ODJ: Our Refuge

August 15, 2018 

READ: Psalm 46:1-11 

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble (v.1).

BibleGateway.com allows online users to read the Scriptures in a variety of translations and languages. Over a twelve-month period ending in November 2016, more than 180 million unique visitors visited the website—resulting in around 1.7 billion page views. As people entered the ‘Gateway’, they searched for verses using keywords. The most popular search terms in order? Love, faith and peace.

In a world marked by pain and desperation, it’s no coincidence we’re seeking these three things. In particular, we find ourselves reaching out to our loving God, seeking to know the deep peace He alone offers.

In ancient Israel, upon entering the gates of the temple, God’s people may have been greeted by the peace-instilling words of Psalm 46. Ringing out from a chorus of soprano voices, these words would have been music to their weary hearts: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (v.1). The people were encouraged to rest in the reality that God was with them. “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress” (v.7). The words “among us” are from the Hebrew word immanu, a portion of the word Immanuel or “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). They point to Jesus and the peace He would bring (John 14:27).

God is with us. And He is our refuge (Psalm 46:1).Much like ancient Israel, we face natural disasters (vv.2-3), “chaos” and wars (v.6) and personal challenges that threaten our peace. But may we rest in the One who can end wars (v.9) and heal hearts. Though we’ll face pain and strife in this life, we can “be still, and know that [He is] God!” (v.10).

God, our refuge, is over all and He’s also “here among us” (vv.7,11).

—Tom Felten

365-day plan: Luke 15:11-32

Read John 16:33 and note why Jesus says we can find peace in Him despite life’s adversity. 
What’s threatening your peace? How do the realities of God’s power and presence help you find refuge in Him?