Taking Refuge in His Words

Have you ever been at the receiving end of encouragement; when people tell you to take refuge in Him? But when you are all alone, you didn’t even know how to do it?

When I was a child, I usually hear and sing along to the song while at the church:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of Most High; shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

And I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I will trust.

I know the words and the melody, but at that time, it was only a stock knowledge. I don’t even know how to make God my refuge. Until my grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996. I have been praying to God and that is the time I have started to apply in my life to dwell in God’s words and promises. At that time, I didn’t know yet, that being in God’s word, meditating it, praying the psalms to God, is actually an act of taking refuge in Him.

As different circumstances come into my life, from one season to another, I have been learning to trust and abide in His words. Proverbs 30:5 says: ”Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him”.

In the scriptures, God has been emphasizing that His words are trustworthy. He said that He is not a man that He should lie (Number 23:19). Even if the grass withers and the flowers fade, the Word of God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8). And what can be more assuring than this:

Thus says the Lord: “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

In Psalm 19, David listed down some of the benefits when we abide in God’s Word:

  • God’s word revives our souls (v7)
  • It makes the wise simple (v7)
  • Gives joy to our hearts (v8)
  • Gives light to our eyes (v8)
  • God’s words warn us from sins and dangers (v11)
  • Following God’s word will give us a guarantee that we will succeed

We can take refuge in God’s word because God’s word is perfect in every way (Psalm 19:7). Each of His commandment is right (Psalm 19:9), and nothing He says ever needs to be changed (Psalm 19:9). Because of all these reasons, we can be assured that God will be there for us as our refuge and shield, covering us with His mighty wings despite the storms we are in right now.

Note: This is a continuation of my reflections and God’s impression on my word for the week Refuge.

Surely Goodness!

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I would like to share one of my all-time favorite verses about God’s goodness as I conclude this week meditating on my word for the week – Good.

This verse is a conclusion to one of the ”most recognized chapter”, not just on the book of Psalms but in the entirety of the Bible – Psalm 23. Whenever I meditate on this word, I always get reminded His goodness in my life – passing grades in one dreadful subject in college, gave me a new job right after I resigned without a backup plan, miracles over my family.

I like how the The Passion Translation Bible transcribe Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough.”

‭‭David acknowledged that the Lord is his best friend and his Shepherd. In the succeeding verse, still in TPT version, David remembered how the Good Shepherd offers him rest in his luxurious love.

In a world of haste and technology, I often ended up tired and weary. Or at times, I have been talking a lot to people at work but I get lonely at night when it is time to retire. There are times that all I could do was cry – but every time I felt empty, and when I start running to Him, He always fills my cup with His love and I always get a good rest afterward.

Our Good Shepherd always guides us so that we could have rest for our exhausted heart, downcasted souls, and anxious minds. And at times when we perceived that we are walking towards suffering or darkness, He strengthens our heart and giving us His comfort that He will not leave us nor forsake us.

The comfort of Your Love takes away my fear. I’ll never be lonely, for You are near. Psalm 23:4

Just as Jesus declares in John 10:11, He is our good Shepherd; the one that will lay down His life for sheep. If He can put aside His deity and give up His life for me, what else I could ask for that He could not give? For indeed, in His death, I have the affirmation that His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life – this may pertain to the wholesomeness of the temporal things that we need while we are here; but the greatest assurance that I have is that one day, because of what the Good Shepherd has done, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever where His goodness and mercy does not end.

    So why would I fear the future?
    For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.
    Then afterward, when my life is through,
    I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! – Psalm 23:6

No Good Thing Is Withheld

As I continue to meditate on the goodness of our Lord for this week (blog posts theme for the week is the word Good), I wanted to share my reflections on Psalms 84.

Last Friday, my flight to Manila was cancelled due to a runway excursion. I am on leave from Friday until today. I told God that I am not ready to do nothing for five days. I was mentally prepared to be tired, as I was supposed to embark on three flights last weekend in less than 24 hours. But due to an accident in Manila Airport, all my flights for Friday and Saturday was cancelled.

I was telling God, I am not mentally prepared to do nothing. When I am not doing anything, I am always in solitude and likes to reflect on things. But yesterday, I felt that there are certain circumstances that the devil was using in order for me to doubt that God’s answer to my prayers. One part of my brain is telling me that God is an all-powerful God and He is good all the time; then one part of my brain is trying to tell go and check your phone for updates. One moment, I am telling my brain, God’s timing is perfect; He is neither early nor too late. I was anxious yesterday, that I feel lonely and needed to talk to someone.

Similarly, the author of Psalms 84 wanted to escape the anxious and bustling city and meet God in His holy temple; I am anxious to escape my complicated-wired brain and be at ease with the presence of my God. I have been repeating the verse from Psalms 73:25 – “Whom I have in heaven but You?”. I wanted to run so badly to God because half of my brain wanted an assurance, and half of my brain keeps reminding me He is God; He knows what He is doing.

While pondering, the Lord has brought peace to my fidgety heart and distressed mind. I may not be in a physical temple yesterday, but I rejoiced that our body became the temple of the Living God. I can have my encounters with Him at times when my thoughts are dampening my faith and spirit. I can be assured that being with God, I will feel better. If my flesh and my heart will fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).

Suddenly, God reminded me of His goodness on that specific prayer item. He reminded me that He didn’t withhold any good things from me. Yes, my faith at times falter, but the Holy Spirit, my counsellor, keep reminding me that He always works on our behalf. We are His delight, therefore, all good and perfect gifts are from Him. He didn’t say that we will not experience waiting, but we will go from strength to strength during the season of anticipation.

This I say to the Lord, He is my sun and my shield. As surely as the sun rises from the east and sets from the western horizon, I can be assured that there are no good things that will be withheld as long as we obey and desire to always walk with Him. Thank You Lord, for indeed You are good.

Weekend Worship: God, You’re So Good (Passion)

Yesterday, I posted a blog about my meditation on the word “Good”. Last week, during our service, one of the worship leaders said that if you never experienced goodness, then you don’t know God.

God is so good and He keeps inviting us to come and taste His goodness. Truth be told, I also have my own prayers that I have been lifting up to God; some as old as last year, two years, three years and some as new as yesterday. I am not a Super Christian, I feel anxious too about when God will answer my prayers. I am just like anyone else who is always on the wait.  But in my waiting time, God always reminds me that He is faithful and that He is good. God is good and this is one of the attributes that we can’t take away from Him.  His goodness extends even to the death of His only begotten Son on the cross. Therefore, I can fix my eyes to Jesus as God’s reflection of His great love for us and the assurance that His goodness will always be there for me and in His perfect time, the Lord will answer all my prayers.

As you play and meditate on this song, I pray that you encounter God’s goodness and amazing love in the waiting season of your life.

Word Study: Good

During my personal bible studies, I like to focus on one word and meditate on it. This week, I am meditating the word “Good”. The word “Good” is very common that at most times when someone asked how life is treating us, one would respond, “good” – even if they don’t feel good at all.

In Psalm:8, David is inviting us to come and see that the Lord is good; not the “good” definition of the world. He is inviting us to experience and encounter God’s divine goodness. The adjective good in the dictionary has several meanings and God’s goodness is never short of manifestation in a believer’s life; the goodness that surpasses our own understanding;  for His goodness and mercies are new every morning.

God is good all the time, we cannot take this away from His attributes. We may find ourselves in difficult situations, but God does not change. What we may view as something bad, may be viewed by God as something good for us, to mould us and transformed us to become more and more like Christ. God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. But this one thing we can be sure of, despite the difficult times, we can take refuge to God, for He is good, all the time.

You Can’t Hurry Love

I first heard that song when I was in university – my friends and I had a long break so we decided to watch the movie Runaway Bride. You probably have seen the movie and it’s a bit funny and there is a hint of truth that, when we view love from the worldly perspective, truly we can’t hurry love.

But what if I tell you today that someone is in a hurry, to love you? You must probably say, “Nah, that is too good to be true!”.

We know how to love because He first loved us. Do you ever wonder when did God first loved us?

Even before the foundation of this world, God has loved you and me already. He has chosen us, to be His sons and daughters even at the beginning of the age. It was because of His great love, He has ordained us, so that we may be holy in His eyes (Eph 1:4). Even before we are formed in our mother’s womb, He has loved us. What an assurance we have in God’s love.

That brings me to the story where the Author of Love didn’t shy away rushing towards us. Perhaps, you know the story of the Prodigal Son – we are all too familiar with the story that we forgot that the core of that story is that, when we truly acknowledge and humble ourselves before the Lord, He will stop whatever He is doing and He will run towards us and shower us the affection that is overflowing in Him. Can you imagine the God of heavens, the King of Kings, running towards us? Sometimes, most of the men will have difficulty understanding such display of overflowing emotion – men felt that only women are emotional. God’s immense love for you and me are not defined by our hormonal structures, nor by our biological X and Y chromosomes.

And you say, you can’t hurry love? No, God is in a hurry to love you because God is chasing after you – wanting to love you despite the ifs and buts we have in our lives. As I end this post, I am sharing to you one of my favorite song growing up – I pray that this song will touch the core of your heart and realize just how much He loves you and me.

Photo and video credits from Youversion and Youtube respectively.