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A Place to Run

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 8, 2023 12:00 am

A Place to Run

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 8, 2023 12:00 am

God is our refuge, strength, and very present helper.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, May 8. Have you ever felt like life was so overwhelming that you needed a timeout? Today's message takes you to the Psalms for security, safety, and a place to run. There are many words in the Bible that God is described as. For example, He's a high tower, a shield, a buckler, a rock, and many other words to describe Him. One of those words is the word used here in Psalm 46, this first verse.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. And a refuge is a place to run. And I wonder how many of you have ever thought about running. Maybe some mother, you were there this morning and you thought all week long you'd like to run away from dirty diapers, dirty dishes, dirty clothes, and a dirty house.

Or maybe you're in business for yourself and you'd like to run away from the books, the finances, the bills, the employees, and everything else. Maybe you're a student this morning and you'd like to run away from the school, your lessons, your studies, the program, and all the rest that you have to face. More than likely, all of us at some time in our life have felt like running. You say, well, running where? And haven't you been to the place that didn't make any difference where you ran just so you got away from your present circumstances?

So I want us to notice in this 46 Psalm here what I think is the word of real encouragement to people who feel like they would just like to run. And you see today, people are running all over this nation, running from their home life, running from their business, running from their spiritual problems, running from this, running from that, running from the other. And you see, we never stop to ask the question, if I run, when do I stop running?

How long do you run? How long do you run to get away from the problem that is within your own physical, emotional, spiritual being? Where does the man run to hide from cancer? Where does the man run to hide from depression? Where does the woman hide, where does she hide from her emotional instability? You see, going hither and going yonder is not the solution. And in this 46 Psalm, God has given us a beautiful description of a place to run.

Now look at it, if you will. He begins by saying, God is our refuge and strength of very present help in time of trouble. Now, what I want to do is I want to give you about 10 words that describe the best place in the world to run when you get in trouble. Regardless of the trouble, regardless of the nature of it, regardless of how long, how intense, there are 10 characteristics here I believe I want you to get a hold of. So that the next time you just want to chuck it all and you say, I just can't stand any more of this, I just can't take any more, and you begin to get resentful and bitter and you want to escape and you want to fight and you want to lash out and you want to say something that you know in your heart is not in keeping with the Lord for your life, I want you to remember Psalm 46 and listen to what he says.

God, Jehovah, that is Elohim, infinite in power, absolute in faithfulness, Yahweh, the eternal everlasting God, Adoniah, our King, Lord, and ruler. God is our refuge. Where does a man go when he faces trouble? There is no place in the world that you and I can escape trouble today.

There is no geographical location to which you and I can run and escape this, that or the other. So he's given to us a place of refuge. He says, God, God is that refuge. Where is God? You say, well, God's in heaven. Well, the Father's there.

The Son is seated by his right hand, but he's given to us one lichen unto himself, the Holy Spirit to live within our heart. Where does a man have to run to hide? Where can a man run to escape?

Well, listen to what he says. Let's go down these verses, and I want you to get these words down, if you will. And the next time you get tempted to run, to hide, whatever your choice or method of running may be, I want to show you something here. First of all, God is our refuge and strength of very present help in time of trouble. The very word refuge, a place to hide, a place of safety. God is always a place of safety for you and me. He will protect us emotionally. He will protect us spiritually. He will protect us from oppression. He will protect us in time of temptation. He is our refuge, a place of safety.

Secondly, God is our refuge and strength. When you and I become weary, whether it be emotionally weary, whether it be physically weary, he is our strength. Does he not say, that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength? They shall man up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. How are we strengthened with continuous rejuvenation of our strength? Is it not in God?

And you see, physical rest is one thing, but there's something about emotional rest, something about spiritual rest that is far more powerful than merely physical rest. God is our refuge, so he's our safety. Secondly, he's our strength.

And then thirdly, he's our serenity. Look, if you will, in verse two and three. Therefore, will not we fear? And you see, this whole chapter of the Psalms is a tumultuous, moving, shaking chapter.

Watch this. Therefore, will not we fear? Though the earth be removed, though the mountains be carried in the midst of the sea, waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Verse six, the heathen rage the kingdoms move. Verse eight, desolations and wars.

So here is a whole concept of the earth and the sea shaking and moving. And what is he saying in verse two? He says, when you and I run to God, when we look to him, when we put our trust in him, he's our safety, he's our strength, he's our serenity.

Watch verse two and three now. Therefore, will not we fear? There is no fear when God is our refuge.

Why? He says, even though the earth is removed, and though the mountains be carried to the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. He says, you and I will not fear.

Why? Because when a man learns to run to God, there is a serenity, there is a peace, there's an inner quietness that he can be in the midst of a terrible storm. But deep down inside of him, there is a perfect peace. The opposite of that is that a man can be in the midst of peaceful circumstances, and on the other hand, his innermost being can be a terrible civil war, shaking, moving, shattering, roaring on the inside. But you see, he says, when you and I learn to run to God, there is safety, there is strength, there is serenity.

Listen. Then he says not only that, if you move down to verse 10, he says there's solitude. Be still and know that I am God. When you and I learn to run to him, what's one of the first things that happens to us? When you and I retreat to God and bear our heart, and we begin to unload the circumstances, the frustrations, the fears, the anxieties, the things that trouble us, what happens? Not only is there a sense of peace, but we begin to enjoy God all alone.

We can get just wrapped up in him. The solitude of being alone with God, he wants us to run to him, run to him to experience the serenity, the peace that he gives, and the solitude of being alone with God. Because listen, you know when God does the most for us?

When he gets us all by himself, and we are concentrating on him, and we're not thinking about anything else and anybody else. And you see, sometimes he allows the storms and the troubled waters and the moving and the shaking of the mountains in our life in order to do what? In order to drive us to him, and we come running to hide and escape from life. And you see one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is, he that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. You and I run to God in times of trouble, serenity, solitude. And then I want you to notice something else in verse two and three. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried in the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled or the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

You just think about that. He says the whole earth is convulsed. It's like being in the midst of a convulsion. The mountains are shaking. He says the earth is rumbling and the waters are roaring.

The whole earth is shaking about us. You know what I think about when I read those two verses? When you come to him and you yield yourself to him, is it not true that he wraps himself around you and nothing can shock you? Nothing can get to you?

Nothing can make your foot? You see, this is why he says he will not suffer by foot to be moved. When everything around you comes crushing in upon you, remember this, that when you and I have run to God, it's like he puts his shockproof arms around us and we may get bumped, but you see, most of us don't hide in him. We run to each other. We run to this.

We run to that. He says God is our refuge for every single one of us that when trouble comes, he wants us to rush to him. Safety and serenity and strength and solitude. Then I want you to notice, turn to Psalm 57.1. Not only that, but he's a shelter to us. And here's a beautiful verse, and maybe sometimes when trouble and heartache hits you, you ought to underline this verse. He says, Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee, yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be over past.

Now think about that for a moment. In the shadow of thy wings, and you see here's a beautiful way of his assuring us, listen, of the warmth, of the tenderness, of the personal way that God wants to shelter us in time of trouble. Now listen to how the psalmist said it. He says, In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be over past. You see, all of us are going to face calamities.

All of us are going to face troubles and heartaches and burdens. He says, We are to run to God. And he says, This refuge, he says, our heavenly Father is like a mighty eagle whose wings do what?

Hover over us to protect us, what? Until these calamities pass. A calamity is a great time of trouble, a great season of trouble, a great period of testing and trial. He says, You and I are to run to the Father. And when we do, it's like the little eaglet coming under the warmth and the tenderness and the shelter and the protection of the mother's wings until these calamities pass. And you go on your way.

You see all the things that people need. When trouble comes, there's only one place to find it. And then if you'll notice in the 142nd Psalm, turn there just for a moment. He says there's something else here that's involved in our heavenly Father being our place of refuge. The 142nd Psalm, verse five. Not only is he our shelter, our solitude, but he's our sufficiency. Look in verse five. I cried unto thee, O Lord.

I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. That is, whatever you and I need will always find it in him. Now, listen, the man who runs down to the bar to escape, what does he find? He only finds something that deadens his sensitivity. He doesn't find sufficiency for his need.

And you can run to every single human city of refuge that men make in order to escape reality and to refuse to face their problems. But what do they find? They don't find sufficiency for the problem. They find something that makes it possible for them to put off facing the real issue. And what do they do but delay the solution by refusing to assume responsibility and the effect is what?

It intensifies in its weight and in its penalty. All right, let's keep moving. Psalm 94. He says in Psalm 94, speaking of a refuge here, and let's see in verse 22. Here is the stability of our refuge. But the Lord is my defense, and my God is the rock of my refuge.

You see, all other places to run are like quicksand. They may hold you up for the moment, briefly for the moment, but they don't hold you up for a solution. He says my refuge, God is the rock of my refuge.

That is, it is solid. When you and I come to the Father seeking a solution, seeking help, seeking comfort, seeking support, what do we find? But we find it in a God who not only is interested in us in the moment, but he's interested in us every moment. And you see, one of the most beautiful things about this first verse of Psalm 46 is, he says God is our refuge and strength, a very present help.

What does he mean by that? That if you need help tomorrow, he'll be there. If you need it today, he'll be there.

It is always present. He's made it possible for us to be able to flee to him at any moment, he's always available to take us in. And he's always strong enough, stable enough that whatever the problem you and I face, we know that we can lay it down in prayer by faith before the Lord God Almighty and we're not going to sink.

You can't think of a problem that's going to cause God any trouble. You can't think of anything, he's not adequate and sufficient to supply no problem that he cannot meet. He is everything a man needs. When trouble comes, where is he to go but to God? Now can you name me any other place a man can run to find so much?

That is stability and strength that is lasting, that stabilizes a man's life, that energizes his life. And he says when the calamities are overpassed, what does he do? He sends him right back out into the stream of life, strong, stable, supportive, sheltered, protected, safe because if you and I learn the lesson God wants us to learn, here's the lesson he wants us to learn. Now listen, he wants us to live every day, every day where? In the refuge of our Heavenly Father under his beautiful wings, resting in his everlasting arms, surrounded by his ever-protecting care, he wants us to live there every day.

That is, we ought to live in positive, aggressive, supportive, ongoing, successful retreat into the Father's arms. How does a man run to God? He doesn't even have to get out of bed.

He doesn't even have to leave town. How does a man run to this shelter? Serenity and strength and solitude and support. How does a man live within that? Where does he go?

How does he get there? You see the one last word is surrender because you see, you'll never be able to hide out in God until you're willing to surrender your stubborn, proud will to him. When a man learns how to run to God, even in the midst of all the shaking and the quaking and the trouble and all of life, he's just going to absolutely catch you to ruin and destruction, disappointment, disillusionment. He says what? When a man learns to run to God, all of that turns into a beautiful, surprising serenity and quietness and strength and shelter and support and everything a man needs. And how does he get there?

Doesn't have to move a single finger. All he has to do is to tell the Lord, Lord, I can't, but you can. And I'm just trusting you to help me. I'm just turning my life over to you.

Oh, God, I cannot cope with what I'm facing. But you said if I came to you that you'd be all of that to me. And so I'm coming by faith and trusting you to be to me what I cannot be to myself. Thank you for listening to A Place to Run. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-08 02:20:12 / 2023-05-08 02:27:22 / 7

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