Secondly, we must realize that God our Refuge is not only continually available, but He is thoroughly adequate. For it says in this verse, God is our Refuge, but also our Strength. It will be no good to go back to the Old Testament picture of the Cities of Refuge. It would be no good if they had a City of Refuge and the gates were all broken down, because the guy who was hot on your tail wouldn't worry about those old gates. If they wouldn't keep him out, they needed to have a place of refuge. They also needed to have strength to hold it up. There would be no good saying that "God is our Refuge" if He weren't strong enough. It would do no good to say "God is continually able," if God were not adequate.
We have to stick our necks out here, and say, "There is no way trouble can come into a person's life -- however overwhelming it might be -- there is no way it can come and be greater than the strength of God to enable you to survive it. There is no way trouble can come your way outside the permissive will of God!
Satan can throw all the forces of Hell at you, but God is your strength. The Risen Lord is adequate. If you closely relate to Him, there is no way that you can be finally and ultimately defeated. I know that's sticking your neck out to say a thing like that, but I believe that is exactly what the Scriptures teach. We must realize that God is our Refuge, not only continually available, and thoroughly adequate, but thirdly, readily accessible as well.
I love what it says in verse one. Not only is God our refuge and our strength, God is "a very present help" in trouble. In other words, as far as the Old Testament sage was concerned, he knew he didn't have to reach further than the tips of his fingers to be able to lay hold of the hand of God. As far as the New Testament saint is concerned, he doesn't even have to reach that far, for he believes that the God who loves him, sent Christ to die for him, raised Him up and put Him into his life is alive within him. You can't get anybody more present than that -- "in you."
This is the lovely message of what to do in trouble. Recognize that God is my Refuge, and turn to Him. I met two people this last week with the same pressure upon them. They had the same background. They both have blood throbbing in their veins, they've had the same education, they've had the same spiritual experience. The remarkable thing about it was this: one went one way, and one went in exactly the opposite direction. Why is that?
When trouble comes it's like the sun. For some people, it can harden them like clay. For others it can soften them like wax. It all depends on what you're made of and how you respond to the heat of the furnace when it comes upon you. This is what we have to do, realize that God is our refuge.
Secondly, we have to realize that God is resident among His people. Verse 4: "There is a river, the streams whereof, make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is in the midst bf her; she shall not be moved." The term "The City of God," as far as the psalmist was concerned, was a picture that he loved to use of Mount Zion -- his favorite place. Mount Zion was the place where The Temple was going to be. Mount Zion was the place where the Tabernacle of the Most High was going to De. This was the place.