For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David. 1 Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. 2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. 3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. 4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. 7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. 8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. 9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. 10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Defeat, depression, anger, sadness, anxiety, stress, confusion… just some of my immediate reactions to being challenged by something or somebody that threatens to overwhelm me. These responses are induced by the belief that a solution lies within me alone. I either go into overdrive trying to work my way through the problem or I hide from the challenge pretending it will go away. Both these roads are not healthy roads to walk down, they lead to broken relationships and unhealthy behaviours.
God is always the ‘third road’ when faced with difficult circumstances. He is both a retreat and fortress to find protection within and a mighty warrior who advances forward to defeat his foes.
When I take refuge in him, stress and anxiety, fear and sadness dissipate as God reminds me of my identity as his son. He takes care of me, he loves me and instructs me. As I take shelter in his presence he also sorts out my own heart and aligns me to his desires.
Then, I know which battles he wants to fight and I can trust that if God is going into battle, then he will have the victory.
“God, teach me to seek refuge in you and to join you in battle.”
Written by Andrew Mellor