I am not a stone. I have heard men claim that they never need encouragement, that they can go throughout their life, chin up, head held high, wading through whatever difficulty may come with the greatest of ease. I don’t know if I really believe such claims, since even the Son of God needed encouragement, even the Christ needed to be strengthened, but if the claims prove to be true, I envy such men.
I woke up this morning less than enthusiastic about facing the day’s many challenges, and as I often do, turned to the Word for some solace and comfort. Often times God chooses to speak to us through His Word in such a way that a few verses can ease even the greatest of distress. Yes, it would be more interesting and it would make for a better post if I had heard an audible voice, or had a supernatural experience, but just going to God’s Word was sufficient for me on this particular day.
God knows what we need when we need it. Vitamin C is all well and good, but you can take it by the truckloads and still not get rid of a toothache. The beauty of our heavenly Father’s comforting is that it comes not only at the right time, but also in such a way that it has the intended effect.
I opened my Bible this morning to Psalm 46, a well-known passage in the Word, but one that I was able to see in a new light due to the way I was feeling.
Psalm 46:1-11, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, 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. Selah 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 mist of her, and she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
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 chariots in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”
Seeing the world as it is, and not as we envision it to be is enough of a reason to spark fears into the hearts of many a soul. The fears are all encompassing, ranging from fear of being unable to provide for one’s family in the coming years, to fear of persecution, to fear of yet another global nightmare called a world war. We know dark days are coming, we have been forewarned and some have even been called to sound the trumpet of impending judgment, yet seeing it so close, witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy, it makes one’s heart skip a beat if not two.
Although the world has every right to fear, the children of God must be fearless in these days. We have found the cure for the fear that is plaguing mankind, and the only place this cure is found is in God. A true child of God knows that he has a refuge and strength in the Father even during the darkest of times. A Christian must know beyond doubt that even in the eye of the storm, God is there. He is ever present, and His promises to His children are not mere empty words, but guarantees that come what may, He is with us. We have provision not by earthly means, but by way of God’s miraculous ability to provide.
Yes, nations may rage, kingdoms might be moved, but in the midst of all these things God will help His beloved. We are about to behold the works of the Lord, and witness as He makes desolations in the earth. It must be so, for He is a just God, and His is a righteous judgment. In the midst of these things, we as His beloved children must fear nothing. If only for a second we would be still, if for an instant we would learn to hear His voice, we would know that He is God, and He is able.
I share this with you, because it strengthened me this morning, and I pray that it will be a comfort and strength to some of you.
I wish I can say, as some are saying that the worst is behind us, it was just a glitch in the machine, that the failsafe system has kicked in and we are back on track to a glorious future, but even those who are saying such things are only saying them halfheartedly because the storm clouds grow denser and darker with each passing minute.
Our earnest desire now more than ever must be fellowship with God, and nothing more. When we seek fellowship with Him, and by repentance, righteousness and humble petition achieve it, our place of refuge, our provision, our peace and our joy become a byproduct of that fellowship. If however we seek the provision, and the refuge while bypassing the fellowship we will discover the vanity of what we pursued only when it is too late. Every fulfillment of God’s promises to His children flows through intimacy with Him. The best way I can describe it, is that intimacy with God is the river that carries the fulfillment of His promises to us.
I stress this point because it is inevitable that voices once more rise up urging you to go to one place or another, promising safety and refuge, convincing in both their zeal and determination. I cannot tell you what to do, or where to go, nor can any other man. Only God can speak to you in such a way that you will know He has sent you. We must however remember the words of Christ who said, “therefore if they say to you, ‘look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or, ‘Look He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”
It is this intimacy and fellowship with God, which we have been stressing lately, that keeps us from being deceived, for if we know the true voice of God, we will readily be able to discern the counterfeit.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.