would later reveal. Today, we know that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). Nonetheless, David, just like us, found his safety in God’s refuge.

Psalm 11:1-2. In Yahweh I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain;
For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string to shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.

Psalm 16:1-2. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
I said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”

Psalm 73:25-28. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing
on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my
portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord Yahweh my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.

The Kingdom of God is not yet here, so we have times of tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or even sword. But in all these things, we can find refuge in our God and nothing on earth can provide a better safe haven. The nearness of God is our good. God considers His people to be “the apple of the eye.” This metaphor expresses that Yahweh cherishes and protects His people as we do our eye.

Psalm 17:7-8. Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings

To enjoy this godly refuge, we must ask God for help, as is often stated in the Psalms. When the storms of life rage, we turn our hearts to God, and ask Him to help us. The last thing we want to do is blame or get angry at our loving God; rather, we want to run into His open, ever-loving arms. The human tendency is to think about the problem repeatedly, which often results in hopelessness, confusion, and other unproductive emotions. Controlling our thoughts and focusing on God are much more advantageous.

Psalm 18:1-3, 30. “I love You, O LORD, my strength.”
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

As for God, His way is blameless; The word of Yahweh is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

God’s refuge is always available to those who seek it. Prayer seems to be the key to open the door while Scripture reading, memorization, and meditation are also vital. God has given us the ability to control our minds and focus our thoughts on Him and
His ways.

Psalm 36:7-9. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Some other verses in Psalms on this subject for you to consider: 25:20-22; 34:8-10, 22; 37:40; 46:1, 10; 52:7; 55:8; 57:1-2; 59:16-17; 61:3-4; 62:7; 64:10; 71:7; 73:28; 91:2.

The encouraging words of our Lord Jesus Christ are a good place to end this article.

John 16:33. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

1 Response

  1. I love the Psalms. It is wonderful to be reminded of how YHWH is our refuge and hope. Thank you.

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