“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”Psalm 46:1
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What is your source of comfort? Do you reach for the pint of ice cream or a fuzzy blanket? In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews’s character famously sang about her favorite things to comfort young children during a thunderstorm. I keep a mental list of my favorite things to get me through a tough day. While I don’t have cream-colored ponies or crisp apple strudel on hand, I do have my pet terrier and a creamy bowl of macaroni and cheese. The moment you grab your favorite things, you suddenly get a sense of peace and happiness. But how do you feel when you finish the pint of ice cream or when your dog isn’t in the mood to cuddle?
Why do we reach for such perishable things in times of trouble? The world rages with sadness and heartache. We often forget to even mutter the Lord’s name or go to His Word. Without the Lord’s Word, we are led down a path of destruction. Sin takes over, and you barely notice it anymore. What once seemed like a terrible and unforgivable sin is now just another part of your day. Sin is comforting. We do what we want, how we want, when we want. Sounds great, right? Eventually, we can despair that our ways and “favorite things” all perish away. While all our favorite earthly things will fail and perish, God is immortal and unchanging. God’s Word draws us back to His eternal plan.
Psalm 46:5 says, “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.” God dwells in the person of Christ and also dwells in you. Christ dwells in your heart and body because you were washed with the water of Baptism and are fed with His own body and blood. God is in the midst of you. He will not let you be moved.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (v. 10). Be still. You have been marked as a redeemed child of God, our great fortress. If God is a God who can make mountains move and tremble, surely He can take care of you. He is a “very present help.” Not an ancient help or a someday-in-the-future help—He is your refuge and strength right here and right now. In Him and His Word, you will find comfort through all life’s difficulties. He gives us a physical means of comfort through the Sacraments. When the pastor speaks the words of Absolution, you know that God has forgiven all of your sins. Jesus is our true joy now and forever!
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.