The Lord Is My Refuge

from the Psalms of Rest reading plan

Psalm 91:1-16

BY She Reads Truth

I grew up afraid.

Thunder, lightning, roller coasters, car crashes, plane crashes, tornadoes—loud, violent, terrifying scenarios that kept me up at night, or in the guidance counselor’s office at school any time it stormed. I was afraid of loud things, things that threatened to crash into my life and take away someone or something I loved. I would read Bible verses that promised me safety, plucked out of the psalms and taped on my bathroom mirror in college—-verses like these from Psalm 91: “Because you have made the LORD—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place, no harm will come to you” (vv.9–10).

That’s a formula I tend to like, because it gives me the perception of control; I make the Lord my “refuge,” and no harm will come to me. But many years of walking quietly in sadness with people I love have taught me there is no equation to prevent suffering. Sometimes storms enter our lives quickly like thunderclouds from the west. Sometimes they sneak in, just as the sun rises quietly in the east. But always, they come, just as they came for our Savior, Jesus Christ. When the devil tempts Jesus in the wilderness, the enemy quotes Psalm 91: “He will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you, and they will support you with their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (Luke 4:10–11).

In their book, The Songs of Jesus, Tim and Kathy Keller wrote: “The devil wants us to think that God’s promises have failed if he lets us suffer. But the psalm later clarifies that God will save us ‘in trouble’ and not from it.” In other words, we do not need a refuge from the quiet, the sadness, brokenness, and pain; we need a refuge from the storm that is inevitably coming (John 16:33). Suffering was sewn into our existence at the fall, but Psalm 91 shouts into the rushing wind:

“The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say concerning the LORD, who is my refuge and my fortress …
His faithfulness will be a protective shield” (vv.1–2,4).

I am thankful for the whole of Scripture, and for the ways it quiets my soul on the hardest of days. The riches of Psalm 91 are vast, with so many metaphors and names for God, calling us backward and forward through the Old and New Testaments. It does so beautifully what the whole of Scripture does: it paints a picture of our hopeless existence apart from God, and it beckons us into the fullness of life in relationship with Him. A life that, though marked with suffering, is ultimately guaranteed and secured by the personhood and work of Jesus Christ.

Post Comments (202)

202 thoughts on "The Lord Is My Refuge"

  1. Carizma Moore says:

    The LORD is MY refuge

  2. Barbara Villemaire says:

    9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge— – Psalms 91:9

  3. Kenny Shomuyiwa says:

    God is refuge , Amen

  4. Lizzy Butterfield says:

    Psalm 91 is close to my heart. As kids, whenever we were sick or scared my parents would pray this psalm over us and replace all the pronouns with our names. Now that I have babies of my own I have been putting it into practice myself with all the different sickness that comes with this time of year. What a beautiful promise and I love the author’s take on it!

  5. Abbey Erickson says:

    I’ve been so anxiety ridden since my dad passed away 2 years ago, so afraid that something is going to come and take another one of my loved ones. This is an amazing reminder that although suffering is inevitable the Lord is always here to cling to. ❤️

  6. Grace Rex says:

    A very well-timed reading, my husband’s grandmother passed away last night, such a wonderful reminder that he is with us in the suffering and is our refuge.

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