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I’ve always thought of a refuge as a safe harbor in a storm, or a secure fortress in a battle, or a safe nook to curl up in and feel protected from the world. To me, verses like this meant that God kept me safe and I could hid in Him. And while that is true, it’s actually so much more! The Hebrew word for refuge is gasah and it means to place trust or confidence in. Therefore, we can rightly interpret Psalm 34:8b as The one whose confidence/trust is in God is blessed.
I like to think that I have confidence in God. After all, I’m a Christian. I profess to have a living faith and I try to walk it out. But what does it look like to place my confidence in God alone? When I start reading or hearing or observing the radical stories of men and women like Alex Krutov, Amy Carmichael, Chalice Howard, David and Elisabeth Elliot, Katie Davis, Smith Wigglesworth, Andrew Kelly, Christine Gibson, Adoniram Judson, Michelle Knisely, and my friend Suzette Davie, I wonder if I really understand what it means (and if some of those names are new to you, click on the links or use google — they are amazing folks who are doing beautiful things for the Kingdom).
I dream about dropping everything inconsequential in my life and just pursuing after the Master’s call as though it is the only voice I hear. I dream of being faithful enough to love Him more than anything else. But I’m all too human. I worry about things like where we’ll live in ten years, what we’ll be doing, and what our retirement accounts look like (and you know what, I’m not even convinced it’s a Biblical concept to save for retirement–still studying that one–but I worry about it!). And yet, I know we’re not even promised tomorrow. I pray, ask God to take care of a situation, and then start to micro manage it and attempt to make it all come out perfectly through my own efforts. I forget to rely on Him confidently. I call Him my refuge, but I make Him more of a pit stop on my journey sometimes.
I want to know what it looks like to really find my refuge in Him. It seems simple enough, but is it? Trust and confidence are not easy to give. They are based on emotional attachments and developed relationships, and those take time. If we don’t spend time knowing who God is, exploring His character, and building a relationship with Him, we can’t trust Him or have confidence in His promises. That is why in verse 8, it says to first taste and see that God is good. That is getting up close to Him and laying a foundation for the confidence and trust we are to put in Him.
Will you join me on this awesome journey? I want to take some time each day to get closer to Him and to trust Him more. I want to be intentional about putting my confidence in Him today. When I start to worry about all the things I need to do, I’m going to just stop and pray. I’m going trust God to handle it once I ask Him to. When I begin to stress about things beyond my control, I will recognize God’s sovereignty and pray. Then I will stop worrying and be confident that God loves me and will take care of me. When I begin to feel inadequate, I will know that God I am created for a unique purpose and will extend His grace as I need it. I will be confident in His promises.
*So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. (Heb. 6:18)
*my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior– from violent people you save me. (2 Sam 22:3)
*God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1)
*But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. (Ps 5:11)
*This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Ps 91:2)
*It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. (Ps 118:8)
*You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. (Ps 119:114)
Enjoy today … trust God … be blessed as you place your confidence in Him!