“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn” (Psalm 46:1-5).
Have you ever had to dial 911? It is comforting to know that if you had an emergency and needed help immediately, police, fire or medical crews could be at your location in a matter of minutes after you dialed 911 on your phone. However, as great as their efforts may be in responding to your call, fireman are not always able to prevent a house from burning down and medical crews cannot always save a life when responding to a 911 call.
As the opening verses above show, in Psalm 46 the writer speaks about God being a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). His unshakeable faith in the Lord enables him to have no fear in spite of whatever dangers he faces. Whether the threat he faces be the earth being removed or the mountains being carried into the sea, the psalmist knows God is reigning in the midst of His people and will care of them (Psalm 46:2-5). The inspired author has unwavering confidence in God’s power over His enemies: “The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted” (Psalm 46:6). He encourages us to consider the great works of God: “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” (Psalm 46:8-9).
Do I have this kind of faith in God’s ability in my own life? Do I look upon God as a “very present help” in time of trouble. If you are like me, sometimes we struggle with viewing God as a “very present help” in our lives because we do not see Him immediately acting when we are faced with a challenging situation. Does this mean God is not present? Does it suggest God is not helping?
The faith of the psalmist did not see it that way. In fact, he understood God sometimes waits till the last moment to step in to help. He comprehended, at times in order for us to develop a stronger faith in Him, God will wait to act to help us “just at the break of dawn” (Psalm 46:5). In spite of the fact there is certainly a difference between when we desire for God to act and when God actually acts to help us when faced with a crisis in our lives, the inspired writer still felt God’s presence through whatever trial he faced: “The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:7, 11). The writer of this psalm patiently endured the trial set before him because he viewed God as being present in his life and saying: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10).
I want to have this kind of unwavering faith in God. Today, I will strive to face the challenges which confront me by remembering God is my refuge and strength. When faced with the obstacles I may encounter this day, I will strive to boldly move forward with unshakeable confidence in God’s ability to help and not retreat by giving into doubt and fear. I rejoice that God is my “very present help”!
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).