In every life, there are —or will be—times when the world is suddenly shaken, and we find ourselves vulnerable and afraid. It’s as if the ground beneath our life violently shifts, and the things we thought would keep us safe suddenly vanish. We long for refuge.

As I write this we’re living in threatening times. In these difficult days, many governors have issued orders for people to stay in their homes until the threat of a very contagious, menacing virus is contained or remedied. In the Bible, Romans 13 reminds us that, as people of faith, obeying those God has put in authority is an essential part of an obedient, Christ-centered life. 

Even as it’s right that we do this, it’s also important to remember that God alone is the ultimate, perfect shelter for all who have put their trust in Jesus. God is our refuge! The word ‘refuge’ means a dwelling place of safety, and the Bible goes to great lengths to reveal God’s promises to be a haven for us. Take some time to let these verses from God’s Word rest in your soul:

“But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. “(Isaiah 25:4)

“O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8)

“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” (Nahum 1:7)

“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” (Psalm 91:2)

“Lord, you are my strength and fortress, my refuge in the day of trouble!” (Jeremiah 16:19)

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” (Hebrews 6:18)

God, who is sovereign over all things, is our refuge—this is good news!  The only question that remains is this: Will I rest in God’s shelter and obediently follow Him, or take matters in my own hands? 

In a recent television interview about the current health crisis, one Christian theologian pointed to the Passover, when the Israelites were commanded by God to stay contained in their own homes whose doors were marked with the blood of the lamb. They did as they were told and were spared from the death that visited Egypt that night. I wonder what would have happened if one or more of them decided to go it alone, disobey that command, and venture outside? I doubt it would have ended well for them! Trusting in God implies that we will not put Him to the test with reckless words or actions that are counter to His leading. Instead, trusting God means we will follow Christ—the Lamb whose blood covers us— and show our love for Him by obediently remaining under the refuge of His protective wings (see Psalm 91:4).

My friends, in these difficult days, let’s speak God’s promises aloud as we also obey the leaders He has put in place. Most importantly, let us remain in the haven of God’s protective shelter, resting confidently in His power and promises.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1)

God bless you!

Chris Atkins