“For Thou hast been my stronghold, And a refuge in the day of my distress” (Psalm 59:16, NASB).
God is our refuge.
Distress can assume many forms. And presently, we’re witnessing tremendous turmoil in the United States of America. Perhaps you, like me, carry an ache in your heart over the ongoing tragedies of 2020. I was reminded of current events when I read Psalm 58:1-2 earlier:
Do you indeed speak righteousness, O gods? Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men? No, in heart you work unrighteousness; On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.”
Unlike human beings, the Lord perfectly evaluates every situation and acts in righteousness. He always judges rightly. His very nature is love. He gives life. We can find refuge in our unfailing God even as destruction and chaos abound.
God is present.
We also can experience distress on a personal level. Illness, economic hardship, marriage and family difficulties—these issues account for some of the anguish we undergo throughout life. Yet God remains, and Psalm 59:9-10 offers us comfort:
Because of his strength I will watch for Thee, For God is my stronghold. My God in His lovingkindness will meet me.”
Did you catch that phrase? My God … will meet me. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t leave us to care for ourselves. He’s with us. When we encounter hardships of every shape and size, let’s look for the Lord, our stronghold.
God is our strength.
What distress weighs on your heart today? Maybe more than one presses you. Regardless of the burden (s) we bear, God is stronger. Mightier. The first part of Psalm 59:16 plus the opening portion of verse 17 read:
But as for me, I shall sing of Thy strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Thy lovingkindness in the morning … O my strength, I will sing praises to Thee.”
Nothing can prevent our God from protecting and delivering us. We can face adversities with confidence, praising the Lord beforehand for His power. While this truth doesn’t promise freedom from suffering, it confirms that God makes us strong when we rely on Him.
God is our help.
When we’re sinking in times of distress, let’s lift our eyes to the Lord. In tender love, He helps us, responding to our cries. He rushes to our aid. I love to envision Psalm 18: 6 & 10:
In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears … And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.”
Sometimes we don’t know what to do or say. We lack understanding and wisdom. And when a situation doesn’t specifically touch us, we often continue in apathy. Oh, I’m so ashamed to see this trait in myself. Lord, please give me your heart!
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
I pray this post has comforted your soul, for God alone is our refuge in distress. He’s also present plus our strength and help, which enables us to respond to the mess in our world by saying,