“inhale courage, exhale fear.”
maneuver nor did he raise the white flag of surrender. No, he laid the letter before God and cried out with the words found in 2 Kings 19:17-19. God responded and sent one single angel to the camp of the Assyrians and killed all 185,000 soldiers. I love what Robert Morgan writes in his book, The Strength You Need : “If a single angel could rescue a nation, think of how the Lord and His angelic hosts can strengthen you.” i Why would we go to anyone else for refuge and strength? The Resource for Help Imagine a place that is completely safe and secure...a place where absolutely nothing can ever happen to you. It would be nice if such a place existed here on planet earth. If you have an extra 17.5 million dollars, you can evidently purchase an elaborate bunker in Tifton, Georgia. The bunker boasts seven luxury apartments that sleep a total of 13 people, secure internet and a common area with a 15-seat movie theater. It can withstand a nuclear blast up to 20,000 tons. Sounds incredibly safe! ii The truth is there is only one place you can go for absolute safety and help in life’s most tenuous and fearful moments. Consider the words very carefully in Psalm 46:1: “God is OUR refuge and strength.” He is not simply a refuge. It says that He is OUR refuge. That’s Personal Help . The refuge and help that He offers to you is tailored to you and to your specific need. God is our refuge and STRENGTH. There are moments when I feel absolutely powerless. In those moments, our all-powerful God offers strength. That’s Powerful Help . God is our refuge and strength, a VERY PRESENT help. Our God is not a distant God. He is not the “man upstairs”. He is always with you. That’s Present Help . A very present help IN TROUBLE. The words, “in trouble”, literally mean “in tight places”. Can you relate to that? It’s the place of unbelievable pressure. It’s the place where you feel squeezed. As you probably know from history, cities under siege almost always reached a point where surrender was the only option because of the lack of food and water. Before the Assyrians arrived at Jerusalem, Hezekiah took the wise and practical step of carving out a tunnel that was 1,777 feet long, diverting the Spring of Gihon into it and eventually into a reservoir inside the city walls. That’s Practical Help . We know all of this, but it’s a whole different thing to live in the reality of this truth. Our hearts are so prone to struggle with moments of helplessness and hopelessness. How can we reboot and renew our hope when fear grips our hearts? The Renewal of Hope There are three critical decisions we have to make in our fearful moments. We need to reflect back on what God has already done (Psalm 46:8-9). Do you know what I am learning about
myself? How forgetful I really am. Maybe you can relate. I misplace my keys, my wallet and my phone. Yet, even worse, I am quick to forget the moments when it is so obvious that God showed up. Those times when there is no other explanation . . . God did it! Verses 8-9 are really an invitation to remember, Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. There was no human explanation for what happened to the Assyrians. It was clearly a God thing. The next time you struggle with the thoughts, “I am just not sure I can get through this day” or “Will God ever break through to my son or daughter?” . . . just visualize those 185,000 fierce soldiers surrounding Jerusalem and God wiping them with one single angel. We must stop trying to take control and trust God to be who He really says He is (Psalm 46:10). Listen to the first part of verse 10: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Do you know what the words, “be still”, actually mean? They mean, “take your hands off”. That’s graphic! One of our biggest challenges is we are a “hands on” type of people. Our tendency is to manage and to manipulate. We say things like, “If I want to get anything done right, I need to do it myself.” After all, the Bible says, “God helps those who help themselves, right?” Actually, the Bible says no such thing. In those fearful moments, what God wants is for you to take your hands off and to release your grip from the steering wheel of your life. We must choose to live victoriously knowing the end of the story (Psalm 46:10b). I love the future look in verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Not everything that happens is good from a human perspective. Yet, we know from Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good. Even in the midst of a fearful world, we can make a daily choice to live in victory because we know the end of the story.
Don lough, jr . ( ‘ 84)
e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r
w o r d o f l i f e f e l l o w s h i p
i Morgan, Robert, The Strength You Need, W Publishing, 2016 Tribute Media Wire. ii “Take A Look Inside a $17.5M Underground Bunker.” 24 Nov 2015, wnep.com. Accessed 4 June 2017.
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