Daily Devotions

God Is My Refuge

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"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Ps. 46:1)

In the entire Bible, this is one of my favorite passages. I've read this psalm hundreds if not a thousand times to people in the hospital, hopefully giving them strength and courage. It was a key reading that helped me in my own extended hospitalization when I was in college. At that time, when I felt the most helpless, God was my "refuge and strength."

The word "refuge" is one of the most important in the book of Psalms. The New Interpreter's Bible Commentary confirms, "To 'take refuge in' God means to trust God, and not surprisingly, trust is also a key them in the psalms." God is worth taking refuge in and is worthy of our trust. We can take refuge in God, because God is powerful enough to care for us.

Psalm 46 calls us to a decision. Do we take refuge in God, and trust God to carry us through our hardships, or do we find another alternative? But I want to ask, "What other alternative do we have for protection? Our money can only help us a little bit. An Insurance policy can help with medical care, and our family's financial issues after death. We can take refuge in the love of our family, but they will one day feel helpless in our suffering.

Our only help in the day of trouble, is God. No family members can provide a cure. No amount of money can stave off death indefinitely. Our only hope is to trust in our creator, redeemer, and sustainer. We have very little control in our world. Do you want to feel totally alone and without hope, then live this life without God. If you want to be able to receive powerful refuge and strength, then ask God to speak to your heart and strengthen your relationship with God today. God will be there for you today, and always.

A North Dakota Deliverance

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"We have heard with our ears, O God, our ancestors have told us, what deeds you performed in their days, our fathers [mothers] have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago" (Psalm 44:1).

The psalmist is speaking of the people's ancestors, as they were being delivered from the hands of the Egyptians. When we remember God's faithful deeds with our ancestors, it helps remind us of God's power an ability to care for us in the present and future.

Most of our ancestors have stories of God's delivering them from tribulation. My ancestors are no different. When my mother was four year old, she came down with a serious fever. Just as her fever hit, so did a powerful North Dakota blizzard. They lived in a tiny community of Alice, many miles from a doctor, and with no way to travel.

The family tried fluids, aspirin, even an ice bath, but nothing brought down her temperature. The family was scared she would soon die. My mother's grandfather was a man of deep faith, and he had been reading a Christian Science book entitled, Science and Health: With
Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. Her grandfather opened the book and read its prayers, and then passages of Scripture. As he read and prayed, my mother's temperature slowly but continually went down, until it was back to normal.

You can understandably claim that the aspirin kicked in, or that her body adapted and she recovered on her own. But my mother's parents and grandparents, rational and educated individuals, defended their belief that the Holy Spirit delivered my mother from death that snowy night.

If you are fortunate enough to have older family still alive, ask them about stories of God caring for your ancestors. Perhaps you remember one of those stories in your family. Tell it to someone else in your family. The events of your ancestors brought faith through the Holy Spirit. Continue that legacy by passing on the stories of deliverance the next generation. As they provided faith to previous generations, they will renew faith for generations to come.

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