Psalm 119:114 – You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
In a world filled with hate and pain. In a world so filled with anger and rage, what are we to do? The chaos seems too much. The attacks are too great. The weight is too heavy for us. Somehow for some reason, we have hope. We have hope in something greater than what this world can offer. We have the Almighty that will shield and protect us. We have a Father that gives everything to us. We have a Redeemer that will never leave or forsake us. We simply have hope.
But… we need to hold on to those promises. There are days in my life and I am sure in yours where it seems that every moment is just another attack. It is another arrow Satan shoots at me. Another arrow that is too great for my defenses. One after another after another they come. What seemed like it was going to be a good day; a day full of God, a day full of joy has quickly turned into a day full of fighting for life. I feel like I am drowning in a sea of sin. The moment I come up for air, something else pushes me down. It is just too much. I get stuck on how God can love me.
But, our God reminds us of His Word and how He keeps His word. By the time I remember all of that, the battle has gotten the best of me. There are days when 9 AM rolls around and I am so lethargic and down on myself because the battle has been waged all morning and I am a beaten, bloody mess. How can something as simple as being reminded who God is and what He can do escape me? Why must I try to overcome on my own?
God promises us to give us everything we need each day. He will sustain our needs for that day. He will provide for us. Throughout these Psalms, it is mentioned time and time again about God being our refuge and shield. Our Rock and fortress. Our strength and strong tower. But how or why can I forget that? How do I not call out for God earlier? It is so easy to get caught up in the battle of Satan’s attacks that I forget the one thing can actually help me and stop these attacks. But, God gives us a defense. He will shield us.
Ephesians 6:16 alludes to this, “In addition to all this (speaking of the armor of God), take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” There it is again. There is that word. Shield. God is our shield. Faith in God will shield us. It will not only shield us, but it will extinguish the flaming arrows of Satan. The worst, most wretched things he throws at us, the shield of faith will extinguish. Before it can do anymore damage, before it can hurt us anymore, it will rid us of it.
But how? The author of this Psalm gives us a hint. One, don’t be double-minded. Love and cherish and delight in the law of God. Enjoy who God is. He is our refuge. He is our hiding place. He is our defender. He is where we need to turn to. Whether it is an attack on our spiritual lives, or it is some type of other suffering like financial, health, job, and addiction. Ask God for help. Remember who He is. But as James mentions in chapter 1 of his book, in verse 6-8 he says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Expect God to come. Stand firm on the promises of God. Stand firm on who God is and His goodness. Man, I need to do that so much better!
Second, stand up to evil (v. 115). Remember the power of the name of Jesus. Behind God, grounded in confidence in God and who He is, speak out against evil. I once heard Max Lucado talk on this and he said that since Satan was an angel, he cannot read our minds thus we must verbalize it. So if you can, try it and see what God’s power can do. Because as the Psalmist says, I want evilness away so I can follow God and enjoy Him.
In verse 116, “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live…” the author remembers that God is our sustainer and reminds us to seek sustenance from God. Look to God for He alone will sustain you in the worst of times. You may not know how, you may not know when, but God will come through.
The last part of this section, verses 117 to 120, is a fantastic reminder on who we are and what we truly need to fear. God will uphold His people. He will uphold His children. No matter how much we mess up, He still amazingly calls us valuable. He still loves us and wants us to have a deeper life with Him. I forget this so often. I struggle sometimes thinking of God in ways that are not true. I think of Him as a father that is just shaking his head at me and questioning why He even tries with me. Yet, He doesn’t think like that. He loves me unconditionally. He still has a plan for me. He still has a purpose for me.
For that and more importantly who He is, I stand in awe. Who am I to be in the presence of God? Why should I have that privilege? But oh for the grace of God that I can enter the throne room confidently because of the gift of salvation. That is my hope. That is my refuge. That is my shield. That while I was an enemy, still a sinner, God loved me enough and you enough to send us His Son so we could have life, hope and a greater joy than we could ever imagine.
In our lives, may God be lifted high. May we stand in awe of who He is this day. What He has done. He has so much to offer. But this day, may we just focus on Him, not what He can give us or do for us. But oh the glory, the beauty and majesty of God. In tough times, in attacks, in hurt and in pain, God is our refuge. God…is…our shield. Hallelujah!