Those who have sacrificed for our freedom know that refuge is a fragile thing.

Psalm 16 gives us a glimpse into the warrior King David’s heart and shows us where he took refuge. David didn’t trust in his army, his people, his power, or his wealth. He knew that God alone is the source of refuge and soul security.

The Believer’s Status

Believers have a refugee status in the world. Every unsettling circumstance reminds us that this world is not our home. When inner turmoil comes, we need a place we can locate our refuge, and as Christians, we locate that security in Christ.

Like a winch pulls a car out of a ditch, Jesus Christ stands before us and pulls us through this life, telling us of what He has planned for us in the future. We wrestle with the realities of the past and the present, but these always find their answer in King Jesus, what He has done for us and will do.

Christians constantly face battles with insecurity. But we can see difficult circumstances as a gift from God. He uses them to refine us and make sure that we are anchored in the right place. They make us consider if there are idols in our hearts. David had a lot of other places he could seek security, but he found it in Jehovah.

The Source of Refuge

The true source of refuge is the Lord, Jehovah, the covenant-keeping God. Ironically, security isn’t found in isolation from difficulty but in knowledge of God’s character. His people know that God is good.

As we do in other close relationships, we learn God’s character through spending time, experiencing Him, and understanding life through His perspective. He is a personal Source: we must know Him, first as the mighty Creator (Elohim) and then as He communicates to us (Jehovah). But it is not until we know Him as Adonai, our personal protector who loves and cares for us, our authority and the source of our life, that we find true security.

The Solution

How can we appropriate the security found in the Lord? David modeled a disciplined approach. We can place our security in God first by what we say. David confessed what he knows about God when anxiety-producing agents entered his life. He used prayer to reaffirm the truth he knew and worshipped God. It is during these times that knowledge of God turns to experience of God. The Holy Spirit ministers to our hearts when others cannot.

We locate our security in God through what we do. David didn’t serve other gods plus Jehovah. God deserves and expects our exclusive allegiance. It’s counter-intuitive, but when we feel insecure, that’s the time to tell God how special He is. Through worship, we will find peace.

David put value on what God values – His people. This is how to show our love for God in a most practical way. In trying times, God’s people stand as full-color living testimonies of God’s faithfulness. They know what it’s like to struggle and hurt, and they can minister to us and remind us of God’s truth.

We find our security in God when we keep our eyes on the Lord. The first place of honor is reserved for God alone. Only through Him will we receive counsel, ultimate stability, assurance even in death, and real joy. God may not fix all the external problems, but He lets you know who He is and what He is doing. And when we face our greatest and final enemy, death turns out to be merely a punctuation mark in the life of a believer. All it does is transport the soul from earth to be in God’s presence.

The only way we can know stability in the Lord is through Jesus Christ. He gave up his state of refuge in Heaven so that we can know eternal refuge in Him. He experienced death and took God’s wrath for us. Only through His sacrifice can we have eternal, spiritual freedom.

Application Points

  • Where do you look for refuge when a circumstance comes to unsettle your heart?
  • Who do you talk to when insecurity sets in?
  • Where is your delight amidst troubling circumstances?
  • If you are doing battle with insecurity today, follow David’s example and find refuge in God. Address your affections to the Lord alone, and let the Holy Spirit minister to you as no one else can.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Hebrews 9:13-14 – Jesus is the surest source of security.
  • Psalm 23:6 – Death is a defeated enemy for the Christian.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Be Still, My Soul”

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord -
When disappointment, grief, and fears are gone,
Sorrows forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.