Within God’s Refuge
Words from Jesus
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“The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.”—Deuteronomy 33:271
Commit every care, concern, worry, and frustration of the day to Me. Give Me each one. I know it can be hard to let go of them, but you have to simply cast every anxiety and care on Me, and trust in Me and My love for you. I know you would rather take care of these things yourself, to shoo them all away and have greater control over every aspect of your life. But you have found that many of these weights and burdens are greater than you can carry on your own, whereas I can help you carry the load, if you will let Me.
So come now, hand them all over—each problem, burden, or weight that is cluttering up your spiritual space and dampening your faith. Let Me have them all, each and every one. Commit all your cares into My care, and place all the things that are troubling you into My hands. And when each one is placed in My hands—whether they’re cares, worries, frustrations, burdens, troubles, problems, trials, or whatever is bothering you—when all is safely inside My refuge, you will find peace and renewal, as you rest in My everlasting arms.
Take refuge in Me
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior.”—2 Samuel 22:2–32
Sometimes My sovereign hand—My control over your life—places you in humbling circumstances. You feel held down, held back, and powerless to change things. You long to break free and feel in control of your life once again. Although this is an uncomfortable position, it is actually a good place to be. Your discomfort awakens you from the slumber of routine and reminds you that I am in charge of your life. It also presents you with an important choice: You can lash out at your circumstances—resenting My ways with you—or you can draw closer to Me…
The more you choose to come near Me, affirming your trust in Me, the more you can find hope in My unfailing Love. You can even learn to be joyful in hope while waiting in My Presence—where Joy abounds. Persevere in trusting Me, and I will eventually lift you up. Meanwhile, cast all your anxiety on Me, knowing that I care for you affectionately and am watching over you continually.
When you trust in Me, you take refuge in Me. So trusting Me is much more than a matter of your words; it is mainly a matter of your will. As you go through this day, you will encounter many things that can make you anxious, including some of your thoughts. If you don’t stay alert, anxious feelings can slip into your day without your noticing them. When this happens, you may wonder why you suddenly start to feel bad. Usually, you just ignore those feelings. Or you may try to numb them with food, drink, television, gossip, or other distractions. How much better it is to “catch” the worry-thoughts before they take hold of you…
You can choose to take refuge in Me whenever anxiety comes at you. A refuge is a place that provides protection or shelter: a safe haven. It is something you turn to for help, relief, or escape. I am eager to be your Refuge, and I am with you at all times. Nonetheless, you must exert your will by turning to Me for help. Thus, you make Me your refuge, demonstrating your trust in Me. Blessed—happy, to be envied—is the one who takes refuge in Me.3
Looking past the clouds
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”—Psalm 143:84
When your countenance isn’t turned up toward Me, the clouds of gloom and problems more easily gather over your head. There are clouds of frustration and anger, uncertainty, anxiety, and different problems, which can lead to you feeling unhappy, resentful, angry, or frustrated.
You haven’t yet understood that the stormy clouds and the rain that falls on you are not meant to beat you down, discourage you, or frustrate you. These storms help to strengthen you and cause your roots to grow down deeper into the soil. This will prepare you to be able to stand strong through the greater storms that you will face in life, while keeping your face turned toward Me expectantly in faith and with trust, even during the times you cannot see and feel My sunshine because it is obscured by the passing clouds and rain and storm.
These heavy clouds and seemingly relentless rains that sometimes trouble you help to grow you into a tall, strong, fine tree that continues to blossom and brings forth fruit, and that will fill its important place in the garden of My kingdom. So when the thick, dark clouds roll in overhead, and drops of rain begin falling upon you, turn your face up toward Me in faith! Look past the dark clouds and big drops of rain falling on your face, and look to the light of My Word and promises to you.
Rest in My goodness
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy.”—Psalm 16:115
I understand your longings and your heartcries. You want to make a difference, to do something to help others, to be part of change in your world. You want to feel fulfilled, to feel loved unconditionally for who you are. You want to be able to share your thoughts, frustrations, and cares with someone, and have that person understand and accept you for who you are. You want someone who will help you to find solutions to the challenges you face, who will say, “Don’t worry. No matter what happens, I’m here with you and we’ll go through this together.”
When you feel those burdens, bring them to Me. When you feel frustration about a certain situation, tell Me about it specifically. Talk to Me about it as if I were right there. Say it with words, and in telling Me the details of your situation, you will find My peace and rest in My goodness, knowing that you’ve given it to Me and I am in control.
Through our times of communing together in this way, I will guide you to solutions. I will speak to your heart. I will quicken things to your mind that will help you make it over each obstacle as it comes. Bring your burdens to Me. Explain them to Me. Share your heart with Me. I’m right there with you, always listening, always there for you.
Originally published in 1997, unless otherwise indicated. Adapted and republished May 2018. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by Daniel Sozzi.
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