A while ago I heard about this beautiful painting called ‘Peace in the midst of the storm’ by Jack.E.Dawson. The painting is of a crashing waterfalls and thundering storm against a rock, and in the midst of all that a small bird is resting peacefully in the cleft of that rock.
We live in a really difficult time. People are feeling discouraged and depressed thinking about the future in this uncertain world. It sometimes feels like nothing we do actually helps. It is like pouring water into a hollow vessel. Everything around us is a mess and chaos. Worldly kings and kingdoms are shaken, everything feels like it is falling apart. Safety and security of life has become a great concern.
During these difficult times Psalms 91 has become a personal song of comfort and strength for believers.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1-2 ESV
When we make the Most High God our refuge, He offers us protection and refuge under His wings. We make God our refuge when we run to Him and abide in Him. Not only in bad times, but at all times He should be our dwelling place. Continually abide in Him.
For that bird to find security in the cleft of that rock, it knew the place well. And the bird is not worried because it’s strength is not in itself; but on the rock in which the bird is hiding and resting. Bible says the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous shall run to it and they are safe. Not everyone will run to it. Only the righteous ones. And how do we become righteous ? Definitely not by our good works (Romans 3:9-12), but by our faith in Jesus Christ.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 ESV
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
God gives us rest on every side.
In Psalms 27: 5 David says like this
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:5 ESV
When we look into the life of David, we see how he puts his complete trust in God and was able to stay calm through the storms of His life. Even before he was anointed by prophet Samuel, he faced challenges. We see his trust in God when we read 1 Samuel 17, where David is explaining to King Saul the time when he killed a lion and a bear. After his victory over Goliath, his life became so hard. He was on constant run for his life. But through it all what sustained him is his trust in Almighty God. He made the Almighty God his refuge.
David after becoming the king, enjoyed so many privileges. He had wealth, he had power, he had all the pleasures. But even with all this wonderful things around him, he understood God alone is his refuge and the only one he should trust. David made mistakes few times, but he understood his mistakes, asked for God’s forgiveness and came back to the presence of Almighty God. And we read in 2 Samuel 7 that God gave David rest from all his enemies all around.
We read in Joshua 21:43-45 that God gave Israelites rest on every side and not one of the enemies stood against them. When we make Almighty God our refuge,and rest on Him and trust Him with all our heart , He will give us rest from our enemies.
It is a choice.
Finding refuge in God’s presence and abiding in Him is a choice that we have to make. We should choose to live under the authority of Jesus. When we obey His rules, His commandments, doing His will and live under His authority we will have protection and provision. But the moment we step outside of His authority we become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. Living under the authority of Jesus is a beautiful blessed experience. He is the Lord of your life, the one who has the power over everything is your leader. He has power and authority over the nature, he has power and authority over sickness and death. He rules over everything. And He is our leader; He is our refuge; under His care we have safety and rest.
Apostle Paul wrote this beautiful hymn in Colossians chapter 1:15-20 exalting Jesus and proclaiming His supremacy and sufficiency.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Colossians 1:15-20 ESV
Yes, Christ is supreme over everything. Jesus won the victory over the enemy once and for all. He suffered the wrath of God, took the punishment of our sins/disobedience on the cross. When we believe in Him and accept His Lordship in our lives, we become His children. The enemy will not be able to claim any authority over us because we are cleansed, purified and marked by the blood of Jesus. And as a Father he protects us and take care of us as we choose to abide with Him. Everything is created by Him and through Him and He is the one who holds everything together.
His presence is our provision!
And when we are faced with challenges He strengthens us with His presence. When sufferings comes, He gives us His grace to endure through it.
Christ advocates for us , He intercedes for us and He sustains us.
And as Paul says nothing will be able to separate us from His love. And no matter whatever happens, for a child of God there is always everlasting joy and peace in His presence.
A child of God knows the limits of the enemy and at the same time the limitless God whom he serve!
The bird in that cleft of the rock knows how far the water will come. When we make God our refuge we should know that He has set the limit to waters, troubles that comes our way. He has marked out the boundaries.
“when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth,”
Proverbs 8:29 ESV
“Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.”
Jeremiah 5:22 ESV
“But now thus says the Lord, 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. 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.”
Isaiah 43:1-2 ESV
Trust Him and abide in Him. Believe in Him and Make Christ your refuge. Accept Him as the Lord and Savior of your life. Enjoy the rest and peace He is offering us.
During the beginning of this year God gave me this verse from Isaiah chapter 26 as a promise verse for my family and this has been our song and prayer through all these months.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV
And this is my prayer for you today. That you will trust this everlasting God forever and you will enjoy His perfect peace. May God bless you all.