We do not cease from fear as we would from food or drink. We do not control fear as we would our actions. We cease from fear when we recognize our safety in the Lord our refuge.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; (Psalms 46:2)
Think about it for a moment. You do not fear the weather’s storms as they pound upon the earth, because you are safe within the shelter of your home. You do not fear the gravest of beasts as you walk the corridors of the zoo, because you are safe on your side of the bars. You don’t will to cease from fear, you simply rest in safety.
The storms of life are great and many shall we face in this life, but we can live free from fear. Seek his refuge and he will shelter you with his presence. The storms may rage outside, but within will exist a calm peace. Rest in God!
Man’s understanding is contrary to God’s way. When facing a trial, difficult situation or even a decision to make, we will face two persuasions: God’s way or ours.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
God wants and expects us to run to him for refuge and not to support ourselves with our reasoning or understanding. Instead of leaning on our reasoning for support, he wants us to lean on him.
In this day of self help and positive thinking, we constantly face this proverbial fork in the road. Today as you face life, what will your response be? Will you support yourself or will you go to God for refuge?
Trauma is a terrible thing. It reaches deep into the resources of the soul and damages everything that it touches. Only now are we beginning to understand the effects of trauma as we help soldiers returning from war, but trauma isn’t something new. We have been battling trauma on the domestic front for years. Even though many lives have been destroyed by it, there is hope.
Hope for those traumatized can be provided by those whom they can trust. Please let me illustrate. This morning I woke up to the sound of rain. I looked next to the bed and sure enough, the Shepherd was under the chair. Our rescue had been traumatized by gun shots, being hit by a car and taunted by passers by as he remained tied to a fence with a broken hip. It doesn’t take much to trigger fears and even reenactments. So while he was terrified to go outside and do his morning business because of rain and the potential for thunder, I went out into the yard and called him to me. As he approached, I gave him the repeated rhythmic shsh, shsh, shsh, shsh, shshshshshshsh that I give to soothe him when he is overcome with anxiety. He recognized my call of caring and came next to me. He practically knocked me over to get close enough to feel safe.
Jesus provides the same type of care. He recognizes our fears and calls us to him. As we hear his voice and get close to him, he provides comfort and security. The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1b). In this verse, the Psalmist declares that the Lord is his defense or fortified place. He was that for him and he wants to be the same for you. Will you hear his call? Will you run to him for comfort and security? He is waiting and ready to aid you in your trauma.
Some time ago, my wife and I were enjoying ourselves as we explored the capital city of the Dominican Republic. We decided to rest and sit on the shore and watch a ship pass, but after some time, we noticed a storm coming in off of the coast. Being intrigued by the sight, we lingered a bit too long and found ourselves caught in a down pour. While holding hands, we scurried through the tiny streets of the city and finally found a small cafe to take refuge. Needless to say, it wasn’t any where nearly as romantic as the movies make it seem. But regardless of the fact, we found refuge from the storm.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. (Psalms 28:7)
The psalmist declared that his heart trusted in The Lord. By that, he was stating that when his trouble arose, he sought refuge in The Lord and subsequently The Lord gave him help. God may not have necessarily removed the trouble, but he did bring help to his heart. Sadly to say, but many believers as they face troubles do not immediately seek refuge in The Lord. They struggle alone trying to battle the circumstances and become weary in the process. God has never intended that to be. He always wants us to abound in Christ and to experience joy and contentment regardless of the circumstances.
As you face trials, seek The Lord early. He will be found and you will find refuge for your soul.
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Many years ago, I served in a prison ministry to the Spanish speaking population. I remember needing clearance to enter the facility and to make it to where the bible study would be held required that I pass a few check points. I needed to have my picture taken and on each visit, I was required to empty the contents of my pockets. The prison staff did this to make sure that all the inmates stayed within the prison and none would escape. For me, it was nothing to walk in and out of prison, but for the inmates it was a different story.
However, I must say that I myself have been held in prison on many occasions. As the Psalmist, my soul too was in prison (Psalm 142:7). It was not held with iron bars, but instead with the trials or circumstances of life. My spirit was shrouded in and my soul was bound within the walls of my troubled circumstances. Most people did not care to even take a second look at my circumstances and of the few that did, there was little that they could do to help. Escaping the circumstances or finding refuge was impossible (Psalm 142:4). My only deliverance could come from God and he would only move in his time.
Eventually deliverance came but in a manner other than what I expected. Instead of God delivering my life from the circumstances created by others, he delivered my soul through the circumstances. As men of war could take refuge in a strong tower, my soul was able to take refuge in God. His word delivered me from fear to comfort. His presences strengthen me from worry to hope and his promises broke the chains binding my soul and gave me liberty. The circumstances in life were very much the same, but my spirit and soul found refuge in God.
While in the midst of trials, continue to seek after God by searching his word and lifting your heart before him in prayer. You too can experience this deliverance from a trial while still in the trial. When you do, God will be exalted in your eyes and you will be compelled to praise him before men.