Jan9ThuJanuary 9, 2020
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46.1).
Happy 2020 to all of you! It is not difficult to say happy new year to family and friends and those you encounter along the road.
Certainly, these casual greetings are important as a way of expressing hope and joy of the possibilities before us. However, it is also important to keep in mind that this coming year that God is greater than any ruler of any nation and is guiding not only our lives but also of the course of history. When we read Psalm 46 we are reminded that in spite of the many uncertainties in life God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble!
The author of Psalm 46 is not giving us a guarantee that things will go our way or tell us that we will have peace and prosperity in the new year. These words do not mean that illness, war, persecution and poverty will end. As I write this, tensions are mounting in the middle east and as the psalmist states later in Psalm 46 'nations are in uproar'. Rulers will come and go, but God will always be in charge. We can trust in our God. God is, was, and will always be 'our refuge and strength'.
How do we know this? In the last couple of weeks we celebrated the birth of the baby Jesus - 'born a child but yet a king. born to reign is us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring!, I like the way theologian, author and pastor, Eugene Peterson wrote that the Son of God “moved into the neighborhood" (John 1: 14 from 'The Message'). We are guaranteed that because Jesus came, God is present with us and is our “ever-present help in trouble.”