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God is our Refuge and Strength

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 God is our refuge and strength

Psalm 46 is one of the most encouraging and profound chapters in the Bible, especially when you’re going through times of trouble. It reminds us of one of God’s promises in the Bible: God is our refuge and strength. In this post, we will do a deep dive into each verse to understand what it means and how to apply the lessons in our lives as Christians. Psalms 46 always reminds us that whenever we are in doubt we can always call on the Lord because he is an ever-present help in hard times. 

The title of this psalm is: To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth. These sons of Korah were Levites, from the family of Kohath. By David’s time, it seems they served in the musical aspect of the temple worship.

(2 Chronicles 20:19)

Let’s take a deep dive look into this inspiring chapter.

castle wall with the text God is our refuge and strength: what it means and two ways to seek his comfort

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 46: 1 ESV

The word refuge in verse 1 is a place of shelter from pursuit and danger. God is a strong refuge to His people during difficult times. Because he is all-sufficient and all-powerful our help will come from him so there is no reason to fear.

He is near us in our day of trouble because the love of God is so deep. He is not a distant helper but a very present help. We have access to the power of God and his protection. The Lord’s everlasting arms are our safe space, and he is the strength of his people when they are weak. Any other person or place of refuge will not hold us and is not as reliable as God is.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.

Proverbs 18:10 NKJV

Martin Luther wrote the famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God’’ in which Psalm 46 served as his inspiration. Psalm 46 was Martin Luther’s favorite Psalm. The leader in the Reformation church wrote this great hymn with these powerful words, “A mighty fortress is our God a bulwark never failing. Our helper He, amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing.”

“A Mighty Fortress” is used to describe God as our defense who protects, and keeps his people safe. A bulwark that never fails is a wall of a fortress that can never be broken into because it’s so strong. The mortal ills are more than just diseases. There are tough situations that we may find ourselves in as Christians. In all these God is a very present help.

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psalms 46:2-3 ESV

God’s word assures us that because we have an ever-present help in difficult times, we will not fear and be anxious. Rather, we will find comfort in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. These two verses emphasize that even if the worst comes to the worst and we face the destruction of the world, a ravaging pandemic, and persecution of the church or any trials and tribulations, the power of God is unchanging. We may face earthquakes, floods, and other chaotic and catastrophic natural disasters as we have no control over natural disasters.

Whether we face physical battles or spiritual battles in this world, we don’t need to be afraid or worry because God’s gracious presence will be constant. Whatever we are facing, the safest place to be is in God’s strong refuge. He has pledged to be our sanctuary and never to abandon us.

As a child of God, he works on your behalf just like he did with the people of Israel. He led them many times into wars and battles against armies that were more powerful than them, but they trusted the Lord, and they were victorious. At one point, after defeating the Amalekites, Moses built an altar named Jehovah Nissi (the Lord our Banner). God’s character is proven, and so we can trust him.

Selah is a pause in the psalm to meditate on what has just been said. It’s a time to be calm and remember God’s promises in this psalm.  

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

Psalms 46:4 ESV

The Psalmist infers the clear, calm, refreshing, and serene river flowing through the city of God, which refers to the church that the Lord builds and dwells in. The streams of this river make that city glad, not anxious and fearful. The river, flowing peacefully and smoothly, is a sign of the eternal God’s presence, serenity, and blessing. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High represents the dwelling places of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It’s in his presence that we will find a safe place to rest in.

When we abide in Jesus Christ and he in us, we learn to cast all our anxious thoughts in prayer to him and become confident in God’s power. In Jesus Christ, we enjoy a peace that surpasses human understanding because he is the Prince of Peace.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 KJV

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

Psalms 46:5 ESV

This is a powerful description of God being in the midst of His people working in and through them. We are reminded that He has not forgotten His people, so we should not have little faith. This Bible verse has such empowering words because God commands us to be still even in the midst of difficulty.

The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

Psalms 46:6 ESV

We need to have faith and confidence in God’s power which is demonstrated throughout both the Old Testament and New Testament. At the sound of his voice, the earth melts indicating the power of God to destroy even what appears to be indestructible. In Matthew 8:23-27, we see how Christ Jesus was in the midst of the sea with his disciples and a violent storm arose while he slept. His disciples’ natural response was to panic and they woke him up. Then he calmed the storm.

The Lord God of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt.

Amos 9:5 ESV

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psalms 46:7 ESV

As a child of God, you have nothing to fear because of God’s protection which he provides you. He was there for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and promises us that He will always be by our side, fighting for us as well.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.

Psalms 46:8 ESV

When we see the works of the Lord, his judgment, and what he has done on our behalf we will be amazed. He has destroyed the destroyer (our enemy), and as we look all around, we see evidence that he cares, protects, and is ever-present.

The Psalmist exhorts God’s people to consider what He has done for them. We must never forget His magnificent works that delivered us from devastation. We must maintain these incredible acts in our minds.

image of a wooden boat on water with Matthew 8:23 through 27 for the post God is Our Refuge and Strength

 In the middle of our busy schedules, we should give ourselves a moment to contemplate what God has done in our lives. We should closely examine and recall what God’s unseen hand has performed on our behalf. This bible verse encourages us to reflect on the faithfulness of God in the past to help us persevere during difficult circumstances.  We have prayers the Lord answered, situations he managed, and doors he opened. Let us recall what God has done in the past to bring us into the present. This is a call to re-examine what the Lord has done and be grateful.

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

Psalms 46:9 ESV

God defeats all of his enemies and destroys their weapons, bows, and spears.  The context of this verse is a celebration of God’s protection and complete power over our enemies.

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalms 46:10 ESV

This is one of the most popular and encouraging bible verses that calls us to surrender to God, wait on him, and accept his sovereignty. In the middle of difficult circumstances, our natural response is to panic and be scared. But God instructs us as His people to remember His greatness and His glory. We can be still because we know we have a safe place in Him.

In that light, the tone of this bible verse encourages us to quit struggling, fighting, worrying, and attempting to do things on our own. The Lord is your mighty fortress and source of strength. Allow Him to fight your spiritual battles and trust Him.

Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him and entrust yourself to Him;

Do not fret (whine, agonize) because of him who prospers in his way,

Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Psalm 37:7 AMP

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psalms 46:11 ESV

We shall not be afraid of what the enemies can do since the Lord of hosts, the God of armies, is with us. The God of Jacob is our strong refuge and he will never desert his people in hard times. We should meditate on this truth and be confident in the Lord we serve.

The Bible says all our hard times are not forever. They are only for a moment so we can have faith in God.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Isaiah 41:10 KJV

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV

Always be reminded that God is our refuge and strength in our most difficult times. We can always run to Him because He provides a strong tower for us so that we feel safe.

The word of God proves in both the Old Testament and New Testament that in all difficult circumstances, we can always turn to him because he is a very present help to us. He doesn’t help from a distance but is there in the midst of the storm with us. May God help you to put your trust in him for he will never disappoint you.

The songs below have been a comfort and strength to me when going through difficult times. I pray that they encourage you as well.

You may also enjoy this sermon God is Our Refuge | Prayer Meeting | by Pastor John Lindell

Or one of these highly recommended resources:

God Is My Hiding Place: 40 Devotions for Refuge and Strength by Corrie ten Boom

God is Our Refuge and Strength by Dr. Grell Ferdinand

Bag Charm, God Is Our Refuge And Strength Charm, Psalm 46 1 Charm, God Is Our Help In Trouble, Clip-On Charm, Purse Charm, Faith Gift

God is our Refuge and Strength an ever-present Help in Trouble: Notebook lined with Bible verse Psalms 46:1

ESV – “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.”

NKJV – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Jackie Huizing-(hi-zing)

Saturday 31st of December 2022

Wow! I went to duck duck go to learn how to study the names of God and your site popped up. Praise God and it feels like I've known you a long time. Your writing is truth. Pure and led by the Holy Spirit. No question about it, thank you for your obedience to El Shaddai Adonai! I look forward to more of your teachings sister in Christ. Jackie H

Susan Nelson

Monday 9th of January 2023

I'm so glad to hear that my post blessed you! thank you for stopping by and have a blessed day!


Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you you for the revelation of the scriptures. I will meditate on the word. God my refuge and strength. Jesus said that in Him I may have peace, the peace of Jesus will persue it in the days of my life. May the good Lord continue to use you mightily. Gertrude

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

I'm so happy that it blessed you and you are very welcome. Have a blessed day!


Monday 22nd of February 2021

Thank you Sue for this awesome lesson. Reminder us to be still and trust God. For He cares for and about us. God bless your ministry always. Because of Christ Delicia

Susan Nelson

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

I'm so glad that it was a blessing to you! He loves us more than we can fathom! Thanks for commenting and stopping by!

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