Tag Archives: refuge

Refuge in the Storm

I don’t like going through difficulties, but I suppose I couldn’t know God as my refuge if I never went through a storm. Jesus, You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust (Psalm 91:12). Today I will trust You, God, as my refuge.

Psalm 139:9-10 “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Both verses NIV)
No matter where we are, God will guide us and hold onto us. He will strengthen and help us and hold us up. So why do I whine, complain, or try to run from the troubles God allows for me? Do I imagine that God is going to train me and use me without getting me out of my comfort zone? Or do I cling to unbelief so that these sure promises become just words and wishful thinking in my life? Sadly, sometimes I do. These foolish thoughts, bad attitudes, and lack of faith don’t please God, nor do they bring Him glory. So I repent. I turn from these old ways and choose to believe the truth of God’s Word.
Gracious Father, Your ways really are better than mine. Mighty Holy Spirit, please help me change. Amen.

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Free from the Pit–Part 2

I need to “watch and pray” so I won’t enter into temptation (Luke 22:46). I must be on the alert because my adversary the devil roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). I’ve let him devour me far too many times by listening to the thoughts he wedges in—thoughts of guilt, failure, regret, anger, and disappointment to name a few. Before long, I’m down in a bog of hopelessness.
I could get out of the bog quicker if I’d remember things like God’s mercies being new every morning and God’s unfailing, eternal love for me and other good things before the evil thoughts start building on themselves.
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” –2 Corinthians 10:5 New American Standard Updated

God Is Good

When I think of Your goodness and all You’ve done for me,
I will speak and sing and shout my praise to Thee.

When I recall Your mercy, Your lovingkindness and Your grace,
I’m filled with longing to forever gaze upon Your face.

When I remember Your love and the greatness of Your power,
Though the enemy oppresses, I know that You are my strong tower.

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God’s Wings

Ruth 2:12 says that Ruth has come under the wings of the Lord God of Israel for refuge. Several Psalms talk about God’s wings as shelter (Psalms 17:8, 36:7, 57:1, 61:3-4, 63:7, and 91:4). Malachi 4:2 says, “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.” [New Living Translation (NLT)] Jesus Himself says, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” (NLT, Matthew 23:37, also in Luke)

What a blessed thought—to find refuge under God’s “wings”! What do I need refuge from? Perhaps the sin that easily creeps into my life or the fears that keep me from being and doing all God wants or discouragement that threatens. I can find safety even from these things, since I’ve come to God through Christ, by trusting in Him with all my heart. Like Ruth, I will come under the wings of the Lord God of Israel for security. Or as Psalm 91:4 says in the King James Version, He will cover me with His feathers, and under His wings I will trust.

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God’s Wheelbarrow

A group of us ladies talked about trust. It reminded me of an incident I’d heard about: In the mid-1800’s, Charles Blondin walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. One day he walked across pushing a wheelbarrow. The people were amazed. Then he asked, “Do you believe I could do that with a person in the wheelbarrow?” Some believed that he could, so he asked, “Which one of you will get into the wheelbarrow?”

This illustration points out that believing and trusting God requires not only mental assent, but also placing ourselves into God’s hands. God has already proven that He can not only walk the tightrope across the chasm of death, but also do it with a “wheelbarrow,” so to speak. He proved it when He raised Christ from the dead and promised that because Christ lives, we will live also. By His miracles, He has proven that His promises are true. By the experiences of real people like us that the Bible talks about, He has shown that He’s true to His word and has all power and is capable of doing whatever He chooses to do.

When we trust Him for salvation, it’s like we’re getting in the wheelbarrow. Now He has carried us across death’s chasm, and we’ve passed from death to life. The world we’re in is crumbling—as if we were standing on the brink of the Niagara Falls gorge, and that side of the river bank is being undercut by erosion. God says, come into the “wheelbarrow” of My Son’s death and resurrection, and let me take you from the “death” side of the falls that crumbles into eternal darkness to the “life” side of the falls that leads into ever-brightening light.”

Even on the “light” side of the gulf, we come across chasms—great difficulties, worries, fears, sadness—all the things that trouble humanity that are part of life’s experiences. Again, if we’re going to overcome and live the abundant life that Jesus promised us, we need to “get into God’s wheelbarrow”—cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us.

When I believe that He does care for me and that He will give me direction when I trust Him, He takes me safely across in “His wheelbarrow.”

Copyright Tricia Opitz 7/23/10

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Rescue

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.  Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.” (Psalm 107:5-6 New King James=NKJV)

There are times when I’ve cried out to the Lord and didn’t feel that He helped me.  Maybe at those times, I’ve been willing to accept only one kind of help, such as a change in the situation.  Perhaps that’s not how God wanted to help me.  Often He wants to change me instead of changing the circumstances.

Almighty, loving Father, when my soul is hungry and thirsty and faints within me, I will cry out to You.  Help me willingly accept Your deliverance.  If I’m in a flood, may I take the rescue boat You send instead of demanding that the flood go away.  Amen.

“Those who sat in darkness…, bound in affliction and irons because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High…cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.” (Psalm 107:10-11, 13 NKJV)  Wow!  Even when I bring trouble on myself, God saves me!

“But the LORD watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalm 33:18-19 New Living Translation)   Dear Father, teach me to fear You as this verse says, and rescue me.  Amen.

Philippians 2 says that the Holy Spirit works in me to do what pleases God.  I’ve spent a good deal of my life working for the pleasing of others. Now my desire is that instead, I would be a God-pleaser, one who prays, listens, and obeys.

Dear Father, renew my mind by the working of Your Holy Spirit through Your Word.  Let me be transformed from living by the world’s precepts to living with Jesus as King and Lord of every area of my life.  Amen.

The Lord is my hope and salvation.  The Lord is my strength and my song.

Lord You are my strong tower.  I will sing to you all the day long.

You’re my rock in distress times.  You’re my God, and You’re all that I need.

Be my help Lord today; give me grace to walk Your way.

Make me all You want me to be.

Copyright Tricia Opitz 6/28/10

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Walls Around the Soul

One woman I know has been hurt so much that she’s built walls around her soul for protection. They remind me of barriers I’ve set up in my own life because of  fear or pride.  But those same walls set up to protect us keep out what God wants to do in our lives and the comfort He wants to give us. They also keep in the bitterness and pain so the unhealed wounds continue to torment us.
Dear Father, please break down these strongholds that keep me away from You. Teach me to run into the high tower of Your love and mercy so I won’t need these God-resistant walls any more. Thank You. Amen.
“But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.”
–Psalm 59:16 New King James Version

Copyright Tricia Opitz 4/10/10

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