Right now in these uncertain and troubling times, we are all looking for comfort. Looking for encouragement, hope, and reassurance to displace the fear and apprehension we’re feeling and witnessing around us. Chapter 40 of Isaiah starts out with this verse, telling us that God is there to give us strength and hope…that His word stands forever (verse 8) and ends with these powerful words, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” (verses 29-30) Our comfort will be found in God and God alone…for in Him we will find hope and strength for another day.
Both the words refuge and shade essentially mean the same thing here in this verse…a place of protection. Psalm 107: 27-29 gives us a vivid picture of when we are battered by the storms of life, “They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits end.” But it doesn’t need to be that way if we will call out to God. For He is our shelter, our shade, our refuge, and our hiding place from the storm. (Isaiah 4:6) And in this place of protection…we can finally experience peace.
As a good defense maneuver, being positioned high up in the rocks afforded soldiers surveillance and security. During troubled times, we too need to seek the protection and refuge of the only reliable stronghold we have…God. For when we seek Him for solace…He’s always there.
Where does your source of strength come from today? For many, it comes from themselves. They’ll proudly flex their biceps and proclaim how strong they are. But in reality, they’re not a match to cancer invading their body, or a stroke robbing them of their mobility. We arrogantly think we’re strong enough to withstand anything…yet we’re not powerful enough to stop our own death. As Zechariah 4:6 tells us, “It’s not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.” Our source of strength must come from the Lord and not from ourselves…for in the end our strength is nothing but a vapor before God.
When you have night blindness, you have limited visibility in the dark…and take it from me, it makes driving at night very difficult at times. When we’re walking in the darkness of sin it’s much like having night blindness…we’re unsure of where we’re going, we’re full of fear, and we’re apprehensive about what’s up ahead. But the blindness of sin can be overcome by the light of God…for this light depicts the very essence of His character and holiness. And when we walk in that spiritual illumination of God’s light, our path is made sure.
Deuteronomy 33:27 goes on to assure us that, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” The Lord should be the very first one to turn to in times of pain and suffering, and prayer should be our first action, not an afterthought. For there is a place of security and a sense of peace amid any turmoil…it’s found only beneath the loving and everlasting arms of Jesus.
God’s merciful kindness is afforded to all. Whether great or small…prince or pauper…wealthy or poor, we can all seek protection and refuge in Him. And by trusting in God and experiencing His love first hand, His faithfulness will become our shield and rampart in times of trouble. (Psalm 91:4) For God’s love for us is beyond measure and beyond comprehension…and it’s available for all.