Life is fragile. The rising waters of this weekend’s rains make us well aware how quickly we can lose the control we believe we have over life. In a short amount of time our homes, possessions and security can be washed away. Though we don’t face physical disaster like this often, we regularly face overwhelming situations. How do you handle those situations? Are you prepared with a plan of action? Or, do you simply wait and respond in the hour of great distress?
When it comes to facing adversity there are several things that are certain. First, difficulty will come. We can know this as truth. In a million different shapes and sizes, we will all struggle at times in life. The second thing we can know, though we don’t often take advantage of this truth, is that God offers help. In Psalm 9:9-10 we hear, “The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”
What is a stronghold? The psalmist mentions it twice so it must be important. A stronghold is a place of security that is unreachable by an attacker. It is a rare place of ultimate security. We long for these strongholds. We try to construct them for ourselves. And, they may endure much of our struggle. However, when the greatest troubles of life come even the most durable self-made strongholds crumble. But the psalmist has great confidence in the stronghold he refers to. It is because this stronghold is not one that is man-made. In fact, it is not made at all. It is the Everlasting God.
Do you realize that God desires and even offers to be your stronghold? In love and mercy He offers this invitation to you. Now, there are some requirements to gain access to this stronghold. There is the turning away from selfish rebellion and the desire to be the king of the fortress. This fortress has a King and needs no other. This means you will have to surrender things like pride and arrogance. You must realize your plan may not be the best plan, and the King of this fortress may choose a different process for dealing with your struggle.
In addition, to gain access to this fortress there is the requirement of trust. Many of us struggle with trust. Especially when we’re hurting and confused. It is difficult to turn loose of control, even if it’s only a false sense of control. God calls you trust Him.
What assurance do you have? David says God will not forsake those who trust Him. Reassuring, isn’t it. Perhaps people or organizations have walked away from you in times of trouble. God won’t. Will you turn today, ask His forgiveness for your rebellion and begin to trust Him?