God Is Our Refuge in Times of Trouble - The Crosswalk Devotional - June 11
God Is Our Refuge in Times of Trouble
By Jessica Van Roekel
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:8-10
“No offense.” That’s how an email detailing my faults as a leader ended. I closed my email program and turned off all notifications for the rest of the night. I felt disregarded and dismissed yet needed to march forward in my role. I hid for a few brief hours and then needed to face the world again even though I wanted to run far, far away. But I couldn’t. This wasn’t a situation where moving across the country or running away was the appropriate response. I needed to make the Lord my refuge while facing the battle waged against my leadership.
Troubles blow into our lives like storms. Sometimes they blow up out of nowhere. Other times, you can see the clouds gathering and blotting out the sun before it reaches you. This world has troubles. People and circumstances can seem to conspire against us. It can feel like we’re on the defense more than we are on the offense. There are those who rub us the wrong way and know the right buttons to press to get us to react poorly. It’s in these moments that our character gets refined. These times in our lives allow our belief about God and who he says he is to get put into action.
David wrote a plaintive prayer from the cave of Adullam where he hid from King Saul who was determined to kill him. David had gone from hero status after he defeated Goliath to a lonely, fugitive in a dark cave. He looked and saw no one who cared. His refuge was more like a prison because of his life on the run. But he turned his heart to God and his faith didn’t waver. He declared that God was his true refuge and that he expected God’s deliverance. David declared this while his life was in danger and while he faced a relentless enemy.
What are you wanting to hide from?
Facing battles is a normal part of life, but God has promised to be our refuge. Refuge in battle seems a little contradictory, but it’s the great rescue God has given us. In the heat of a battle, choices get made and we wound others and receive wounds. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but it’s far easier to respond with anger. A trusting heart in God’s goodness guides the way for faith to grow in challenging circumstances. And knowing how to find refuge in the Lord is one of the ways we can face our battles with courage.
In him we have hope, but when we walk outside of his hope, we struggle with hopelessness. In him we’re able to endure, but when we choose not to trust in him, we grow tempted to quit. When we submit to him, by running to him for help and trust, we make him our refuge. It’s in the refuge place where we find healing for our wounds. We find strength to face perpetual difficulties. It’s where we learn to be gracious to those who hurt us. The refuge place is where we learn to forgive and lean on God’s understanding instead of the constant, “Why is this happening to me again?”
Intersecting Faith and Life:
The next time you find yourself facing an overwhelming situation, allow yourself to be overwhelmed by God. He loves you. He cares for you. He is able to make good out of bad situations. It’s okay to take a step back to process the hurt and confusion you feel. Then, place your energy into trusting God instead of fretting about your circumstances. I know how tempting it is to replay scenarios imagining a different conversation or outcome. Turn the repeat button off. Let the Lord minister to your heart as you spend time in prayer and worship. His Word has everything you need, and you can meet him in those moments when you read a passage of the Bible, pray, or worship him.
God longs to be your refuge, run to him today with your worries, fears, and regrets. He will meet you in the mess and bring you peace and strength to stand again.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Thitaree Sarmkasat
Jessica Van Roekel loves the upside-down life of following Jesus as she journeys to wholeness through brokenness. As an author, speaker, and worship leader, she uses her gifts and experiences to share God’s transformative power to rescue, restore, and renew. She longs for you to know that rejection doesn’t have to define or determine your future when placed in God’s healing hands. Find out more reframingrejectionbook.