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“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness” (Nahum 1:7,8).

IT IS A DIFFICULT WORLD. The expression “survival of the fittest” would never have been coined in a world where there was no resistance to be met, a world where everything was just right for every creature. But obviously, our world is anything but just right for any creature. To survive, and then to thrive, requires struggle, and to lose the struggle is to suffer in many heartbreaking ways.

In such a world, the God of the Scriptures presents Himself to us as a God in whom people can find “refuge” — safety, sanctuary, and sustenance. In this life, the promise is not that the struggles will disappear but that there will be His provision of help. And with His promise of help, we can see that He is a God of hope.

There are those, of course, who portray faith in God as nothing more than wishful thinking. The argument is that in a difficult world, people naively and superstitiously believe in an all-powerful “Heavenly Father” because they can’t bear to accept the alternative. Unfortunately, there are many for whom faith is nothing more than this. But the fact is, faith can be — and should be — the deliberate, rational choice to trust a God who has revealed Himself to mankind and proven over and over again that He can be trusted to be our refuge. If the God of the Scriptures does not exist, we will just have to do the best we can on our own. But if He does exist, we are fools not to seek His wisdom and strength.

Really, it is no different today than it has been since the beginning of recorded history: human beings have always faced an ultimate choice. Do we lay aside our self-sufficiency and trust in our Creator, or do we double down on our self-sufficiency and trust in human effort and ingenuity? This is the basic choice we face.

Either way, our choice has momentous consequences. And the worst thing we can do is try to have it both ways. So to my fellow believers, I say: if you don’t trust God, don’t say you do. God “knows those who take refuge in him.” So what does He know about you? Does He see trust? Or does He see just another worldly optimist?

“God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves” (Dwight Lyman Moody).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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