Refugees filled the news reports last year as war in Syria drove people from their homes. How terrifying it must be to grab the people you love and leave all your worldly possessions behind. Where do you go to find shelter and safety? How will you protect your family?
In the USA we have lived at peace for so long it is almost inconceivable to imagine ourselves in the same plight. But if my family and I were forced out of our home by an invading army, we would need a place to run and fast. We would require a refuge.
One metaphor used for our Lord in Scripture is refuge. God is THE place where we can flee when all else fails; a place of safety and protection when we are spiritually attacked.
- This God is my strong refuge … (2 Samuel 22:33a ESV)
Yesterday we thanked God that He is our Rock- a solid, immovable support on which to stand. Often in Scripture where this metaphor occurs, He is simultaneously referred to as our refuge.
- But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 94:22 NIV)
When I am emotionally exhausted and spiritually spent, I not only need solid ground to stand upon, but I require protection. And, I find shelter under His wings and am refreshed at His “river of delights.” (Doesn’t that sound lovely?) Hallelujah!
- 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. (Psalm 36:7-9 NASB)
When I am in trouble, God is present to rescue and help me IN my trouble. He is my refuge, regardless of what is happening around me.
- 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, (Psalm 46:1-2 ESV)
The Lord offers me covering. Just in case I don’t understand what this means, He explains it through a beautiful word picture in Psalm 91. Like an eagle covers her eaglets with her wings, so the Lord covers me. He faithfully delivers and protects me.
- He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. (Psalm 91:1-4 NASB)
No matter the physical state of my surroundings- relationship difficulties, illness, financial problems, political upheaval- there is a safe place for me to run. The Lord isn’t promising to fix all our issues yet (THAT is called Heaven!), but He provides me a port in the storms. While life rages around me, in my Refuge I find spiritual rest and sustenance.
- Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me … God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. ... I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. (Psalm 57:1-3, 9 NASB)
Our steadfast Rock is our Refuge. And this isn’t a one time offer. I can CONTINUALLY come to my strong refuge. Thanking God for this safe place should flow naturally from my mouth. What a gift a privilege!
- Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. ... you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day. (Psalm 71:3, 7b-8 ESV)
Just like a harbor is refuge to a ship in a storm, so Jesus is to me. When I flee to Jesus for refuge, I find hope, like a anchor to hold onto. He is sure and steadfast, which does not mean the trouble goes away, but He protects me DURING the storm.
- … we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6:18b-19 ESV)
I rest on my Rock and find protection in my Refuge. What a loving Lord I serve. How could I do anything but praise?
- On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. (Psalm 62:7 ESV)
Thank You dear Lord, for always being a Refuge for me.
No matter what the world throws at me, You are my safe place to run. You provide shelter, protection, sanctuary, and haven. Thank You for this incredible gift.
I look forward to the glory of Heaven some day, when my tears will be dry and my fears gone. But until then You open Your arms to take me in, right smack dab in the midst of my life. Thank You, that regardless to challenges, I am never without a Refuge and a covering. Not only that, when I rest in You I find the lovingkindness and truth that I need to minister to those around me.
Thank You Lord for offering me free entrance to Yourself continually. You don’t get tired of me coming to You. You don’t have a limit to the number of times I can run to You for help. I find that kind of love and patience almost unfathomable.
Thank You Lord for accomplishing all things for me! Help me to learn to cease striving and to start resting in Your arms. I want to be aware of Your presence and praise You all day long. Thank You for the strong encouragement and hope You set before me. Help me to hang on to You and NEVER let go!
I pledge to rest in You today, my Refuge. Honestly, I am not a good rester, but I ask You to help me to peacefully rely on You, as You cover me with Your wings. There is no safer spot for me to be.
Thank You for Your amazing care.
Let’s tell of His works today! There is a Refuge available for every lost and lonely person. We just need to make sure they know Him!
- But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. (Psalm 73:28 ESV)
Here are a few more Scriptures if you want to study further: (Psalm 94:22) (Proverbs 14:26 (Joel 3:16) (Nahum 1:7) (Psalm 7:1) (Psalm 18:2) (Psalm 61:3)
If you would like receive daily prayers for the month of January, 2018, sign up below. Focusing on our amazing Lord changes everything!