Summary: God is a refuge in times of trouble
God is a Refuge
Joshua 20:2-3 - “Tell the Israelites to designate the cities of refuge, as I instructed you through Moses, 3 so that anyone who kills a person accidentally and unintentionally may flee there and find protection from the avenger of blood.
Sometimes You Need a Place of Refuge
Psalm 46:1-3 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
There is a time to advance and a time to retreat.
Maybe you’re at a time in life where you need a refuge. Do you feel pursued? Wrongly accused? Attacked? Beaten down?
God is available to be your city of refuge.
Misconceptions from my younger years – Christians didn’t need to retreat
Christians didn’t get down
Depression was caused by lack of faith
We were the army of God
We had the gates of hell to attack
We were overcomers
More than Conquerors
Something happened along the way though – life happened – and I wasn’t doing so well on my own.
My Christianity was mediocre. My business was failing. And my marriage was less than perfect.
I was quickly going the way of so many others. I was in survival mode. Depression hit. I felt like giving up.
I discovered I needed a refuge.
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Psalm 46:4-7 - There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
The river and the streams are a type of the Holy Spirit – the “comforter”.
There are times when we need to just get away. Take a break from the pressures of life and enter the refuge of God.
Take fifteen minutes in the morning before you start your day or in the evening to unwind. But don’t do it in front of the TV. Do it in the quietness of solitude before God your refuge.
You might go for a long walk or take a day off. You might be at a place in life where you need to take a spiritual retreat. There are places that specialize in helping people enter the healing presence of God for a few days. These are wonderful times to help you get centered on what’s most important in life.
I have found that regular times alone are absolutely necessary for me to have the energy, strength and courage to be with people.
Entering the Refuge of God
Call on God
Psalm 61:1-4 - Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Mother hen protecting her chicks
Longing for my childhood
Pour out Your Concerns
Psalm 62:5-8 – Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 46:8-11 - Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
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. Selah
“Be still” = “cease striving” = “let go, relax”
Striving - to devote serious effort or energy: ENDEAVOR: to struggle in opposition: CONTEND
Meditate on God
Psalm 1:1-3 - Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.