Anybody else get scared? Worried? Do you ever watch the news and cringe? The worlds feels off its axis at times. Just how much further can we list before we implode?
The past few days, if you have been following along with this prayer challenge, you have joined me in thanking God for His protective care as our Rescuer, Rock, Refuge, and Fortress. As extensive and complete this protection sounds, apparently it extends further, because there are more metaphors used in Scripture to describe God’s care for us. Today we will thank Him for being a Stronghold for us in our scary world. (Hint: we STILL aren't done! There is more tomorrow!)
Why would we need a Stronghold when we have a Fortress? Think of it this way- the Fortress is the large, walled enclosure built to withstand siege. Within the Fortress is another building with a tower to view the enemy safely while providing more protection and high ground from which to fight.
Imagine this scenario. I am fleeing my enemy who has been chasing me. I clamber up a large rock outcropping upon which is built a fortress where I can take refuge. After I am safely inside I proceed into the stronghold where I climb the high tower and look out safely upon my enemy outside the gates. It is layer upon layer of protection. How much more secure could I get?
- The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10 NASB)
Our Lord is our Stronghold (AND our Rock, Refuge, and Fortress!) How much more secure could we get? Let’s thank our Stronghold for His provision for us, especially when we feel oppressed in times of trouble.
- The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:9-10 ESV)
What difficulty assails you? What challenge seems more than you can bear? No matter how bad the storm is, shelter is available in our Stronghold. It doesn’t mean the storm will cease necessarily, but it does mean that IN THE MIDST of the trouble we have a safe place to remain.
- For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, (Isaiah 25:4 ESV)
Why is our God the perfect protective Stronghold? Because He is powerful! His voice shakes the earth. There is nothing He can’t protect us from.
- The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. (Joel 3:16 ESV)
Ever think of the Bible as a Stronghold? The following Proverb is so powerful- God’s commands to us are a part of His protection. Walking through life His way keeps us safe.
- The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers. (Proverbs 10:29 ESV)
The cure for fear is planting both feet solidly in my Stronghold. My life is in the Lord’s hands for His purpose and under His care.
- The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)
When I am trouble my response is to pray. As I cry out to the Lord I can ask Him to rescue me and to be my Stronghold. I don’t have to prove myself or earn my admittance. I just ask, and because the Lord is GOOD, He lovingly draws me in. He KNOWS me, and He protects me.
- Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me. (Psalm 31:2 NASB)
- The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7 ESV)
Our world and our nation face numerous challenges. Politically and economically these are days of angst, misunderstanding, and hate. And on a personal level, you may be facing your own troubles in a job, relationship, bank account, or _______________ (just fill in that blank with whatever troubles you.) Good news! It is IN the day of trouble that our Lord is our Stronghold. He never waits for us to solve issues, He enters our mess and surrounds us.
- O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, (Jeremiah 16:19a ESV)
- The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble. (Psalm 37:39 ESV)
Let’s thank our Lord because He protects us in every way possible and remains with and around us, no matter what distresses us. This deserves our praise!
- But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness. (Psalm 59:16-17 NASB)
I praise You Lord, my stronghold. Thank You for being so many layers of protection. Thank You that however physically vulnerable I may be, I am spiritually and mentally encompassed by You! I run to You and am safe.
Lord, thank You for writing in Scripture that You are my Stronghold WHEN I am poor and needy. I am so grateful that You do not reject me when I am most troubled, but You offer me shelter. I come to You today tired from dealing with the storms and heat of life. Thank You that You offer me a place to cease striving and to start resting.
Your power is awesome and I grateful for Your protection. Because of Your strength I don’t need to fear. What a gift. Thank You for defending me. Thank You for shining light in my darkness. Thank You for knowing me. It is so precious to be known and STILL loved by You. Thank You for looking at my quaking heart and still opening Your gates and inviting me in.
I am grateful for the protection and guidance of Your Word. Please help me live in its ways. And I am grateful for the defense of prayer. Please help me cry out to you BEFORE I complain to others.
My Rock, my Refuge, my Fortress, and my Stronghold, I thank You for all the ways of protection You extend over and around me. Who else would ever love me so much? I praise Your awesome love and extravagant care.
- For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. (Psalm 61:3 NASB)
I pray you have a blessed and protected day. No matter what attacks you, remember, your heart and soul can always safely rest in your Stronghold!
- But the LORD has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. (Psalm 94:22 ESV)
If you would like receive daily prayers for the month of January, 2018, sign up below. Focusing on our amazing Lord changes everything!