When we encounter setbacks and difficulties, we often make an effort to keep pushing on in an attempt to improve our situation by relying on our own strength, ideas and abilities. But how much progress do we think we can make if we depend on these alone? In our own strength, we cannot overcome any powers of darkness waiting to discourage or destroy us. But God is always ready to strengthen and defend us. No earthly power can compare with our Lord’s power! “…the Lord is my defense; and my God is the rock of my refuge” (Psalm 94:22). Therefore, the way Christians walk in this world can be different from the way the rest of the world walks—because God is able to provide all the strength, power and ability we need through His Holy Spirit living within us.
Whenever we have to deal with the problems we’ll encounter in life, Christ wants to be the refuge of His followers. Yet how often do we take advantage of this kind of opportunity to have Him as our guide and protector? We usually tend to trust and lean on our own power and ability alone instead. But our problem is that there’s nothing that comes from them that God can use. Our trust should never be in our own strength—we need to put on the strength of the armor of God. Then any opponent we encounter won’t even be able to see us—because the only One he’ll see is Christ. Christ is not just our place of refuge, He’s also our protection and our stronghold.
Why do we think that we have to battle our way to victory by ourself? The one thing we really need to do is to rest in what the Lord has already provided for us. There are some victories that can be won on our own, but they won’t help to develop us. Defeats teach us far more than we’ll ever learn from our victories. The Lord never intended for us to fight anyway—He’s called us to have faith in Him.
We can pour our heart out to Christ whenever we let Him be our refuge. His desire is for our heart to be for Him alone. Then He can strengthen it, and prevent many evil things from causing us harm. After we’ve reached the position where we’ve used up all the strength we have, we’ve reached the right moment to hold tightly to Christ and not let Him go. That’s the point where He’ll make us strong through His strength.
Do you need to find more strength? You’ll find it in Christ. And how will He strengthen you? By pouring more energy into the strength He’s already placed inside of you. It doesn’t matter what we need—whatever we may need, He’s already provided for it, because of what He did for us when He shed His blood at Calvary on our behalf. Therefore, no matter what difficulty we may encounter, we can always depend on Him for the strength to see us through.
We may desire to go forward, yet we often attempt to do so in our own power. But we can’t achieve victory over sin and the world in our own strength. During periods of disturbance, the refuge that we can always run to is Jesus. Whenever we’re in danger, He’ll protect us like a rock in the wilderness. His name alone is “a refuge in times of trouble” for all who are persecuted or in need of help. “Jehovah also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of distress” (Psalm 9:9). And He’s available to us all the time!
In our own strength, we’re weak, dependent and hopeless—but this is actually the only way we can come to the Lord! He tells us: “If you’ll just come to Me, I’ll be your strength, your peace and your rest.” But we often find ourself weak because whatever joy we had is gone. Or it may be strong, but our own ability and will might be weak. Therefore, we can’t be protected by relying on these alone. There’s no one else we can truly rely on but Christ. During any situation when we are weak and in great need, He’s the only One Who’s able to be our true strength. He said “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Everything we need, He can provide!
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust…I shall call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”Psalm 18:1-3
Come to God and spend time in His presence—then He’ll be able to be your refuge. He will change all the ways that you trust and believe. The way you walk, talk and reason will also become stronger, along with your faith to believe. It doesn’t matter how great or difficult the problems you’re now facing are—He has, and He is, the answer to them all. His Holy Spirit is right there with you to help and guide you the whole way through, if you will continue to believe in Him.
What we really need the most, more than strength, and more than ability, is our own place of refuge. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ, we can find that place. We must be sure to make time for Him. We need a time of prayer that’s not rushed. Then we can be certain that a place of refuge is available for us. “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God” (Psalm 62:7).