Have you ever heard the saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
Friendship is one of the greatest blessings if this life. Today I want to talk about the great friend anyone could ever have. He is a “friend in deed’ not because He is in need but because we are. Solomon,one of the wisest men to ever live penned these words, “ A man who has friends must himself be friendly. But there is friend who sticks closer that a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Of course Solomon was speaking of God. He is the greatest friend. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life of his friends” (John 15;13). Jesus said to His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends” (John 15;15). The Bible says of Moses, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend “ (Exodus 33:11). We must conclude that not only is God the greatest friend anyone could have but that He want to be our friend too.
If there was ever a time we needed God’s friendship, it is now. We live in a catastrophic time. When evil replaces good, and the world is divided, we never know what’s going to happen next. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. When will our America be peaceful and proud again. When will our economy rebound or will it plunge even lower. I recent poll shows more than 70% of Americans feel safe only at home,
Aside from our national crisis, many are working through personal crisis. Some are in the midst of marital difficulties, some are facing financial problems or facing severe problems with their children. All of us have dilemmas we must face. And things just keep getting harder and harder.
Interestingly, Psalm 46 was written at a time of national crisis in Israel. Martin Luther King wrote a hymn and it sums up what is going on in the world today:
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us we will not fear, for God has willEd His truth to triumph through us.Martin Luther King.
There is so much evil in the world, the devil isn’t hiding any more, yet so many refuse to see him or his tactics.
As you look at your Bible, you may notice that Psalm 46 is divided into 3 parts. Verses 1-3 are about God’s presence as our refuge and strength at the end of the verse is the Hebrew word “Selah” which means to pause, mediate, consider, reflect. Verses 4-7 tell us about God’s power, that we can trust Him to bring us through anything.
God’s presence is our refuge.
God is our refuge and our strength. A very present help in trouble. (Verse 1)
The Hebrew word for “trouble’ refers to a tight place. We speak of being in trouble as being “between a rock and a hard place.
That is exactly the idea represented in the word. It means when the world is pressing in on you, when circumstances are strangling you, when you feel helpless and alone.
When we are in trouble we are to remember the two truths about God.
1. God is our refuge and strength.
Refuge carries the idea of shelter. Have you ever been caught outside in a storm! What do you want? Shelter! In a much greater sense, when the storms of life descend, God is our refuge. He shelters us from trouble.
Psalm 61 says, “I will abide in Your tabernacle forever, I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.’ It doesn’t mean God has big wings. It does mean that God is our shelter our refuge to strengthen us when trouble comes.
2. second God is a very present help, when we are in the midst of troubling times.
Present helps literally means ‘speedy aide.” God is always present and quick to come to our aide when things get rough.
God is not only our refuge and very present help. The Bible also says that He is our shield.
Psalm 3:3 says “ But You O’ Lord are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.’ God sometimes shields His people from trouble and sometimes He delivers His people from trouble.
Sometimes He sends our troubles away before we even know them. He refuses to let troubles enter our lives.
Have you ever thought back on your past, and thought “I shouldn’t have lived through that?” It would stagger us to know how much trouble God has shielded and protected us from! On the other hand sometimes God will allow us to face struggles, trials and tight places so He can teach us to rely on Him for deliverance, so we can learn that He indeed is our refuge.
Sometimes God calms the storm for His people, other times He calm His people in the storm.
In verses 2-3 we see that because God’s continual presence is our refuge, “Therefore we will not fear. Even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though it’s waters roar and be troubled. Though the mountains shake with its swelling
The earth and the mountains are symbols of stability. What is more stable the earth below our feet?
We always take it for granted. What is more solid than mountains! We don’t ever expect the earth to move. It is solid and permanent.
We can’t I. Our wildest imagination dream of the Great Rocky Mountains crumbling to dust and rolling to the Pacific Ocean! Yet we’ve seen many things in our lives that seemed so stable become suddenly unstable.
We saw the twin towers of the World Trade Center, symbols of our economic prosperity crash before our eyes in real time, we saw the symbol of our military defaced In Afghanistan. Our American standards and values being taken away. Our every day freedoms that so many take for granted be taken away from our own Government.
We have seen our personal stability shattered too, sickness, finances, homes.
What do we when our stability is shattered completely? The common response is panic, red crimson fear. The biblical response is found at the beginning of verse 2. Because God is our refuge, because He is our ever present help, therefore we will not fear,
In Mark 6:54-52 we find the account of Jesus sending Him disciples out in the midst of the storm on the Sea of Galilee while He goes to the mountain to be alone with His Father. Of course, in a small boat in the middle of a great storm, the disciples are panicking. Jesus comes to them, walking on water on the waves. At first they fear even more because they thing He is a ghost. He comforts them by saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I do not be afraid.’ He goes into the boat with them and calms the storm. Verse 51 concludes by saying, “They were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure and marveled.
How is Jesus our friend in times of trouble? Let me show you three ways from this account.
First He intercedes for us. In verse46, while the disciples were in the storm, Jesus was on the mountain praying. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” Hebrews 7:25 says, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to
Second, He sees us. Verse48 says, “He saw them straining at rowing.” The Lord is not blind to our struggles. If He keeps up with the number of hairs on our heads. He is aware of the burdens of our hearts. He knows what we are going through.
Third, He comes to us. Verse 48 says, “He came to then…” Verse 51 says Ge went “to them.” When we struggle. He comes right along beside us. Hebrews 13:5 says, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you not forsake you.”
God is our refuge He alone is stable, immutable, unchanging and unmoving. God will be with His people. He is our refuge. He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.