“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)
One of the weapons Satan uses against Christians is illusions. He gives us the illusion that love is better with someone else, so marriages fail. He gives us the illusion that materialism is what we need, so stuff becomes our idols. His slight of hand can so closely mimic the truth that we don’t see it coming, hence why we are fooled.
In this particular Psalm, the poet leads off with a foundational truths that prepare for the coming storms. He explains that God is our refuge and strength before the earth gives way and the mountains crash into the sea. He tells us of a great city of God, where the most Holy dwells before he tells of the wars between people and kingdoms falling. He commands us to be still so that we can understand this truth, because in the end, nothing else matters. God is above everything and the only One who is exalted.
Notice how the psalmist doesn’t say if the mountains fall into the sea or if there are wars, then God is our refuge. The fact is that the world is going to be stormy and rough. Because of this, Satan wants to give the illusion that God has left us to battle everything alone. When we feel unshielded and naked, that’s when terror grips us, and we can become angry with God for leaving us all alone during the worst of times.
God never promised the support-raising journey to be easy. There are enough storms around to try to distract us from God’s truth, even before we take a huge step of faith. In a literary sense, there are times when life actually feels as though entire mountains are crashing into the seas around us. Satan wants us to feel as though God has abandoned us, that God doesn’t understand that we are fighting for the needs of our family. These are illusions.
Praise God that the psalmist knew that we needed to understand that God is our refuge and strength. He knew we would be walking through disasters and wars. But through it all, we can be at peace, because God is in total control.
- What storms are you going through right now? List them out and give them to God.
- Write out Psalm 41 by using your own imagery of what is happening around you. Explain how you see God before, during and after the turmoil.