Refuge and Strength :: by John Lysaught

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

If you’re like me, you need refuge and strength in these end-times. The devil and his minions are working hard to snuff us out, exclude us from society, and keep us from our Lord Jesus. Satan is working mighty hard at this. Even though he seems to be winning, he will lose. But in the mean time, the fight is against us and we must battle in mind and spirit to keep him at bay so we stay on the path of righteousness with Jesus.

Satan, his minions and the world will do their best to keep you from Jesus. If Jesus is your Lord, then Satan will do his best to trick and deceive you to get you to let go of Jesus. He will put lies out there, try to influence you with the world, and will work in your mind to get you to sin; anything he can do to get you away from Jesus.

If you aren’t saved, then he already has an upper hand and will work hard to get you to not turn to Jesus and be saved for life eternal in heaven.  This is why we need the strength of the Lord in us so when faced with adversity; not only can we can get strength to resist the evils of this world, but we can take refuge with our Savior.

Psalm 62:8: “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

We all face times of despair. We face adversity. We face temptation. In times like these we must put our trust in the Lord. He will be our refuge. Can’t find a job so you are tempted to start drinking? Don’t. Put your trust in the Lord for He will make a way. Tempted by that nice looking coworker who flirts with you time and time again, gentle at first, but more aggressive as time goes by?

Don’t fall for the temptation to adultery. Not feeling happy so you begin to think of drugs to take? Don’t do it, for Satan will capture you and work to get you to let go of the Lord.  Trust in Jesus in these times of despair, adversity or temptation. He is a refuge for pain and will hold on you to with His righteousness.

It’s hard to avoid temptations. Temptation is all around us. Everywhere you turn there is something tempting you, that is not in agreement with the life Jesus wants you to live. Satan uses temptation to draw you from the Lord. He will temp you in small things and when you give in; more temptation will come and grow until finally—Satan has a grip on your wrist and you’re off the path of righteousness. And then you’re not looking to Jesus anymore for Satan will use sins to create guilt and make you think you are not worthy of Jesus anymore; not worthy of salvation. He will use that guilt to pull you further and further from Christ until you feel so guilty that you no longer believe you can be saved.

We all fail. That is why we have grace, but more important, that is why we have Jesus. Remember he died for your sins, all of them, from the small thing to the worst thing, you are already forgiven. You just need to ask for forgiveness and keep moving on the straight and narrow path to salvation. Keep your heart on Jesus and you’ll be stronger and strengthened by Him.

2 Samuel 22:3 “The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.”

Jesus is my Rock. Is He yours? What do you turn to first when you face troubles? Yourself? A friend? Drugs? Alcohol?  Maybe you should turn to God first. We will all face troubles in our life. How you deal with those problems is where your heart really is. I turn to God.  He is my Rock, my Salvation, my Grace, my Savior.

When I face adversity or troubles, I turn to Him and pray, even if it just a little prayer like: “God please help me now.” Does this mean we won’t face troubles or a test of our faith if we believe Jesus is our Rock?  No, but it shows where your heart really is. Where your heart is, there is where you take your refuge. Think about this for a moment: Where your heart is, that is where your refuge is. Mine is with Jesus. Where is yours?

It isn’t really hard to change your refuge to Jesus. It takes commitment to live a life for the Lord. It takes a heart that is cemented to Jesus. It is a change in the way you react, what first comes to mind when adversity comes to you. If Jesus doesn’t first come to mind, it is time to retrain yourself to focus on the Lord of your life.

You must read, ponder, and study the Bible.  You must trust the Holy Spirit and let him guide you and your life. You must fight against the world and Satan’s attacks on you to take you off that path of righteousness. When troubles come, make Jesus your refuge.

2 Samuel 22:31: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.”

Proverbs 30:5: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”

You must trust Jesus. I have a plethora of health problems. It would be so easy for me to blame God for my bipolar, my fibromyalgia, my Crohn’s, and all the other things wrong with me. Yet… I don’t blame Him. I was known before I was born. I was not a mistake. God knew who I would be in this world. He knew what would become of me. He knew what sorrows I would face, how I would be raised, and how I would be as a disciple of Christ. He knew me before I was born and made me to be part of His perfect plan.

God made me the way I am for a reason, for a purpose larger than myself. Even though my health issues surround me and overtake me sometimes, I trust in the Lord. I trust Him fully that, like Paul, who had a throne in his side asked God to relieve him but God said his grace was enough (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). I take pleasure and know there is a reason for my suffering.  There is a reason for yours too.

You may not have health problems, but you may have other issues. Always remember that God made you and fashioned you to be who you are. Take comfort in knowing that Jesus has a grander plan for each of us than we think—when we accept Him as Savior. Your plan might be writing (like I do) or evangelism or to comfort people or be a leader for Christ, and on and on. Don’t limit yourself to yourself, but let your heart open for the Lord to do the works he has planned for you—which are larger than yourself. Trust the Lord.

Trusting the Lord was hard at first but as my walk with Him continues to grow, my trust in Him grows too. You need to trust Jesus as well. No matter how bad things are, they could be worse. No matter how bad things are going, trust that there is a reason and an outcome of stronger faith on your part once you overcome.

Your faith will be tested by Satan and the world, whether from temptations, sin, health issues, etc., but trust that Jesus is allowing these things to happen to strengthen your faith and to lean on Him for strength and refuge. Put all your troubles on Christ, and the Holy Spirit will guide you to where you need to be. Seek Him daily and He will respond. His promise is to never leave us.

1 Chronicles 16:11: “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.”

I like this verse. It reminds me that I must seek Jesus daily, at all times. I’ve walked a long hard road to be where I’m at with the Lord. I’ve failed miserably and still do, but His strength encourages me to be strong. His love makes me want to seek Him all the times. And I do.  I love Jesus with my heart and soul.

We all still make mistakes but by seeking and getting strength from the Lord, He helps us to avoid our past errors again, and helps us to avoid future troubles as well. We will fail and face them, but the strength of the Lord will be there for us.

Be strong in Jesus and He will be there for you. Seek Him and the Holy Spirit will be with you to guide you. Don’t try to be strong by yourself, but let Jesus be your strength. Rejoice in the fact that you will face troubles and will be tested. By being tested and by facing adversity with Jesus as our strength, we can overcome all things and stand up stronger in the Lord than we could beforehand.

Remember to always seek Jesus. The more you seek, the more you will find. The more you seek Jesus, the stronger you’ll be with Christ when troubles and adversity come your way. When you seek Jesus as your strength and refuge, who can beat you down? Who can sever your ties with Jesus? Who can steal you away from the Lord? Not a person, thing, or situation can—for if your strength and refuge is with the Lord; honestly and simply, you’ll be okay and will come out stronger in your faith.

Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

I absolutely love this verse (well I absolutely love a lot of verses) and this one is laid solid in my heart.  I CAN do all things through Christ. I CAN overcome adversity through Christ as my strength. I CAN overcome temptations. I CAN win the battle between the world, Satan, and my all the troubles that try to get in my way with Jesus.

When we face things opposite to Christ and what He wants from us, we can take refuge in the fact that Christ will strengthen us so we can resist and overcome any obstacle. Know  that we will fail, we will stumble, and we will fall at times. Yet through Christ and the strength He gives us, we can stand back up, get back on track, and move forward in our walk with Him. He is a great and might strength for us.

If you are seeking Jesus at all times and have faith in Him as your Savior, then nothing can keep you down—nothing at all. You can overcome addiction, temptations, sin, and Satan’s efforts to snatch you from the Lord. With Christ all the negative in the world came be overcome and you will come out of each negative situation stronger as a follower and warrior for Christ.

Keep Jesus as your refuge and strength. He will be there for each one of us, all the time. Continually seek Him every day and you will grow in your relationship with Him and become stronger in your walk with Him. You will be able to face troubles and adversity with the knowledge that Jesus is there for you and will help guide you to salvation.

God bless you all and all glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus.