January 10, Be Realistic

Today’s reading: Psalms 46-50

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  - Psalm 46:1-3

The writer of Psalm 46 was realistic and understood that God would not keep him out of trouble but instead would protect him in the midst of trouble. This is an important distinction because if you think God will not allow something to happen and it happens, you can become disillusioned with and even bitter against the Lord. Today’s passage indicates that the tribulation in your life can be traumatic, similar in effect to some of the worst natural disasters you can imagine. It is during those times, however, that you come to know God as your refuge and strength. Without tough times, you would only know those aspects of God’s character in theory and not reality. Paul and Barnabas encouraged the saints with these words. You should be encouraged by them as well: “Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “’We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:21-22).