God is Our Refuge and Strength (Psalm 46)

(Psalm 46:1) “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

       Troubling times are ahead for Israel, for the faithful Church and for the world at large and in the future as the world is soon to be plunged into the Time of the Big Trouble foretold by the prophets Daniel and Jeremiah, and by the Lord Jesus Himself in Matthew’s gospel and by the apostle John in the Book of Revelation. For three and a half years at the end of this age the time will come when, for the sake of the elect people of God and for the very survival of the world, the Lord Jesus will come back to sort things out! (Matthew 24:21-22)

       Having said this while the unsaved world laments and trembles with what has come with COVID-19 and possibly contemplating what is to come in the future it is a time for God’s people not to buckle over at the knees with fear but to stand up straight and to look up with expectant faith because our redemption as God’s people is drawing near. (Luke 21:25-28) God’s Word gives us encouragement in times such as these. My thoughts have been drawn to Psalm 46 and sensed that it might be a worthwhile psalm to share with all the brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus.

Let’s briefly look at Psalm 46…

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

      God’s word tells us as followers of the Lord Jesus that things will not always go the way we would like in life. The apostle Paul wrote that “through much tribulation (thlipsis) we must enter the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) Every day we are faced with trials and temptations as we fight against the world, the flesh and the devil. We see things in the world deteriorating and our tendency is to fix our eyes on ‘the birth pains’ of the wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence, spiritual deception , apostasy and persecution and economic chaos but lose sight of ‘the birth’ of the Messianic Kingdom to be established on earthy by our Lord Jesus the Messiah after He has returned.

       First up the psalmist tells us that we need to fix our eyes on God and not on our circumstances because God is our refuge, our fortress and “our high tower into which the righteous run for safety.” (Proverbs 18:10) Added to this He is our very present help. As the psalmist writes; “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are inclined to their cry.(Psalm 34:15) In other words He is present with us in every situation when we trust Him and keep walking by faith and seeking to obey His word. He is always pleased with this kind of faith and always rewards it. (Hebrews 11:6) And so the psalmist continues…

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,”

       In the Bible ‘the tossing sea’ can refer to the nations in turmoil (Luke 21:25) Mountains can also represent kingdoms. (Revelation 17:9) God is shaking the nations today. (Haggai 2:6-7) Whatever He has not established on earth will be shaken except for those who are persevering in steadfast faith empowered by the blessed Holy Spirit. They will wrestle at times with fear and uncertainty and anxious thoughts but their knowledge of God’s Word will sustain, encourage and comfort them and give them hope. (Romans 15:4-5) They will be enabled to cast all of their anxieties onto the Lord because He cares for them. (1 Peter 4:7) Then the Psalmist continues…

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

       God has given us as His people the river of eternal life in the person of the blessed Holy Spirit and the source and sustainer of this divine life of God imparted to us when we were born again by the Spirit of God. (John 3:3) (Titus 3:5-6) All of us who have been born again are already a part of the New Jerusalem and when the eternal City comes to earth we will come with it. (Revelation 21:1-4)

       If we belong to the Lord Jesus then we have access to the very throne room of God and it is good to know this when things are not looking good around us. At such times God want us to realise that in whatever temptation situation or trial we are facing that the Lord Jesus has already been there and as a faithful High priest intercedes for us continuously before the throne of God. (Hebrews 4:14-15)

       As His children He wants us to come boldly to the throne of His unmerited favour that we receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) The bank vaults of heavens supply are inexhaustible, they never run out. God is never early and never late but always on time! And so the Psalmist continues…

“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts.”

       It has been said that man proposes but God disposes and scripture says “He frustrates the plans of the wicked.” (Job 5:12) and (Psalm 33:10) When He arises to speak the earth trembles! (1 Chronicles 16:30) (Joel 3:16) No matter what is happening God will have the final say! As it is written; “The One enthroned in the heavens laughs; the Lord taunts them. Then He rebukes them in His anger, and terrifies them in His fury.” (Psalm 2:4-5) Let’s continue…

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations He has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.”

       A time will come when God will prove to be a fortress against spiritual attack for His saints. He will most certainly avenge His elect people who cry out to Him day and night to be delivered from their adversary Satan. God will hear the urgency of their cry and avenge them speedily. (Luke 18:7)

       When we look at how the LORD has acted in the past we can be sure He will act the same in the future for He does not change like a shifting shadow but is consistent and steadfast in all He does. (Malachi 3:6) (James 1:17) Added to this the Lord Jesus never changes either. (Hebrews 13:8) How He has spoken and acted in the past He will speak and act in the future. In His first coming He was the suffering servant and in His Second Coming He will be the all-conquering KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:16)

       Once He has come back and destroyed all of his enemies and established His Millennial reign on earth all wars will cease. As it is written; “They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer take up the sword against nation, nor train anymore for war.” (Isaiah 2b-4) When we see the time of the Great Trouble looming on the horizon we are to be still before the LORD knowing He is about to intervene in history and put everything right. Finally God says…

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

       When Moses and the children of Israel had their backs to the Red Sea with nowhere to run to and were about to be overrun by the Egyptians Moses cried out to the people. “Do not be afraid. Stand still (firm) and see the salvation of the LORD He will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14) There are times in our walk with God when the enemy of our souls will press home his attack relentlessly and if God does not intervene we are finished.

       At such time He may intervene or give us the grace to endure the situation because He wants us to learn to be still and to trust Him. Satan most certainly afflicted Job but God said to Satan; “This far and no more!” As it is also written; “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

       At such times of affliction we need to hold on to the promises of God and to be still deep in our spirit knowing that He is God and in the end “He will be exulted among the nations, and exulted in the earth.” Once we have the stillness deep down on the inside of us that God is with us and will never leave us or forsake us in the hour of temptation or in the time of testing and trial, we will be able to say with the boldness of the blessed Holy Spirit; “The LORD almighty is with me, the God of Jacob is my fortress.”

       The one thing brothers and sisters we need to always keep in mind that it is always safe to trust the LORD.  When the Time of the Big Trouble comes we can be certain that God still has everything under control and we will be able to say with the psalmist; “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”