Walking along our coastal path I have been staggered to see some of the devastating results of the recent storms. Buildings, paths, cliffs, and places of beauty had been ravaged. Even boulders in the sea defences had been moved. Some places that were secure in the past have been cordoned off and marked as dangerous. Nothing could control the wind, rain and mighty waves of the sea.
For all of us life has its storms and we can sometimes feel powerless against them. But the verses above tell us that whatever wind blows our way or whatever waves seek to overwhelm us there’s a safe hiding place for those who love and trust in the Lord. These verses are an expression of God’s protection. God Himself is a refuge, a shelter to which we can retreat for safety.
The Bible is full of promises. Some are unconditional; some (like Psalm 91) are conditional – God promises to do something if we do something. The condition here is to dwell in God. To dwell means to live with Him day by day, committed to Him and willing at all costs to obey what He asks. To dwell does not mean to turn to Him when things go wrong; to visit when you feel like it or to do your own thing and cry to Him in trouble. Dwelling is permanent, daily and active.
The promise to those who dwell is rest. This is a consequence of dwelling. When the storm blows around there is rest – an inner peace, and a lack of worry and fear – in the shadow of our Almighty God. A shadow can only exist where there’s sunshine, so however we feel He’s near us, surrounding us with His care. In our darkest moments He’s close to us. In this secret place God protects and provides for those who believe in Him. He’s their God in every situation.
God is a shelter and refuge, whatever our circumstances, but He asks us to trust Him to carry us through our difficult situations. To trust Him we must dwell and rest in Him. God expects us to trust Him. The psalmist spoke out his trust; ‘I will say of the Lord He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust’. This is an action of choice – ‘I will say’. To declare or speak aloud our trust in God like this is an antidote to many negative and fearful thoughts, which rob us of true knowledge of God and His presence. However we feel, it doesn’t alter the fact that He’s trustworthy.
To trust means to be confident, secure and bold. When we believe that God will do as He says, and that He’ll protect us and keep us from harm, belief becomes trust. Today why not confess with your mouth God is your refuge and fortress? When we acknowledge God’s presence, though unseen, and trust in His protection, we live at peace. This is the safest and most secure place to be.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for Your steadfast faithfulness and love. Thank You that You’re faithful to all Your promises. Open the eyes of my heart to know in reality that my security is in You alone. Today I claim the promise of Your abiding presence as I trust in Your unfailing love. Thank You that, through Jesus, I can know You intimately. I pray that the Holy Spirit will so work in my heart that I will grow in faith, confidence and trust, in You alone. Amen.
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