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(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, in my own study, I came across, again one of my favorite Psalms. I love the Psalms. I think one of the functions of the Psalms is to keep us honest about the difficult realities of life in the fallen world, about our struggles of faith, about the range of emotions that we'll experience, about all of, sometimes God confuses us. Sometimes we come to Him with deep abiding questions, sometimes with fear. Sometimes we celebrate His awesome power and glory and presence. But the whole range is there in the Psalms. And I think during this moment of difficulty, when a crisis has spread across the globe, the Psalms are a wonderful place to run.
And I want to take you to what I call the ultimate cataclysmic Psalm - Psalm 46. Listen to these words: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy inhabitants of The Most High. God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns."
I mean, could you imagine if you were in a situation and you were watching the mountains around you crumble, and then crashing into the ocean? And the earth trembling. It would seem like the end. What's described here is something way more cataclysmic than what we're facing. And so the Psalm that is about a cataclysm doesn't begin that way. It begins with a meditation on who God is.
Listen to this. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." I love that. I love those three descriptions of God. God is our refuge. What is a refuge? Refuge is a place to run for safety. A refuge in biblical days would have been a thick-walled city that when under attack, you could run to for security. The ultimate security is found in the Lord.
God is our refuge and strength. Those moments where we seem so small and we are so weak, and we are unable to solve the difficulty we're facing, we know where strength is to be found. God is our strength and He enables us to face and deal with things that we could not deal with without Him.
And then the third thing. He's a very present help in trouble. He's not just a help somewhere to be found. He's a present help. Now this means this. When you pray, it's not like the siren going off at the firehouse and the firemen jump down the pole, they quickly get dressed, they turn on their siren and they roar to wherever the difficulty is. This Psalm is saying, when we pray, we pray to one who's already present, already active, already involved.
What a glorious picture of who God is. Where this little meditation on God ends is a reminder, wherever God's people are, God is in the midst of them. He never sends you into any circumstance without going with you. And anywhere you find yourself, wherever you find yourself, lives under His rule. His rule is the definition of wisdom and power and authority and love and faithfulness and grace.
If you're going to look at this pandemic and understand it properly, you need to look through it through the lens of God who is your refuge, who is your strength, who is that ever-present help in trouble. And that trouble will never keep Him from being your refuge. Never keep Him from being your strength. Never keep Him from being your present help, no matter how big the cataclysmic thing is that you're facing. God is your refuge. May you run to Him with hope.