God is our refuge
Development Manager Imtiaz shares how persecuted Christians – and us – can find comfort in the truths of Psalm 46.
Many generations of Christians have found that reading and meditating on the Psalms has helped them find peace and comfort.
The Psalms can help us on our journey with God and they encourage us to trust in Him – especially when we are in a place of darkness, fear, depression or stress.
During my ministry with Release I have witnessed how Christians in Pakistan suffer because of persecution. Some have even had to go into hiding to escape beatings and persecution.
Yet in the midst of their difficulties and struggles they know that God is their refuge. They are able to say with King David:
‘The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?’ (Psalm 27:1)
It is in times of difficulty that we need to know who God is and what He is like.
Psalm 46, for example, reveals three amazing aspects about God.
First verse one reveals that God is our safe place:
‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.’
When trouble comes into our lives, we can seek refuge in the Lord. Knowing God as our refuge enables us to trust Him more.
David is a great example of someone who knew God like this. At different points in his life David was on the run from people who wanted to kill him, but he always found safety in God.
Secondly verse one reveals that God is our strength.
I have discovered that when trials and troubles come our way it is so easy to get anxious, worried and stressed.
When we experience these kinds of emotions, they can cause us to lose our strength and drain our energy. Sometimes we are not strong enough on our own to overcome our difficulties – but when we go to God He will give us the strength to cope (see Isaiah 40, verses 29 and 31).
Paul the apostle encourages us in Ephesians 6:10 to ‘be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.’
Because of this Paul could also write to the Philippians: ‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13).
Thirdly, the opening verse of Psalm 46 also tells us that God is our ever-present help in trouble.
Sometimes in life’s difficulties we can allow the pain of a situation to make us feel hopeless. We may wonder where God is.
This verse reminds us that God is with us every second of the day: and we can turn to Him at any moment for His help.
As the writer of Hebrews says: ‘He has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ (13:5-6).
Invite Imtiaz to speak in your church
Imtiaz is one of our team of Development Managers and regularly speaks in churches in the London area. If you’d like him to visit your church, please call him on 07957 677162. For other regions in the UK and Ireland, see our list of speakers below.
Invite a Release speaker to your church
To request a speaker for your church or fellowship group, please contact these numbers:
Ireland: Stephen on 028 9334 0014
London: Imtiaz on 07957 677162
Midlands & North: Kenneth on 07375 516408
Scotland: James on 07434 894016
South: Kenneth on 07375 516408
Wales & W Midlands: Paul on 07747 535588
Release Women: Laura on 01689 823491
Or call our office on: 01689 823491