Summary: Trust is a theme that runs throughout the bible. It runs from cover to cover.

a. As I watched the headlines last week of a school being destroyed by a tornado, and numerous communities having been flattened, church building wrecked and countless homes ruined, the Lord took me to a place in my heart that said, “what would you say to your church if that was your community?”

i. I had to ask myself the question, “what if that was my house?” How would I respond? With anger, bitterness, or gratitude for having survived? How about my church family, how would they respond?

1. Hardly a day goes by that there is not some tragedy or natural disaster or terrorist attack.

2. It doesn’t seem as if we can escape the possibility of tragedy in our lives.

3. How will we prepare for such a time as that?

4. Will we as Christians turn outward, (to care for others), instead of inward (caring only for ourselves), in that eventuality?

5. Will we turn toward God or away from Him when terrible things happen?

6. Folks, we need to stop living as if it will never happen to us, but rather recognize that it is not if but when that trouble will strike our lives.

7. We all live as if things will always be okay, but my experience has taught me that we all go through seasons of trouble.

a. I think you will agree with me that life is never normal for very long.

b. I am beginning a sermon series about “living a life of trust in God in times of uncertainty.” Today I will introduce the subject and build on it week after week. I urge you to practice what you hear today and during this series.

Psalm 31

1 In you, O LORD , I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

Verse 1: IN YOU, O Lord, I have taken refuge.

i. A refuge is a place we turn to for shelter from danger, something we trust to protect us. A source of relief, help or assistance. The Psalmist says IN GOD he has taken refuge.

ii. A refugee is the one who is running from danger and seeking safety somewhere else.

iii. You may be a refugee this morning. Seeking RELIEF from the circumstances and pressures of your life.

iv. Is your life in chaos? Has sickness, finances, relational troubles, or job woes burdened you down? Do you feel beyond beaten down and maybe crushed as well?

v. There is a refuge! He is the Lord! The Psalmist describes it in v2

Verse 2: BE my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

i. He cries out for God to be his refuge. He asks God to be his refuge in the midst of his troubles.

1. Folks, this is what God wants more than you or I can ever know.

2. God isn’t interested in giving you stuff, He is more interested in being the One in whom you find solace, comfort, relief. He desires to be the One in whom you take refuge, the One whom you run to when you are in trouble, the One in whom you can trust.

ii. We take refuge in a cave, a house, a fortress, because we believe it is where we will be safe.

iii. In times of trouble or during a tornado warning, you take refuge in the safest place you know of. You look for an impregnable fortress. It is little wonder that in Oklahoma, tornado shelters aren’t built above ground. There is really no building made that can withstand the forces of an F5 tornado. So they all retreat into safety below ground while the storm passes overhead.

Verse 3: Since you are my rock and my fortress…for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me

Did you see the subtle change in wording? The psalmist moves from asking God to BE his rock and fortress, to now declaring Him to BE his fortress (since you are) and then appeals to the “sake of His Name.”

1. In the very act of ASKING God to BE his fortress, his faith is strengthened to the point of believing God to be His rock and fortress. This is what happens when we cry out to God.

2. He also makes a fascinating appeal to the character of God with the words “for the sake of your name, lead me and guide me”

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