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Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Refuge and strength is a phrase that means "impenetrable or unconquerable defense.  So, this verse opens with a statement declaring what God is - an unconquerable defense.

The verse concludes with when God is - "very present", or ever present.

It is a promise of "In your time of trouble, in the midst of a persistent evil, in the face of the worst possible calamity, I (God) will be your ever present help.

Recall the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John 14:16 "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intecessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby) that He may abide with you forever."

God also promises us in Hebrews 13:5 "I will never leave thee, nor foresake thee."  This is a re-iteration of God's promise to Joshua after the death of Moses.

Gos is our impenetrable, unconquerable defense - an ever present, always here, always available, with unlimited access, ready and well-proved help.  He's better and more readily available than State Farm or AAA.

Right when you need Him, He's there.  When you call on Him you don't get messages that say, "All operators are busy at this time.  Please, try your call again later."  Or, "Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9 AM to 6 PM Central Time, Saturday 8 AM to Noon."

NO!  God is ever present and ready to help.

Isaiah 59:19 "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."  It doesn't matter what the enemy brings against you - God's power in you will ALWAYS be greater than Satan's assaults.

Psalm 46:2-5 "Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah (pause and calmly think about that).  There is a river, the streams thereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early."

Message Translation "We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains."

This Psalm was a song menat to be sung in the face of the worst possible calamities.  It is a truth, a promise that we need to grab hold of and never let go.  "No matter what comes, God is my impenetrable defense and my ready, proven help".  He knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and just how to get it to us.  If we can only trust Him enough to let Him.

The problem is, so often we forget that it is us who need His help and not He that needs ours.  We tend to get impatient and forget that God's time is not our time, but God's time is perfect.  We forget that God's ways are higher than our ways.  And, sometimes we may need to do something totally out of the box to remain in faith and have our answer manifest.

In 1 Kings chapter 17, Elijah went to Zarephath and ask a widow that was gathering sticks to bring him a cup of water.  They are in the midst of a draught.  Water is scarce.  However, she heads off to get the water and, as she is going Elijah asks her to also bring him a piece of bread.  She responds that she doen't have any bread.  She only has a handful of flour and a little oil in a jar.  She is gathering the sticks so that she can go to her house, build a fire and prepare the flour and oil for her and her son to eat one last bite before they die.

If you have ever baked anything, you have to know that you can't make much with a handful of flour.  That's all she had.  Her situation was this: Water is scarce, she only has enough flour to make one last bite for her and her son.  After she uses this little bit of flour and oil, THAT'S IT!!!  There will be nothing left.  She has no apparent means of replenishing her supply.

But the prophet of God has something to tell her.  God's got a plan.  In her time of great trouble, He's ready to help.  Elijah tells the widow to go and do as she has said, but to first make a small cake for him and then make some for her and her son.  Picture this - how much can you really make from a handful of flour?  She had to be thinking, "Hello, anybody home.  I just told you I only have enough to feed me and my son one little bite.  And now you want me to make an extra cake, for you first, and then for me and my son.

Remember Psalm 46:1.  God is an ever present, ready, well-proved help.  He's got a plan when it looks there can be no possible plan except to give up and die.

Elijah tells her, "For thus says the Lord God of Israel, the bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth."  We then see that the widow did as Elijah had requested and she and her household ate for many days.  It goes on to tell us that her flour and oil did not run out.

This woman was overwhelmed with calamity.  She was in a very troublesome time.  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."  Verse 2 then says, "Therefore we will not fear..."  Elijah told the widow in 1 Kings 17:13, "Do not fear..."  Elijah had been sent by God to release His favor and blessing on this widow.

The problem today is, most people question.  They have their own plan of how their need will be met.  Many times, when God sends His help - because it is not how we reasoned it would come, we miss it all together.

When we face a trying financial situation we say, "I didn't know God would supply me with work to EARN the money I need.  I just figured the check would come in the mail."

When we are confronted with the hardships of others we say, "I couldn't possibly have an extra mouth at the table.  I barely have enough to feed myself.  I'm waiting on God to show me how He's going to supply my need."

Remember, God's ways are higher than our ways.  He does things differently than we.

We are living in troubled times.  But God's promise is that He is a very present help in the time of trouble.

The help may not be how or when we think it should be.  It may seem a little, or even a lot unorthodox, totally out of our character, way out of the box, how God does it.  But if you continue to trust in Him and DO NOT FEAR, His help is near.  It is in you.