Summary: God is our protector and refuge and if we are trusting in Him we can get through anything
This past week I went to Dallas, Texas to see a doctor. And it was hot there. 40 degrees. So the hot weather is nothing new to me; it’s just that I don’t like it. And I’m always glad when the cooler weather comes.
Last week we had a major earthquake in Japan. While the earthquake was not here in the Tokyo area, it did shake the place a bit. It even frightened KC and Simone a little bit. It was also in the newspapers around the world, so I sent emails to my friends back home to let them know I’m okay. They were glad to hear that and they assured me that they were praying for me. And if you remember last Sunday there was a little earthquake while we were here in church. We don’t have earthquakes back in Texas. At least up until now we haven’t. And I was aware of these before I came to Japan. In fact my Japanese friend who is a flight attendant with American Airlines, and is from Hiroshima called me in March. She said her mother told her Tokyo is due for a big earthquake. And I think most of you know what I’m going to share with you this morning.
Let me make a few qualifying statements. I am not a prophet. I don’t know if we will ever get a big earthquake in the Tokyo area. I pray that we don’t. But I told my friends in Texas that if we do get a big earthquake, I will see you in heaven.
I also need to share with you that I cannot prevent an earthquake. In our English worship service we are looking at the book of Philippians, and last week I shared from Philippians chapter 4. Let’s turn there for a minute. Verses 6 and 7 tell us not to be anxious for anything but to pray instead. When we pray we can experience God’s peace in the midst of our difficulties.
Our passage today is Psalm 46. If we are putting our trust and security in God, then He will protect us no matter what happens. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ then you are assured of God’s protective care over you no matter what happens. And this does not need to apply to earthquakes only. About 4 years ago, it was just another day in America. People went to their jobs, they went to catch their flights and it was just the beginning of the day. As many of you know, 4 airplanes that took off that morning did not reach their destinations. And many people went to their jobs in the
World Trade Center in New York, not knowing that in a few hours those twin towers would not be standing anymore. As an American citizen I can assure you that that was one of the most distressing days in America. People used to hijack airplanes to get the pilots to take them somewhere. Nobody had ever hijacked airplanes and used them to destroy buildings and lives. It affected me because I used to work for American Airlines. Two of our airplanes were involved on September 11 and it affected everyone at my company. Acts of terrorism did happen, but nothing like this. It is still hard for me to understand how something like this could happen. When something like this happens, if your security is God, then I can tell you you will make it through if you are trusting in Him.
I want us to look at several aspects of trusting in God as our strength and security. Verses 1-3 tell us how God is our security. In verse 1 we see God as our refuge and strength. That means that He is the one we come running to. Do you remember when you were little and some bullies tried to beat up on you? Who did you go running to? Probably one of your parents. You found strength and security there. You knew you were safe. KC and Simone come running to me too when they want shelter and protection. We also see in verse 1 that God is our ever present help in trouble. That means He is there RIGHT NOW. He is present with us.
If we know God is our refuge and strength and He’s there right now, what is our part? Look at verse 2. We do not need to fear. Verses 2 and 3 assure us that natural disasters like earthquakes do happen. In late December I flew to Tokyo, and on getting off the plane heard about the tsunamis that happened in Indonesia. Natural disasters do happen. Incidentally in Texas we have tornadoes. Does everyone know what they are? They usually are the result of a severe thunderstorm. They’re funnel clouds that spin very fast and they cause severe damage wherever they touch down. About 5 years ago I had just returned from Sydney Australia, and found out that while I was in Australia, there was a tornado not too far from where I lived. I worked in a hospital in 1979 when there was a bad tornado in Wichita Falls, Texas. Several of the victims were taken to our hospital in Dallas, and I saw the serious injuries that resulted.