October 23

Psalm 46:1-5

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” vs. 1

Martin Luther loved Psalm 46 and used it as the inspiration for his famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” For him the psalm was a source of comfort in a time of conflict and challenge…and doubtless that’s what it was for its writer too. Jerusalem was a tough place to live, constantly beset by enemies, and full of internal turmoil. In times like that people of faith find their refuge and strength in God as a very present help in trouble. That means that when darkness closes in and the enemies are at the gates God is by our side…God never deserts us. That conviction brings both peace and courage, an end to anxiety and the willingness to battle on against whatever foes might assail us. That doesn’t mean things will always go our way in the time of trouble…some battles might be lost…we could even lose our lives. But our spirits will be indomitable! We will never give up the struggle. The strength comes not because of our own superior resources or capabilities but through the very real presence of God at that time and in that moment. Some of us have experienced this strength in our own lives but all of us have seen it in the lives of others. We’ve marveled at the courage of saints in the most trying circumstance and heard their testimony. “It’s not me,” they say, “God gave me what I needed!” God was their refuge and strength.

Thought for the Day: When has God been my very present help?

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