Grace For The Journey
I have been told that when artists paint a portrait of a woodland, a forest, or a wilderness it is important to paint a pathway out of the trees. If they don’t, the tangle of trees and the trackless spaces depress and dismay the onlooker. In the same way God encourages His children by providing a way out of sin and the trials of life.
Where do you go for help? Some go to their family; others go to their friends. Some will dive into the advice columns or self-help books. A few look for escape into alcohol and drugs. For the Christian, however, there is one place to go that’s better than all other places, a place where we can find the greatest help the world has ever known.
The Bible declares in Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
This verse tells us three great truths about God’s help for the sinner and the struggler in life.
First, it tells us that God is our shelter – “God is our refuge …”
The word “refuge” means a “shelter, hope, trust.” It speaks of a place of safety. When someone committed manslaughter he could flee to a city of refuge to escape the avenger. Trouble comes into all of our lives, but we can seek refuge in the Lord. He protects us in times of trouble. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” This idea is expressed many times in the Bible. David always found refuge in the Lord when his enemies sought his life. Saul pursued David for many years, yet God always protected him. David knew that the Lord was watching over him.
The Bible says in Psalms 18:2-3, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. David found the help that he needed from the Lord. Do you run to the Lord when troubles come? You should!
Secondly, God is our strength – “God is our refuge and strength …”
The word “strength” means “power, might, boldness, ability to make one mighty.” When trials and trouble come, our strength is drained from us. Yet, at these times God is able to strengthen us and help us to stand. We only need to ask Him for strength.
The Bible says in Isaiah 40:28-31, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
It doesn’t matter how strong or weak we are, we all need God’s strength. Only He can sustain us in the trials of life! The Bible says in Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
One time, David returned to Ziglag with his men and found it burned down and their families carried away as captives. His men blamed him for it all. What did he do? 1 Samuel 30:6 tells us: “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” When trials come do we strengthen ourselves in the Lord? Or do we try and make it on our own? God is always ready to strengthen us.
The third provision that God gives to His people is support – “… a very present help in trouble.” The word “help” means to “succor, assist, sustain.” God provides refuge and strength to His people. But He also helps us in our trials. What’s more He doesn’t do this from a distance. He is right there with us to help us in our trials. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5-6, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.’ What can man do to me?”
God doesn’t expect us to make it on our own
(regarding salvation or surviving life on our own).
In fact, He knows that we can’t.
It’s only our pride and fear that keep us from seeking His help.
Will you determine to seek God’s help each day? Will you allow God to take control of the trials in your life? God is always waiting to answer your prayers. The Bible says in Psalm 34:17-19, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
- Are you snared by sin? Look to God – He will give you power over sin!
- Are you burdened by guilt? Look to God – He will give you pardon for sin!
- Are you wilting from weakness? Look to God give you His strength!
- Are you frustrated by past failures? Look to God to give you His victory!
- Are you lost in loneliness? Look to God – You can depend upon His presence!
Jesus is the answer to every question. Jesus is the solution to every problem. He is the passage through every obstacle. And Jesus is available to you. He is the Fountain of every blessing – and the only way to bless a fountain is to drink from it continually.
Jesus not only desires that His people acknowledge Him before the watching world, He desires to be appropriated. Jesus has been given to His people to be called upon, in both bad days and good days . . . in sickness and in health . . . in prosperity and in poverty . . . in times of joy and times of mourning.
Go to Jesus, for He is your Holy Help who can meet you in your place of need (for salvation and for surviving life) . . . regardless of where that place may be.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”