We hear a lot today about refugees. There is a big debate on which refugees to let into our country. God is refuge for those who seek Him. But He is also a judge for those who reject Him or fight against Him and His people. Now is the time to turn to the Lord and seek shelter from the storms of life in Him.
To praise the Lord means to tell what He has done. Praise the Lord because He created the heavens and the earth and gives us life. Praise the Lord because He has paid the debt for our sins and forgives us. Praise the Lord because He calls us to faith and gives us a new life in Christ.
The Christian faith begins with God, the one and only God of majesty. Believing and trusting God gives us a totally different perspective on life from those who say there is no God. God is worthy of our worship and praise. God made people as the crown of His creation. He made us to have a special relationship with Him. God loves us and cares about us.
While we may not be dealing with the persecutions Christians are facing in radical Islamic parts of the world, Christians in the United States are under more pressure to conform to the views of our ever increasingly more secular society. We shouldn’t conform. Our lives are transformed by Christ. We should show those who a different perspective respect and pray for them. We should also ask God to protect us and help us to live as His people.
Life can be tough. Fear, guilt and shame can weigh us down. But God is ready to hear us when times get rough. Because of His compassion, God rescues us from our guilt and sins. He gives us help and strength to face whatever life may throw at us.
God is Holy. Sin cannot come into His presence. God’s justice demands that sins be punished. So the Psalmist asks God to punish those who do evil. But the Psalmist also relies on God’s mercy and grace. We know that God wants to include everyone in His Kingdom. He offers mercy and grace to all who turn to Him in repentance and faith.
People can try to make our lives difficult for us. When that happens we have a choice. We can get angry and let the anger control us. Or we can trust God and rest in the Peace He gives. Which is it going to be? Trusting God seems like the better option to me!
There are times when we may face enemies who want to harm us or times of immediate danger. But God is always with us. We may be challenged or even harmed. But God is our shield and defender. He will protect us from ultimate harm. Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Our nation is deeply divided and troubled. The lone gunman who tried to assassinate Republican members of Congress last week is only one example. We all know many more examples. What’s Gone wrong? Too many people have turned away from God. Too many others are trying to silence Christians and marginalize or demonize Christianity. It won’t work, at least not in the long run. Our nation may suffer, but human attempts to plot against God all fail. The Psalmist tells us that those who take refuge in the Lord will find joy in Him. We need to turn back to God and follow Him. Christians need to set the example by living lives transformed by Christ, not conforming to the people around us.
God’s people are different from those who do not believe in or follow Him. God’s people live a different life. They put down deep roots in the Lord that helps them live useful, productive lives. Those who reject the Lord are doomed to failure because they will be judged by God for their sins. It is ok to be different if that means we are walking with the Lord in faith and trying to do what He wants us to do. One of the biggest difference is that Christians have hope that God gives us, a hope that won’t disappoint us.