Devotion for Aug 1-3, 2017

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the
shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my
fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” …Because you have made the
LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no
evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.”
(Psalm 91:1-2, 9-10).

Many of our problems in life come as a direct result of something we
have done—usually a bad decision, and unkind remark, the aftermath
of sinful behavior. But many times problems are just dropped in our
laps, unasked for. It’s impossible to know why some things happen to
some and not others, and in the end, knowing why probably wouldn’t
help us that much. Knowing how to respond to such problems is far
more useful.

Psalm 91—one of Martin Luther’s favorites—is a psalm that
recognizes that threats lie in wait for us, looking for a sneak attack.
When we are attacked by the world, our flesh, and the unseen forces
of evil, we can try to defend ourselves with our own efforts, or we can
acknowledge that God is the One who protects and guards us.
This Psalm may have been sung before one of the kings of Judah after
a near escape from attacking armies. Regardless of the original
context, the voice of faith rings out: “My refuge and my fortress, my
God, in whom I trust.” Not only does God let us borrow the
defensive and offensive spiritual weapons that belong to Him (see
Ephesians 6), He Himself is like a fortress of protection.
When we are attacked physically or spiritually, it can feel like we are
left alone to contend with the consequences. This Psalm points us to
the confidence we can have in God, our mighty fortress. To trust in
God is to rest in His total protection.

God does not promise in this Psalm, or anywhere else in Holy
Scripture, to keep us safe from all harm; He promises to keep us safe
in the midst of all harm and danger. Christians are never exempt
from suffering—but we are exempted from suffering the eternal
consequences of that suffering.

Jesus took the ultimate attack and endured the cross for you. He let
Himself be killed, only to secure resurrection-victory on the third day,
all for you! And now, as your Mighty Fortress, Jesus is with you
during every attack of body and soul.

Knowing we are protected leads us to rest in the completed work of
Christ our Lord, at all times. In faith, we too can say, “My refuge and
my fortress, my God in whom I trust.”

PRAYER Heavenly Father, we know Your Word forever shall abide.
We also know that You Yourself fight by our side with weapons of the
Spirit. Were enemies to to take our house, Goods, honor, child, or
spouse, we know that even if these things were wrenched away, You
would still prevail through the dying and rising of your Son, Jesus
Christ. In the midst of struggles and problems, help us take
confidence in You, our refuge and our fortress. Amen.