Day 193: July 12, 2014

Today's Reading(s)

Psalm 46:1-3
1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah

Psalm 62:7-8
7 My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge. Selah

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Images of God - Our Refuge
by Leigh Ann Swords, Member of Brentwood Baptist, The Church at Station Hill

Last year, my husband and I went to see the movie, The Impossible, the true survival story of Maria Belón and her family. They were vacationing in Khao Lak, Thailand, on December 26, 2004, when a massive wave from the Indian Ocean tsunami swept over them. The family was cast into a lethal current swirling with fallen trees, debris and bodies.[1]The movie is called The Impossible, because after several days of frantic searching, her family was reunited at a local hospital, all of them having survived. Over 230,000 people in 14 different countries were not so fortunate.

I remember watching the scenes where this poor woman was continually swept under the raging current, battered on every side by deadly debris. I found myself holding my breath, willing her to survive. She was doing exactly what you and I would do, trying to grab on to anything that would help her stay afloat. In that instance, you would want to find the strongest, most durable support available.

This is the image we find in our passage today. Though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil, God is our refuge. We don’t have to be afraid.

Picture yourself in this scenario. As the waters swirl around you, threatening to pull you under at any second, you reach out for something to hold on to. Floating debris might help you stay on top of the water, but it still leaves you at the mercy of the current.

Then at some point you reach up and find you have a grip on solid rock. It is a rock that cannot be moved, no matter how violently the waters rage. Suddenly, you realize you don’t have to exhaust all your efforts to hold on tight. Your survival is not dependent upon the strength of your grip. Amazingly, miraculously, the rock is holding on to you. You realize it is the rock that reached out to you and is now sustaining you, making it possible for you to persevere to the end.

This is exactly why Scripture tells us over and over again that God is our refuge. We don’t have to be afraid. No matter what this world throws at us to try to destroy us, we can draw strength from the knowledge that God is holding on to us and He will not let go. In fact, He can’t let go, because His Spirit is dwelling inside us.

The Apostle Paul suffered more than any of us could imagine, literally being beaten, imprisoned and ultimately martyred for the sake of the gospel. Yet he called the suffering of this life light and momentary compared to the eternal glories that will outweigh it all. (2 Cor. 4:17) If his hope in Christ could sustain him through the worst life had to offer, surely it can do the same for you and me.


[1] http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20666183,00.html

Praxis

  1. Are the flood waters swirling around you? Have the cares and sufferings of this life left you feeling like you are grasping for anything to hold on to in order to survive?
  2. If you haven’t put your trust in Jesus Christ, please know that salvation is only found through Him. The invitation is open. Why not receive it today?
  3. If you do have a relationship with Christ, get a concordance or go online and begin to compile a list of all the places in Scripture where God calls Himself our rock and our refuge. Read these verses out loud.
  4. Rehearse what you know to be true about God and worship Him. When our focus is on the greatness of God, the problems of this life don’t seem quite as large and overwhelming. Depend on His strength, not yours. He is able.

About JourneyOn Today

Today's devotional series accompanies the Spiritual Practices Foundations Curriculum which deals with 24 different spiritual disciplines. We will break for an Advent series in December and continue the second half of Spiritual Practices during the first quarter of 2015.