There are times in life and in world events that I simply do not have words to adequately express what I feel needs to be said — what I want to say or relay. It is certainly good news to my weary heart that there is a Word higher than mine. And in that Word are words for every season of life and occasion that may exist.
Look at this:
1 God is our refuge and strength,Psalm 46:1-3
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
No matter our situation or predicament, God is our “refuge”. He is a safe place where we can find shelter in the storms of life. He is our salvation – our rock and defender – and can be trusted in and called upon at any time (Psalm 62:7-8).
He is our “strength”. Whether in want or plenty, we can know that He can and will strengthen us with His own strength that we can withstand and persevere (Philippians 4:10-13).
He is with us “always” (Matthew 20:28), even and especially “very“ present in “trouble”. We have already looked at Him being a refuge. Do not picture Him as a hiding place, but rather a fortress – a “stronghold” to specifically protect those who are “oppressed” and are “in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).
Since He is our “refuge”, provides us with His “strength”, and is “a very present help in trouble”, “we will not fear”. This does not say may not or should not. No, placing one’s hope and trust and faith in God is more sure than possibility.
It is as solid as the rock bottom that we find our selves hitting. It is deeper than the trouble we find ourselves in time and again. When we find that we have no one else, He teaches us that He is the only One we need.
The earth can give way. Mountains may crumble and fall into the sea. Tidal waves – both real and figurative – may roar and rage against us, threatening life, limb, and livelihood. All of the comforts that we enjoy may cease to exist or leave us.
But God has promised that He will “never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). And that is good news. It is good news because we are surely acquainted with bad news. It is good news because we are dismayed and afraid. It is good news because we have no other sure source of help. Ultimately, it is good news because our good God (Mark 10:18) has given it in His Word and His Word never fails or will ever pass away (1 Peter 1:25).
And that is the hope that we’ll sing about this Sunday – hope in a good God who will be our refuge in good times and bad, the days that seem desperate and those that make us glad. May we be reminded that there is a God in Heaven. His name is Jesus. He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7).
Here are our songs:
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,Isaiah 40:27-31
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
1 But now thus says the Lord,Isaiah 43:1-3a
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
- Desert Song —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Isaiah 35:1, Psalm 63:1, Psalm 69:3, Psalm 34:10, 1 Corinthians 4:11, Matthew 5:6, Genesis 22:14, Isaiah 43:1-3, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Revelation 21:4, 1 Peter 1:7, Zechariah 13:9, Psalm 56:10, Psalm 51:15, Psalm 142:7, Isaiah 54:17, Hebrews 3:18, Psalm 22:22, Deuteronomy 20:4, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 20:28, Ephesians 6:10-20, Exodus 14:14, Romans 8:17, Romans 8:37, Hebrews 10:23, 2 Timothy 4:1-3, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17, Psalm 13:6, Psalm 105:2, James 5:13, John 4:23-24, Matthew 9:37-38, Psalm 30:5, John 7:38, Romans 15:13, Psalm 126:5, Deuteronomy 15:10, Acts 20:35
- The Father’s House —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 21:15-19, Isaiah 57:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Matthew 11:28-30, Ephesians 5:27, Hebrews 12:2, John 14:6, Hebrews 9:15, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 64:8, John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8, Genesis 50:20, 1 John 4:8
6 [Humble yourselves], therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 5:6-11
- Your Great Name —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Acts 4:12, Luke 19:10, Psalm 106:8, John 3:17, Romans 8:1, 1 John 4:18, James 4:7-8, Revelation 5:9-10, Philippians 2:9-11, 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, Psalm 107:9, Psalm 68:5, Matthew 4:24, John 11:1-44, Job 19:25, Psalm 103:3, Revelation 11:17, Proverbs 23:11, Revelation 17:14
- Resurrecting —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: John 19:2-5, Hebrews 2:9, John 13:1-17, Philippians 2:10, 1 Peter 2:24, Psalm 93:1, Matthew 4:16, John 1:4-5, 1 John 4:18, John 8:12, Acts 4:8-12, Isaiah 25:8, Hebrews 2:14, 1 Corinthians 15:55-57, Psalm 145:1, Romans 6:23, John 14:27, Romans 8:9-11, Galatians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Galatians 2:19-20, Matthew 27:65-28:4, Acts 4:33
- (invitation) Almost Home —
Scripture References/Inspiration for the Song: Philippians 3:20, Psalm 34:6, Psalm 61:2, Philippians 3:12-15, Revelation 21:1-4, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12:1-2
If gathering in person, please remember that masks are recommended and that we need to remain vigilant in our social distancing measures. Continue to pray for those who are sick – not just our members but all those around the world.