Monday, June 29, 2009

God our Refuge and Strength

God's greatness, along with his goodness knows no bounds. God is infinite and limitless, but in a way that is beyond our finitude and limitations, in other words not infinite of what we are in our finitude, but beyond that.

We live in our limits; we are frail, weak and broken. Nothing about us has arrived, in fact the strongest aspect in us can become our undoing (example: Moses once angry, becoming the meekest man on the earth, and later lashing out in anger at Israel as he disobeyed God's command as to what he was to do).

In this psalm God is the Refuge and Strength of his people. We are surrounded by troubles on every side, and there's always more at stake than meets the eye. We are walking the path our Savior has blazed by his work for us, in his death and resurrection. Now we are both living in the old world, but explicitly said to be part of the new world that has come in in Christ. This means we have to embrace, take up our cross, and follow Jesus in this life, in the way he lived, somehow sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings here, so as to become like him in his death.

God is our Refuge. He will protect us to the end, that we may live well before him, and before the world, no matter what is happening around us. Is that going to be easy? No. But by faith we must stay in the protection of the Almighty.

God is our Strength. We are weak, but in our weakness his strength is revealed. His strength, not our own, but in his strength we too will find strength so we can mount up with wings like eagles, walk and not be weary, run and not faint.

Let's not succumb to our own weaknesses, to the voice suggesting to us that our end has come, that there is no hope for us, that we can't make it. Instead we need to remember the God who is near. We need to find our protection and all that we need in him.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46

What "amens" or thoughts would you like to add here?


Dave J. said...

Seen on a local church sign: "If God is your co-pilot, then its time to move over and let Him drive." Or words to that effect.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Dave J.,
Yes. We want some sort of control over our lives. Or we may want to steer them in some direction. Instead of being content to let God move us.

Although it does seem to take some work for me to get to the place where God is moving me. More like faith, but steps of faith involve things we do, I think.


Maalie said...

This matter of personal "control" is very interesting. I read a doctoral thesis about it recently.

To feel in control brings benefits of well-being, physiologically and physically. The risk of a number of diseases (especially mental health diseases) is greatly reduced if one feels in control.

According to psychologists, for those who feel their lives are "out of control" one way of regaining the illusion of control is to abandon your self to the will of a "God". They say it is inevitable the once Man evolved to a state of sentience (aware of his own mortality) it was inevitable that all cultures would "invent" their own supernatural deity in order to apparently bring a sense of "order" (or control) to otherwise apparently random events.

"Why did that earthquake strike our village and not theirs? There must be a reason. Oh, it is the will of the particular God we invented".

It seems all so simple and obvious.

Ted M. Gossard said...


Yes. And if it is true that there is a god who created, and did so with some sort of goal in mind- which would stand to "reason", if such a god exists- then it makes sense that it would be for humans' well being to know that such a god is ultimately in control, and the goal that god has made will come to pass in the end.

That's the story of the God we find in the Bible.