1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The psalmist here instructs God’s people concerning how they ought to possess indefatigable faith in God, even when they are encircled by terrors and troubles. The psalmist is not only an example of unfaltering faith, but also an encourager who exhorts fellow believers to put their confidence in God. The psalmist’s confession of God’s goodness towards His people is remarkably invigorating.
Here the psalmist makes three assertions about God which believers should affirm wholeheartedly in their times of troubles. The first truth that we should affirm in the midst of our troubles is that “God is our refuge”. Some have built for themselves what appear to be well-fortified castles with tall, strong walls and thick iron gates, guarded by hosts of strong men with powerful weapons. Yet time and time again, such manmade refuge have been breached by enemies and all kinds of perils. A far superior shelter is the LORD God for all who trust in Him. He is their impregnable refuge. Taking shelter in God is far better than running into man-made shelters. God is our safe shelter!
The second truth that God’s people must affirm always is that God is their “strength”. When they feel weak and defenceless, God is the source of their strength. They can come to Him, and renew their strength. God’s omnipotence provides His people with assurance and motivation to endure their troubles and accomplish all that God has called them to do. Let His people believe that God’s strength is their strength. Let them arise in confidence to fulfil all His good purposes, even when troubles assail them. God is our unfailing strength!
The third solemn truth that God’s people must affirm constantly is that God is “a very present help in trouble.” When trouble is near His people, God is nearer to them than the trouble. He never withdraws Himself from His troubled people. He draws near to His children in their trouble. God is closer to His people than their nearest and dearest family member or friend. He will be with them as their Help. His presence will be nearer than the trouble. He will never be absent from His people. Troubles confronting God’s people are not a sign of God’s abandonment of His people. Rather, they are an opportunity bestowed by God for them to experience the grandeur of His presence. Come, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm.