Monday, March 28, 2011


"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof" (Psalm 46:1-3).
God is always with His trusting children - "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20). Even more, however, the Psalmist declares our Lord to be "very" with us in trouble.
As we look back on challenges, this truth shines brightly in our memories and testimonies of the Divine presence and aid. "Thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Psalm 59:16). At the time of the challenge, however, we often feel as if our Lord is a million miles away. The same Psalmist vented such feeling - "Why standest Thou afar off, o Lord? Why hidest Thyself in times of trouble?" - in order to reveal the initial human response to challenge that demands our decisive action of trust and submission to God (Psalm 10:1). Indeed, the life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ does not involve the absence of feelings of fear and trepidation, but the overcoming of them. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3).
In a world that beckons us to be fearful, Heaven commands us to be at peace based on the promise of "a very present help in trouble." As with any loving parent, our Heavenly Father draws especially near to us when jeopardy of any variety threatens. We cannot see this aid, we may not feel it, and every outward indication may argue against it. Nevertheless, God's "very" presence is with us, and we are commanded to believe that even if we find the earth removed from under our feet, the greater truth is that God has "set my feet upon a rock" (Psalm 40:2). Trouble necessitates our determination to affirm such security in the midst of feelings and sensibilities to the contrary. To the degree we join David in faith - "I will trust in Thee" - determines whether we experience the truth of God's "very" presence in the quaking mountains and roaring waters of our lives.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:35-39).

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