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The Alex McFarland Show-41-God is Our Refuge and Strength

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
January 19, 2023 6:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-41-God is Our Refuge and Strength

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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January 19, 2023 6:00 pm

A recent article that Alex wrote for The Stand details how Biblical deviance is the root of a lack of hope and stability, especially in younger generations. While Zillenials, Reals and Zogies have more doubts about faith in God than generations prior, and while their waning faith is to be expected, it comes at a hefty price. On today’s episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex explains why our culture has drifted so far from the word of God. More importantly, he shares overwhelming reasons from Psalm 46 that Christians can have hope, even in today’s world. 

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Hi, Alex McFarland here. So glad you're listening today. We are going to look at Psalm 46 on this edition of the program, and I think it'll be a word of encouragement. I greet you and I thank all of you who listen regularly. We are hearing from more and more people that listen not only to this pre-recorded show and podcasts, but the live radio show that we do Monday through Friday. We are live on nearly 200 radio stations throughout North America with that program, Exploring the Word. My co-host on that program is Burt Harper.

But this program, Truth for a New Generation with Alex McFarland, is just myself. And I want to say how much I give God the glory and how much I appreciate the people that you're reaching out and you're saying you listen to the program, you enjoy it, and you share it with friends. And as always, if you go to my website, which is alexmcfarland.com, my tour schedule, my travel, and the books that the Lord has allowed me to write, the broadcast schedule, it's all there, and I would encourage you to visit that. And please keep us in prayer.

I give God the glory. We do events, publishing, broadcasting. Though I really wasn't trying to build an organization, the Lord is enabling us to minister to so many people, and we're shipping out books to thousands of people every year. We're getting emails from thousands of people every month, many people coming to the Lord, many people coming back to the Lord.

And we give God the glory for that, because ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God is the hope for our nation and for our world. Now as I record this, and I'm going to read Psalm 46 and make some comments, but I was just reading a headline that said so many of young adults and younger, now I know you know the term millennials because it's been so much in the news in recent years, this large demographic nearly 100 people strong, the millennials that are roughly, you know, like 35 and younger. But I recently wrote an article that was published in the American Family Association Journal, also known as The Stand, and I would encourage you to go online to AFA Journal or Google The Stand, and you'll see my article about millennials, Gen Z, alphas, reals, soggies, and you say, I don't even know what that means. Well, younger and younger demographics, and the purpose of this show today is not to get into what are the nuances of those demographics. I would encourage you to read my article about youth and teens. But one of the commonalities is they believe that they will not have it as good as their parents had it. Now, you know, for many generations the American Dream, quote, unquote, was to, you know, get married, own a home, own one or two cars, raise a family, you know, take a vacation in the summer. The components of what many of us would call prosperity, young people do not believe they will ever live in a time of prosperity. That may be true.

I'm not sure about that. But I do know the instability of our nation is due to the fact that we have deviated and drifted away from God and moral truth. Not just drifting away from salvation, believing in Jesus, but as you all know, our country right now doesn't even believe in hardly any moral standards. In fact, as I was prepping for the program today, I was on the phone with a major ministry here in America, probably one of the top two Christian television ministries, and they've had many, many people give their salvation testimony, not only Christian leaders, but business leaders, actors, public figures, sports figures. And they were telling me that many of the people that are Christian today and many of the people that are Christians in the NFL and in pro sports have been told you cannot go on Christian programs and share your testimony anymore. Can't go on and talk about Jesus. If you do that, you could lose your contract.

And certainly the shoes like Nike and Adidas and all of these endorsement deals hang in the balance. I mean, you think about that. That is fascism. That is viewpoint discrimination. And my point in sharing this is that we are not only drifting away from God, truth, morality, but now powerful forces in our culture are actively engaged in the suppression of Christian content, such that people are being threatened. You can't speak at a Christian conference.

You'll lose your employment. You can't go on Christian television or Christian media. Can't talk about scripture. Can't talk about the Lord Jesus.

If you do, we won't do business with you. The marginalization and the attempted silencing of Christians. Well, that's why so many young people feel like the world will be worse and worse. They'll never have the American dream, they fear, because we're a culture drifting away from God. Well, I'm going to read from Psalm 46, and then I want to comment, because there is a word of encouragement. In dark times, in tough times, there's a source of encouragement, there's a reason for encouragement, and there is a tangible result of trusting in God for our hope. Now let me read from Psalm 46 here, and we'll elaborate. Psalm 46, in the Old Testament, says, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, there is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved.

God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved. He uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

There's speculation about what selah means, but in a way it means like, you know, amen, right on. Praise the Lord. And God is our refuge.

We say a big amen to that. Now verse 8 of Psalm 46 says, Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth. He breaketh the bow and cut the spear in sunder.

That means in two. He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen.

I will be exalted in the earth. And verse 11 of Psalm 46, just less than a dozen brief verses, but what comfort is here, verse 11 says, The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. And again, selah.

Amen. When we come back, we're going to talk about each one of these verses, God, our refuge and strength, and we're going to talk about the place of encouragement, the source of encouragement, the reason that we can be encouraged, and ultimately the result of our encouragement. This is Alex McFarland saying, Stay tuned. We're going to come back and talk about hope in a seemingly hopeless world. No, there is a reason to be hopeful, and we'll talk about that more when we come back. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In recent years, our nation has suffered greatly, and we seem to be on a rapid moral decline. We've rejected God, morality, and we've almost completely lost our sense of patriotism. It's no wonder that many are asking the question, Is this the end of America? Hi, Alex McFarland here, and I want to make you aware of my book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. You know, our nation has seen politicians that are corrupted by greed, and they've got a vested interest in power, and many of our elected officials seem to care little about the country that they've been appointed to serve. Read my book, The Assault on America, We Can Stand Up for Our Great Nation and Defend America Before It's Too Late.

It's available everywhere. You can learn more on my own website, which is alexmcfarland.com. Read the book, The Assault on America, How to Defend Our Nation Before It's Too Late. He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We are reading from Psalm 46, and this is just one of those passages of God's Word that really brings such encouragement and hope. You know, we have a contrast of localities. In verses one through three of Psalm 46, it talks about God being our refuge, and we don't fear that there are earthquakes and the seas are like tidal waves. Down here, there is shelter from the storm. But then verses four and five talk about another place, which is the city of God. Augustine, who lived 354-430, wrote about the city of God. And mark it down, there's a day coming when, as Habakkuk says, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as waters cover the sea. One day, the tabernacle of God is with man. And if you're a believer, you are headed to the city of God.

You know, so many old songs have been written. I'm bound for the Promised Land. Oh, who will come and go with me? I'm bound for the Promised Land.

But right now, there's this contrast of localities. A fallen, dangerous, godless world, and then that place of security. But you know, there is, even here in this fallen world, shelter from the storm. And then it talks about the fact that God is our refuge and strength.

Now think about this, folks. A refuge is a place of safety in a time of danger. And I don't know if you have a physical structure to get into, but you are in Christ if you're a believer. Galatians 3 talks about the fact that we are baptized in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5.17 talks about the believer is in Christ. Do you know right now, as a believer, you are enveloped, encased in security because you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ? John 10.28 says that where you are really, you are carried in the palm of his hand.

Isn't that something? That's a great refuge, isn't it? But then it says God is not only our refuge and our strength, but the word there means might. Now you might feel physically or mentally exhausted, but the Lord is your strength. Right now, remind yourself of the truth, and that every day you wake up, your heart is beating, you're awake and about.

I hope you're ambulatory, I hope you're healthy enough to get up and be about. But your strength is God. Isn't that something? And you have doubly another strength, and that's prayer. It's been said that prayer is the nerve that moves the muscle of God.

Isn't that something? So God is your strength. But verse 1 says he is a very present help in trouble.

Now let me explain what very present means. What that means, God is a very present help in trouble, it means that God is protection, provision, sustenance, you didn't even know you had. The phrasing there is interesting, because have you ever heard somebody use the phrase found money? I was talking to a friend of mine that owns a concrete company, and he found a way to pour concrete, and he gives a lot to missions, and he tithes off of his business. But he found a way to make and pour concrete and save money. And he was talking about the fact that his costs, he found a way to reduce his costs. And he said, you know, that's found money. It wasn't that he actually had more physical cash, but he found a way to reduce his costs. Well, in life there's very often found money. If you make a budget, you realize, okay, I can do without that latte or cappuccino in the morning, and over the course of a year I'll save several hundred dollars.

Maybe that's found money, right? Or you think of ways that you can reduce your expenses. Well, when it says God is a very present help in trouble, what that means, that's like strength and encouragement and resilience you didn't know you had. And it all comes back to re-reminding yourself.

Maybe you need to do this multiple times a day. You need to re-remind yourself of who God is, what God's promises are, and who you are in Christ. And you'll find that it's strength and hope you maybe had forgotten was there. Verse 2 says, Therefore we will not fear.

In other words, in light of this, we don't have to be afraid. The earth is removed, the mountains be carried into the sea, the waters roar and are troubled, and the mountains shake. Folks, if you've ever been in an earthquake and twice I have, once when I was very, very little, I barely remember it, it's just I remember the floor was shaking and my mom was really upset. But one time I do remember an earthquake because about five or six years ago I was on Exploring the Word with Burt Harper, and we were in the middle of a radio show. I was at my home in North Carolina, and the light fixture from the ceiling began to shake back and forth.

I didn't know what was going on. And I heard this rumble, and there is a train track near our house, and I thought, boy, that train is loud. And suddenly the floor was shaking, the house was shaking, we were in an earthquake. Some of you may recall, this was, I don't know, six, seven years ago, and this was an earthquake that actually cracked the Washington Monument. Let me say it's very unnerving, very troubling when the ground beneath your feet begins to shake up and down.

And I remember it well. And yet, that was minor compared to what is going on. We're in the middle of a cultural earthquake, a spiritual earthquake. We're quite literally in a battle between darkness and light for the future of our nation and ultimately the world.

But you know what? Even when the waves are crashing down, and the mountains are quaking, and this earth is reeling to and fro, the Bible talks about creation groaning, awaiting Christ's return. Creation itself seems to be aware that we're in this spiritual battle. Now I don't know if humans are longing for the return of Christ, but it's almost as if this world and the created order is reacting to the sin of man. And yet the Bible says we do not need to fear. Why? I'll tell you why.

I'll start this, and we'll elaborate when we come back. It says in verse four and five, there is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. That's the river of life flowing from the throne of God, yes. There are many polluted rivers and waters and trends and habits down here.

There is a culture of ungodliness, wokeness, moral relativism, sexual deviancy, gender confusion, dishonesty, corruption, the breakdown of the family, the abortion industry, an entertainment industry that loves to mock all things holy. But do you know what? There is a pure river of water of life flowing from God's throne and from God himself. And it says that this makes glad...in other words, it's the livelihood of the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. Now is that where you want to be? Do you want to be in the presence of God? Do you want to ultimately live in his tabernacles, in his presence? Because that's where life is.

Well, you can do that. And the pathway of life is to call out to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. And we often say this, Jesus is as close by as a prayer. Well, when we come back, we'll conclude our look at Psalm 46, hope in times of trouble.

So stay tuned, we're going to be right back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com.

He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back, Alex McFarland here. We're going to resume our look at Psalm 46 and all that we have in the Lord, but I do want to remind people that we have got a wonderful, wonderful schedule for the year 2023, and I want to encourage you to please go to my website, which is alexmcfarland.com. And a couple of things. For one, April 21-23, we're going to be in Paris, Tennessee, which is not far from Nashville, not far from Memphis, and it's Truth for a New Generation, our national apologetics worldview conference. The theme – listen to this – truth matters.

Yes, it does. Truth matters confronting the issues that will shape your future. That's the theme. Who's going to speak? Well, if you come to Truth for a New Generation, you're going to hear Abe Hamilton III in person, Will Addison, Miki Addison, Burt Harper from Exploring the Word, I'll be there, Carl Kirby from Reasons for Hope, one of the best speakers you'll ever hear in your life, and certainly one of the greatest speakers in the nation about creation versus evolution. Then, Kerry Lewis, my friend from Love Worth Finding, Adrian Rogers Ministries. He's going to be there.

This is going to be phenomenal. You can go to a couple of websites. One, you can go to my own website, truthforanewgeneration.com. That's the conference website, and you can register.

It's for all ages. We're going to be talking about defending the Christian faith. We're going to be talking about wokeness and what God can do in each of our lives to help us make a difference. You don't want to miss it.

This is our 49th such conference, and we always have people from many, many states. That's Truth for a New Generation, April 21 through 23 in Paris, Tennessee. But then also, I'm going to be at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center in western North Carolina, July 7 through 9.

I'll be finishing up my study of 1 and 2 Peter, thriving until he comes. It's going to be great. I was on the phone with the Cove yesterday. Already, people are signing up. Four dozen people have signed up from all over America. It will fill up, and it will be literally a mountaintop experience. Their website is thecove.org.

T-H-E-C-O-V-E, thecove.org. And then finally, our youth camps. For 20 years, more than 20 years, we've done a summer camp for youth, and I really prayed about it. Then last year, we did four summer camps.

This summer, we have seven youth camps. We're going to be in Colorado. We're going to be in Indiana. We're going to be in Michigan, Georgia, North and South Carolina, and New Jersey.

This is for middle school and high schoolers, teenagers. We'll be talking about God. How do we know God exists? How do we know the Bible is true?

How do I live out my Christian faith? We're going to be talking about America. We're teaching these young people not only Christianity, but citizenship. Yes, loving the Lord Jesus Christ, but loving America. And so the website for my summer camps is equipretreat.org.

Folks, it is very, very, very affordable. And as I said, we're all over the nation. New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, the Carolinas, Georgia, Indiana. We are somewhere near you in this nation. And so, youth groups, individuals, families, friends. I say this about our summer camps.

Invest a week that will count for a lifetime at the equipretreat.org website. Well, Psalm 46. Let me, as I conclude about verse 7, the Lord of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge. You know, I was traveling and I was on the road summer before last and driving to a speaking engagement. And I was way out in the middle of nowhere. This was kind of in the Midwest. And I wanted something to drink.

It was a hot summer day. So I didn't see like a real nice convenient store, but I saw this little kind of gas station and I mean it was about as rough looking as you could imagine, but they had a store and I thought I'm going to get a bottle of water. So I stopped my rental car and I go, now maybe you've been at some country store like this where on either side of the entrance door there are benches and some surly looking guys sitting there. And I mean these guys, it was the middle of the day and I thought, why are you guys not at work? But they kind of glared at me. And look, I'm not saying I was scared. I wasn't. But I will tell you, as I walked past these guys to get into this store, I kept my hand over my wallet.

I did that. So I go in there to get a bottle of water and I come out and they're looking at me and I'm thinking, you know, I want to get in my rental car and just get out of here. Well walking across this dirt parking lot was a little boy about like 10 years old and he had his fists clenched and he had coins in his fist. And I'm getting in the rental car and he looked at me and he looked at those guys that were between him and the front door of this little convenience store.

Again, this is like in the middle of nowhere. He kind of walked over to me because I was dressed, I guess, pretty nice business attire and these guys, you know, looked like they had just come off of a three day bender, right? And this little boy looked at me and he goes, will you walk in there with me?

And I said, okay. And so we started walking toward the convenience store and he said, I've got to get bread and milk. And my grandma sent me up here to get bread and milk. And he was afraid to walk past these men at the door of this convenience store. And look, I figured they might, you know, take his money or something. But he walked and as we got closer to the front door, this little kid, I mean, he just clung to my side and we walked in the store and those men looked at me and I really think they might have taken his money, but he didn't have enough money for milk and bread, so I helped him out to buy that and got him going and we left.

And when he got about halfway across the parking lot with his groceries, he looked at me as if to say thank you and he ran away. My point is this, that's how you and I are going through life. Life can be scary. Life can be very threatening.

But you know what? You've got the Lord. Verse 7 of Psalm 46, the Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Folks, when you're staring down something that looks pretty formidable, you just lean in all the more tightly to Jesus and you say, Lord, I need your help.

Lord, please be with me. And verse 8 says, Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. Now you say, desolations?

To make something desolate, means to put an end to something. Now, it says he's going to make wars to cease. All the weapons of warfare are going to be snapped in two, and spears broken in two, and the chariots burned in fire. And verses 10 and 11, it says, Be still and know that I am God. Right now, maybe what you need from the Lord is just to, just even mentally, if not physically, go to a quiet place, stop your world, and be still before God. And one of the ways that you get the peace and the presence of God, and you're able to hear his voice all over again as you get in the Scriptures, but right now, he says, I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth. See, one day, all of the sin, all of the falsehood, all of the violence, all of the persecution, all of the distortions of the news, the spin, the lies, the immorality, it's all going to come to an end, because God's name will not be profaned without repercussions.

God's revelation. And let me say, God's church church, the body of believers that follow the Lord, they're not going to be the marginalized minority persecuted forever. One day, and it may be very soon, there's going to be the sound of a trumpet, and that eastern sky will open up, and Christ will return. You can count on it.

Be sure of it. Verse 11 says, The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Today, in a world that has lost its way, in a world that seems to disregard truth, come back to that one who is your strong tower, your sanctuary, your security, in fact, your identity.

Who are you? You're a child of the King. You're a son, you're a daughter of the King, if you're a believer. And so, don't let the headlines make your heart troubled. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stand strong for truth. And know that the journey through this world is a journey that does have an end result, the presence of God. We're going from a fallen world to a redeemed world.

And every step of that journey, the Redeemer, the risen, victorious Lord Jesus, He is with you. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at alexmcfarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404, or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1. That's 1-877-Y-E-S-G-O-D-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of The Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-25 06:58:20 / 2023-01-25 07:09:50 / 12

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