Summary: God's call to stop and know that He is God and we are not.
God is our Refuge
July 14, 2013
It’s been determined that stress produces illness. The more stress you have, the greater the chances you will become sick. In 1967, two psychiatrists made a study of over 5,000 medical patients and they made a chart of the 43 most stressful life events you can experience and gave them a numerical rating. I’m sure we can come up with more.
This stress rating is called "Life Change Units." The higher the stress, the higher the LCUs.
For instance, the death of a spouse is the highest at 100 LCUs, a divorce is second at 73 LCUs. Being pregnant is 40 LCUs. Remodeling a home is 25 LCUs. The stress of Christmas received 12 LCUs. There’s work related stress, home stress, and simply stress at living life.
In one year, if you experienced over 300 LCU’s, which would mean lots of life changing events, they determined you had over an 80% chance of becoming ill. The more the stress, the more you become sick, the less stress, the less you become sick. Sounds pretty simple.
They concluded that if we experience that many LCUs in one year’s time most of us will have either a physical, mental or emotional breakdown. The higher our score, the harder we have to work to get ourselves back into a state of good health. Humanly speaking, we just can’t cope with that much change.
It seems that to make ends meet, even just to make it through the demands of life, we end up burning a candle at both ends. We’re stressed beyond what we can imagine. And we start to believe that living with this type of stress is the new normal. Again, we’ve tried to solve our problems on our terms, human terms.
When stress hits, we generally try to work through it on our own. We try to save ourselves, yet, on human terms, we can’t do that. We need something, someone much bigger, better and more powerful than we are. I believe our trust and faith in God can make all the difference in how we handle what happens to us.
As we continue looking at various Psalms over the summer, today I want to look at Psalm 46. It’s a Psalm which reminds us that God is the One we need to look to during the difficult times in life.
The Psalmist tells us ~ 1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
That all sounds pretty terrifying. Devastating tornadoes, tsunamis, sinkholes, earthquakes and hurricanes. This sounds like the movie 2012. The world being swept away. We think of the storms caused through nature, but we experience our own personal storms.
It’s even being predicted that within 100-300 years the west coast will be underwater. This is a picture today of where the San Francisco Giants play baseball, and this is what some believe it will look like in around 200 years. That can be a scarey thought.
With all the storms which come into our lives — simply by living and experiencing life change, the author of this Psalm reminds us with these great words to start us off, God is . . .
It’s so basic and simplistic that it’s great and powerful . . . God is . . . It’s not God maybe or God might or God possibly . . . There’s not a hint of doubt. You see God is . . . our refuge and strength. He’s there in the midst of our troubles. It doesn’t matter how it happened or who caused our trouble — — God is there. He’s ready and wanting to help us in the midst of the storms of life.
So, the psalmist can very quickly conclude with the word THEREFORE. As a result of what I’ve just said, because God is our refuge and strength it doesn’t matter if the earth gives way, the mountains sink in the ocean, the waters rise and over take us. It doesn’t matter . . . WHY? Because the Lord is my strength and refuge. When there’s trouble I always know who I can count on! My God!
As Christians, how should we react to all this? "I won’t be afraid. My Lord is still in command of the winds and the waves and the sea, and all of nature. Therefore, I will not fear. Because God is my refuge and my strength."
Now, when we look at verses 4-7, we see the psalmist saying, “I’m not going to be moved.”