The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him
God is a place of shelter and rest for those who trust in Him. His love is our city of refuge, it is our place of survival because God cares. Sometimes we feel all alone in the time of trouble like a ship tossed by the waves and forgotten in the storm. Yet as we lean into God through trust we discover that not only does He care and love us but that He is our place of safety
But notice that He cares for those who trust in Him and to trust Him you must know Him. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus said that knowing God is foundational and of the upmost importance:
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Jesus says that even though you worked miracles, if you do not “know” God, you will be sent away on the day of judgment. To trust him you must know him, you need a relationship with him. Calling on God through praying when you need something or for your food when it’s time to eat is not knowing Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 stays that we should “pray without ceasing.” This doesn’t mean that we should always have our hands folded, head bowed, and eyes shut. It implies a relationship of continual contact and fellowship between you and God. It’s not just praying but spending time with God, Abraham walked with God and talked with God. Spending time with someone is the greatest and simplest way to get to know them. But that requires reading and listening to God’s Word. As we get to know God, trusting Him becomes easier.
So do you trust God? Intellectually many of us do but practically we are still holding back. Trust is best seen in our response to God, whether we obey Him or not. If you trust him, you will be faithful to obey, to do his will, regardless of what makes sense humanly. Trusting God is not a logic exercise but a step of faith toward the one who is faithful. When I think of obedience and doing the Fathers will Matthew 25:21 always comes to mind: “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! Notice that it didn’t say “good and honest, or smart, or anointed, or punctual.” It says “faithful.” Faithfulness means doing it even if we don’t know why, or understand why.
We have all heard sermons on the Will of God, and we know that God desires the best for his children, yet how we get the “best” is what seems to create the greatest confusion. One of our biggest challenges is being faithful to do God’s will even though we don’t understand why, and in spite of our own logic. In our last devotional Proverbs 3:5-6 we were reminded that we should not “Lean on our own understanding.” This seems to be a hard thing to do because we sometimes think we know what should happen or what He should do. In Numbers 13:26-33 and 14:8-12, even though there were giants in the land, Caleb trusted God to do what He said, although the other Israelites looked at the circumstances and leaned on common sense. In verse 10 we see that people will get mad! “Be reasonable.” “Use some common sense.” But we need to remember that Numbers 14:23-24 tells us what happens to those who believe and those who do not, refuge or ruin!
The bible is filled with people who did not want to trust God, in 2 Kings 5:9-14 Elisha told Naaman to cleanse his disease by washing in the Jordan River 7 times. This made Naaman angry because he had a different way in mind, his own logical understanding told him it should be done the way he thought it should. Elisha’s way sounded foolish to him, but when Naaman finally did what he was supposed to he found that it worked. Abraham in Genesis 15-17 is promised a son, and does it his own way instead of trusting God’s way. Sometimes we don’t understand what God is doing but will we trust Him? In Genesis 22 God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar, talk about not understanding God’s Will, yet this time Abraham obeys because he trusts God. The more you know Him the more we should trust Him.
We all want to experience the refuge in times of trouble but many of us are living in rebellion by refusing to trust. We want the blessing of His care and protection and we also want to have it our own way. Will you step into His refuge as you trust Him with your circumstances and your life?