God is our Refuge and StrengthGod is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

According to Dr. Billy Graham, he used to read five Psalms every day- that taught him how to get along with God. Then he read a chapter of Proverbs every day, and that taught him how to get along with his fellow man.

Martin Luther says the book of the Psalms is a little Bible that is the door of worship. When we open this door we find ourselves in the worship of the Lord.

The scholars divide this book into 5 parts and compared them with the first 5 books of law:

  1. Psalms 1 - 41 (total 41 chapters) this part belongs to Genesis
  2. Psalms 42 - 72 (total 31 chapters) Exodus
  3. Psalms 73 to 89 (total of 17 chapters) Leviticus
  4. Psalms 90 to 106 (total of 17 chapters) Numbers
  5. Psalms 107 - 150 (total 44 chapters) Deuteronomy

I am writing about Psalm 46 which belongs to the 2nd part and compares it with the book of Exodus, telling how God brought the Israelites out from Egypt and talking about their redemption.

This is one of the best Psalms. Many believers exercise this in times of trouble, and they have experienced how they got refuge and strength from God.

According to Charles Spurgeon, it is a song of holy confidence. This is also known as Luther’s Psalm. He said, “When I feel anxiety, distress and a broken heart, I call my friends and ask them to sing this Psalm with me. This Psalm is very close to my heart and is the melody of my heart. It is the cry of people in deep trouble when God set them free and provided them refuge and strength."

I am going to write this article for the Pakistani people who are facing times of trouble from flood, especially Pakistani Christians who are facing many problems because of this flood. I want to tell them, “God is your refuge and strength. MY refuge.”

The psalmist says, “The Lord is my refuge.” The Hebrew word סהֶחֲמ is used for refuge and it has a very wonderful meaning that shows deep protection from the Lord. Here are some meanings.

1. My Refuge.

Shelter, from rain or storm, from danger, means a refuge is a place that provides you protection. It means to come under a safe place. For instance, our house is our refuge. It is a sign of protection and we feel rest and comfort in our house.

This is just like baby chickens, coming under their mother's wings and take shelter. The wings of the mother hen are their place of shelter just like God is our shelter when we come under His wings. "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge" (Psalm 91.4). When we are under His wings there is no anxiety or fear. That’s why He says, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. There may be a big danger in your life, but you have hope that your Lord is bigger than your problems. You just have to move forward under his mighty wings and you will find rest.  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mathew 11.28). When there is a problem in your life, come to Him, especially my Pakistani Christians facing a lot of problems in the days of flood from lack of food and shelter. When you have no place to sleep and you are facing discrimination, I want to encourage you that Lord is your refuge.

2. My Strength.

The Lord is my strength, which means he is my force. He is my power; He is my majesty. The psalmist claims that Lord is my force, as the U.S. has trust in its military force.  He is saying that the Lord is my strength, and when the Lord is my strength, that means I am stronger than the strongest man in the world. "The Sovereign LORD is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to tread on the heights" (Habakkuk 3.19).

Dear believers, temptation doesn't have to overwhelm you because Lord is your strength. You can overcome your weakness and problems.  David was a small boy and Goliath was a very powerful man. But God was the force behind David. He empowered David to defeat Goliath.  Come to the Lord and you will be strengthened by His power. He is always with us and does not leave us under any circumstances. 

Dear readers, I want to draw your attention to the fact that the Lord is your refuge. Come under his wings. From the cross, His arms are open. Just come and He will take all your burdens and you will find comfort.  Accept him as your Lord and Savior. He will fill you with the strength of His Holy Spirit and you will receive new power.

With this power, God will use you to change the world.  Dear Pakistani Christians and Christians in the entire world, God is your refuge and your strength, and it is a great encouragement that your God provides your protection and shares his power with you. (AMEN)

Rev. Suneel Barkat
Pastor Barkat is a graduate of Punjab University. After receiving a call to ministry in 1999 he attended Gujranwala Theological Seminary, graduating in 2003 with a Master of Divinity (His thesis covered a Biblical model of house churches.) Upon graduating he started pastoral ministry with the Anglican Church and was ordained in 2004, working within that church in different positions until mid 2015 when he got the opportunity for a short training program on Pneumatology from South Korea. Suneel currently is a visiting teacher in an evangelical Bible College empowered by Korean Mission in Pakistan, as well as doing independent teaching and preaching ministry. He has established many Bible study groups and I have passion to preach in remote areas of Pakistan.