God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1
The Christian life was never meant to be lived only while sailing smoothly on calm seas. What advantage would there be to the notion that God is a refuge if we were never under attack? Would we ever know that God deigns to be our strength if we had never known weakness? And what of this idea of Him being our present help if we’ve not experienced the immediacy of pending trouble? Life in a fallen world begets trouble all around. In the world, the flesh, and the devil a sinister triumvirate looks to wreak havoc upon the sons and daughters of Adam. Jesus, not unaware, nor unfamiliar, with every trouble we would encounter gives us hope in the midst of gathering storms. His encouragement to His disciples is one of tenderness as the storm clouds approached. Their trouble was immediate anxiety. His word to them was "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”(Luke 12:32). Imagine the relief that those four words brought- “Fear not, little flock”. This is real hope. Fear must flee at the word of the Good Shepherd. The world, the flesh, and the devil must bow at His command. Anxiety must give way to hope. Even death must ask permission. God can be trusted, because He is God. He is the absolute sovereign and therefore He can be our trustworthy refuge and strength. One has only to look at the Cross to see an assurance of God’s immediate help in trouble. That trouble that was far more vexing than anything the world, the flesh, and the devil could conjure up has been mitigated by the Son’s obedience to His Father. This is amazing love. This is the love of immediacy that binds frightened, troubled and anxious sheep to their Shepherd. It is my hope that you are resting in the Shepherd’s love, even when you see the storm clouds gather. He is not unaware, He is our very present help.