Finding Refuge in Times of Trouble



David penned
the following words declaring where to go and what to do in times of trouble
and oppression.  ‘The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of
trouble. Those who know Your name will trust You, for You, Lord, have never
forsaken those who seek You. Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what He has done.’
(Ps. 9:9-11)  David’s inspired words are instructive in
substance and eternal in relevance. 
Everyone has
oppression and/or trouble at times. However in these days, it seems times of trouble
and oppression are magnified since few of us live in cultures or nations that
lift up the name of Jesus.  If you live
in Africa you live amidst tribal influence, Islamic oppression, and political
corruption. If you live in Asia, you’re surrounded by government oppression,
religious persecution, and cultural animosity. If you live in America you
reside amid moral decay, secular mindsets, and spiritual hardness.  Regardless of geographic setting we face
individual and corporate trouble. That’s the bad news! But no matter how bad it
may seem, there is hope and help for those who lift up the name of Jesus,
praise His name, and declare His goodness. 
The promise
says…the Lord is a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble. He is the
safe place, the secure foundation, and the strong fortress
to defend,
uphold , and uplift you at all times! For those who ‘know’ His name…that
means those who intimately, deeply, substantively
know Him
. It is they, it is you and I that will therefore trust and
find refuge in Him. We will find security,
sanctuary, safety and strength in Him.
 
He is our place of refuge, our stronghold!  
David then puts
action to his spiritual insight. He says that in the midst of all this
oppression and trouble we should ‘sing praises to the Lord’. Wow! Our
flesh resists praise in the midst of problems. But our spirit, the
righteousness of God within us, earnestly seeks to praise and magnify Him in
the midst of trouble. Praising Him is one aspect of seeking Him.  Praise is directional. It is directed at
someone…Him; the opposite direction of the trouble or oppression. Praise openly
gives credit to Him for what He has done, who He is, what He will do. To praise
is to literally throw ourselves with open arms toward Him. As we praise Him, our
soul moves toward refreshing and revival. In other words we extract our mind
and heart from the trouble and enter the refuge and fortress of His presence.  
David then
goes farther!  He says to ‘proclaim among the nations what He has
done’.
  That seems crazy! In the
midst of our own problems we are to speak of Him to nations?! Can’t we at least
stay in our own backyard? No! We are to live out the great commission (Matt.
28:18-20) even in the midst of OUR trouble.  When we praise the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit, we take on an assertive mindset rather than reactive mindset. We look boldly
outward to advance His kingdom. We know that if God is for us and is our
stronghold, we can assertively advance the Kingdom even in the midst of personal
or cultural calamity. We don’t have to wait until the culture or circumstances
change. We change the atmosphere of the culture as we proclaim Him in the
nations.  Today, praise Him and proclaim
Him!!

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