“God is our Refuge and Strength—a very present Help in trouble.”
He either is or He isn’t.
Such is the nature of faith and its battle with doubt. Ever since the evil one tempted Eve in the garden by insinuating that God did not mean what He said (Gen. 3:1-5), so does he continue with his dastardly deeds today. And, again, one of his favorite tools is Doubt.
“Has God really said that?” (Gen. 3:1b).
“If so, did He really mean it?” (vv.4-5).
Continuing he asks, “Is God really your Refuge and Strength? And, is He always a very present Help in trouble?? Think about it: Haven’t there been times when you prayed and asked Him for something and nothing happened? Haven’t there been times when you needed Him to bail you out of a jam, but things got worse?
“Be honest. You know I’m right on this one. IF He exists, then He’s really not all that reliable. And, you might as well quit clinging to such antiquated beliefs for they’re really little more than some type of spiritual hocus-pocus and religious make-believe.”
Pretty convincing liar, isn’t he??
Most assuredly he is (Jn. 8:44).
That’s why we must always remember the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” (Gen. 2:9, 16-17) is the devil’s favorite fruit and those who eat of it shall soon find themselves living in fear, guilt, shame, confusion and death (Gen. 3:6-24).
Much better is our partaking of the “Tree of Life,” which is found at the feet of Jesus, and whose fruit are the most delicious, delectable fruit ever known and grown (Mk. 10:38-39, 42; Gal. 5:22-23).
How wonderful it is when we can say with calm assurance “God IS my Refuge and Strength—a very present Help in trouble.” This can only happen when we can say “God is MY Refuge and Strength.” And, it’s in knowing this beyond a shadow of a doubt that we’re able to also say “and He is a VERY PRESENT Help in trouble.” Hallelujah!!
The anonymous author of today’s Manna went on to tell why he was thankful for such blessed assurance: “Though the earth be removed (through landslides) and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, causing the waters thereof to roar, we shall not fear. Even when the mountains begin shaking (with earthquake or volcanic tremors) we will not give in to hopeless despair—for the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge” (vv.2-3, 7). Glory!!
So, do not worry today, dear Pilgrim, if everything seems to be falling apart. You are not alone. Jesus, your “Near-Kinsman” (cf. Ruth 3:9, 12) is close by. Why not spend a few minutes right now “being still and remembering Who He is and what He has done/promised” (Ps. 46:10; Heb. 11:6)?? You’ll be surprised at the difference it’ll make.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 30, 2010