|Prophetess hilda arredondo|
JESUS--OUR REFUGE IN TROUBLED TIMES
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe…” Mark 16:15-17 In this hour with all the messages coming forth to us such as the world is about to end, destructive tsunamis coming to our shores, earthquakes, severe weather all around us, while our enemy nations threaten our welfare, yet others are saying get out of Louisiana, (where we live). It would be easy to run if our faith would not be in Jesus. Because it is, then we know that there is nowhere to run, but stay where we are and look unto Jesus and run to Him and hide. I am not saying there is no truth in what we are hearing, but my question is, is there somewhere truly to run and hide? No, only in Jesus and He is right there where you are. It is so easy for us to forget that Jesus said we should occupy till He comes. Truly we are under judgment here in America and also throughout the world, but we can’t just sit down and stop living and doing. We must not forget that our first commission is to preach the gospel and catch as many men into the “net of salvation.” We are to trust Him and put our faith in Him and not be so fearful of what is coming that we encourage others to run, but rather to pray. Jesus is watching over us and will be with us to the very end of time. Jesus said in Matthew 24:6, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Granted we are closer to the coming of our Jesus and we see the signs of the end times, but no one knows the hour. I would like to look at the life of David and be encouraged. “David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the Cave Adullam…” I Samuel 22:1 David sits and waits upon God in this cold and dark cave. It seems that he has been on the run from King Saul forever. More than once I’m sure, David has asked himself the question, “What is happening to my life?” Thoughts of the past, before he was anointed to be King over Israel, flashed through his mind. He could recall when he was a happy and contented shepherd boy, taking care of his sheep in the quiet, countryside pastures. At that time, he had much tranquility in his life, but since the Prophet Samuel had anointed him King over Israel by pouring a vial of oil over his head, it seemed that the fire of the enemy had come to destroy his life. The Lord God of Israel selected him above his brethren, as a chosen vessel for this exalted ministry. Saul, the present King, had made David to be his personal armour bearer and later Captain over his armies. Now he finds himself being treated like a criminal, stripped of identity and honor, having to hide out in the Cave Adullam. At one time, David cried, “…truly as the LORD liveth…there is but a step between me and death.” I Samuel 20:3. King Saul, once his friend, is now the destroying slaughter weapon being used against him. Yet David, a man after God’s own heart, never retaliated but behaved himself very wisely toward Saul. “Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him.” I Samuel 18:15.
DAVID ON THE RUN
Surely, this was a time of great trial and tribulation, with much suffering for David. It was a time he would have to solely trust God and make God his total REFUGE. David wrote in Psalm 62:7, “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” It is very possible that some of you are going through some rough times right now, times of trials and tribulations which have brought suffering into your life. For some, these adverse circumstances you are in might seem more like a bad nightmare, but remember, God’s very Hand is upholding you through this time. As you call upon Him, He will never leave you nor forsake you. This new season of trials and tribulations is needed in our lives to perfect us into His image. Paul said in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” God allowed suffering to come to the lives of men like Paul and David for a specific purpose. The Lord spoke to Ananias, the servant of the Lord, the same about Paul, “Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16. Although the enemy was behind the adverse circumstances, God allowed the suffering to come into their lives; but, Jesus, the Christ in them, the Hope of Glory, brought them through victoriously every time!
THE HIDDEN PLACE
Are you feeling confused because of “the signs of the times” or of some things you have been experiencing lately? Then, let God’s Word minister to you through this article to help you be an overcomer! Follow David’s example and run to that secret hidden place in Christ Jesus. So much has been taught in the last few years about how, since we are the King’s kids, if there is some form of hardship, we are not truly walking with Him. This is absolutely not of God! We see there was great suffering, persecution, and anguish in the lives of the men of faith. What was to be accomplished from all that David and Paul went through? God would form His character in them. Romans 5:3-4 (LB) reads, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials for we know that they are good for us- - they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady.” In addition to character, Jesus would also learn obedience and to completely trust God in every situation. “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son…” Hebrews 5:7-8 Yes, when suffering comes it will deal with our flesh, and as we persevere, the flesh will die and we will walk in the Spirit of the living God. “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:12-14 Please keep in mind that trials and tribulations are only for a season, and oh, when it is over, what a tried vessel of gold the church will be! Every child of God who is called to a place of service will go through some form of hardship just as David did. To not want discipline is to reject that special calling of service. How many of you, since you truly got serious about serving the Lord, have experienced the enemy attacking you like never before? Even though it would feel much better not to have the trial or tribulation, to ask God to take you out, or to remove it, is to forfeit your high calling in Him. It is that very situation you are in that will mold God’s character in you and perfect your weakness, making you a servant after God’s own heart. Our prayer should be, “God make me strong so that I can persevere through this situation, help me to be victorious, show me how to fly above the storms of life and let “this very thing” that I am going through lift me up to higher ground, Amen!”
THE CAVE ADULLAM
Here in I Samuel 22, we read that David retreated to the Cave Adullam. The word Adullam means a place of REFUGE, which is a shelter, a place of protection from danger or distress. David knew his God as his place of refuge and strength. The cave Adullam was not a place of much glamour. It had no running water, plush carpet, or beautiful drapes, not even a soft warm bed with clean sheets. What would we have said with our “modern day version of the Gospel”, where we are promised that as a child of the King we are to have life more abundantly, with emphasis that “abundantly” is to have wealth, shiny new cars, fancy luxurious homes, and expensive clothes? What would we have said to David?... “You missed God, brother.” But, oh Church, how many of us instead, have missed the true ways of God and in its place settled for much less? Some of us are just like David up to a point; we run the race, but then we grow weary and tired. We hunger and thirst after God, yet we run here and there looking for God and answers, not understanding David’s secret. David drew nigh to God because he knew that his retreat was in God, for God was his REFUGE. We can understand more clearly today why David could cry, “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.” Psalm 57:1 David ran to the Mighty Refuge and oh, he knew how to get under the shadow of His wing, the place of REFUGE and SAFETY. When the calamities (trials) come into our lives, there is a place to hide - - The Mighty Refuge, Jesus Christ, for He is forever merciful. When was the last time you sang a song unto the Lord? Possibly, you may say, “I don’t feel like singing, my life is a mess, the church is a mess, my spouse left me, my children are on drugs, or I’ve lost all my money.” Beloved, we must learn to give the sacrifice of praise anyhow, and as you do, then you will understand what David meant in Psalm 27:13 when he said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Oh, Hallelujah! Do you know that we can say the same thing today, in the midst of the trial; because the goodness of the Lord is still in the land of the living, and who is the living? You and me!
TRIED IN THE FIRE
JESUS IS OUR REFUGE
Are you running to Jesus (The Refuge) when troubles come, or are you expecting your husband, wife or friends to comfort you? Granted all these individuals can be used to help, encourage and strengthen. But there is a time that God will close all these avenues because He wants to be your total REFUGE. Many of us will be required to grow up and stop leaning on others. This can be a painful time because we will tend to think people are cruel and not compassionate toward us. David said, “For thou has been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” Psalm 61:3-4 Yes, David knew where to go; the Cave Adullam became his Holy of Holies and there he found REFUGE in his Mighty God. The place of refuge is in His presence; nothing can touch you in that special place – under his wings, where you can rejoice and find the fullness of joy, comfort and strength.
REIGNING WITH HIM
Some of you will say Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, and that doesn’t mean suffering. Please keep in mind that all of God’s Word is true and there is much said in God’s Word about trials. Also, if you have read and studied David’s life, you will remember that David did not prosper or enter his time of great wealth and power until he suffered for a season. Then he became qualified because of his Godly response to every situation. He never blamed anyone in the midst of unfairness, injustice and rejection. He kept pure and responded as a man after God’s own heart. Are you facing a season of storms in your life? Are you responding by going to the Refuge Place which is in Jesus? If you are – then, get excited! For the day will come that the storm will cease and you will reign with Him while seated in heavenly places. To God Be The Glory!
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