One hears of “refugees” often today. It is a word commonly used, and probably even abused. Let’s talk about some people who need refuge.
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One doesn’t seek refuge from discomfort. Refugee status has historically been reserved for those in the deepest and most dire of danger. Refugee are granted that status when a significant and ongoing threat to the refugee’s life exists in thier current location. It must be a threat so severe as to require extraordinary intervention.
During World War II, many Jews sought refuge from various nations at Hitler’s regime attempted to eradicate them from the face of the earth. It was an existential threat that required an extraordinary intervention. Many good and righteous people put themselves at risk – even of their own lives — to step in and shield Jews from the Nazi regime that was so determined to destroy them.
Even so, God gives strength to those who take refuge in Him.
Today’s verse says GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TIMES OF TROUBLE
We have an enemy whose only goal is to steal, kill and utterly destroy. He steals our possessions, our joy, our peace and our identity. He rips from us the very things that allow us to live in peace. He mocks and ridicules us mercilessly, breaking our will to resist with depression, anger and hopelessness. He takes anything we value. His goal is our death. Another notch in his ugly belt. Another life destroyed. His pursuit never ceases while we live on this planet.
And from his evil and hateful assaults, God offers us refuge. The Almighty enters this battle which all humans face by taking upon Himself the very nature of the victims. Jesus Christ, fully God and yet fully man, enters and intervenes. He provides our refuge. He provides the way of evasion and escape. He is the door that allows us to exit the place where we are in danger, and enter into a place of safety, provision and peace.
I have a group of seventy refugees I’ve been working with for the better part of two years. They are currently hiding outside of the nation they had to flee, but we haven’t yet been able to find a nation that will offer them refuge. So, for now, they have to hide while they remain hunted.
Many Jews sought refuge during those dark days of Hitler’s madness in places that initially seemed safe, but in the end they were found out and captured by the enemy. For many, it was at the cost of their lives. But Jesus provides a place of refuge that will not fail. He is a shield that will not be circumvented, regardless of the circumstances we face.
The bible says “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and He shall dwell between his shoulders.” The Almighty dwelling between your shoulders. The shield of shields over your heart. Perfect protection, perfect peace; regardless of the battles which rage around us.
God Himself offering the place of our refuge. God Himself renewing our strength. And He is ever-present. Always near, always available, always listening to the cry of our heart.
Whenever the dangers of life seem about to overwhelm you, remember that God is our refuge and our strength; an ever-present help in trouble.
You’re never alone. He’s always there. With you.