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Read His Words Before Ours!

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength,
a helper who is always found
in times of trouble.
Read More Of His Words

We each choose our strongholds.
The more we give ourselves over to them, the more tightly they bind us.

I think of my friends who have suffered under the grasp of various addictions. Whether it’s pornography (yes, women friends, this is our battle too), comparison, gossip, weight and body image, drugs, alcohol, or literally anything else, we are bound by our addictions.

Truth?
It’s not just my friends or family members who I’ve witnessed become caught in ever-constricting bands of a stronghold. It’s my story too. I’ve coveted other marriages. I’ve been obsessed with my body image. I’ve manipulated and attempted to emotionally control my children and their choices. I’ve experienced the inescapable truth that the more I lean into that addiction, the more tightly I’m held by it.

There’s a reason it’s called a stronghold; its grip is fierce and unyielding.

Wonderfully, every single Christ-follower finds this law to be exponentially true when choosing the Lord as our Stronghold. To the degree we seek Him, we find Him binding us to Him all the more.

Such peace is tucked into that reality!

Today as we pause, we are quietly, in full surrender, soaking in the truth that when our Stronghold is the Almighty God, we are indeed strongly held.

Held by a sheltering Refuge who is both Father and Omnipotent (all-powerful) One.
Held by Strength itself.
Held by the Helper who is always found in trouble.
(verse 1)

The Hebrew word our Bibles translate as “always found” (CSB) or “very present” (ESV) is “מָצָא” (pronounced “maw-tsaw”), meaning “to discover what was lost, to find to be secure”.

Doesn’t that description just take your breath away?!

In the middle of our pain, every single pain, for Scripture says God is “always” found in trouble, the Lord God and all of the attributes of His good heart, are ready to be discovered as if new. He will prove His character to be trustworthy. He will prove His heart to be secure. Every Time!

What an incredible gift in the midst of suffering of all kinds! (2 Corinthians 1:3)

It doesn’t matter if the suffering is significant loss of a child, spouse, or dear friend, or if the pain is a broken finger nail. The Almighty One is IN it ALL, ready to be found, ready to be proven safe and secure.

That kind of love brings me to tears, for I have felt lonely pain many times, but I have sought to squelch its fingers of grief with other strongholds. Food, people, social media, and all manner of distractions that would lure me in with their strongholds, but always leave me empty and abandoned.

One Stronghold is ready to hold us strongly.
It’s Christ.

Today's Pause Challenge

1) Start each day of Pause by reading the full of Psalm 46, so we can grow in deep familiarity, which will help root truth in our hearts for the day ahead and help our minds memorize!

2) Spend 60 seconds repeating the words of verse 1 over and over, prayerfully asking God to sew them into your heart.

3) 
Look up the cross references for “refuge” (Psalm 14:6), “always found” (Psalm 145:18, Deuteronomy 4:7), and “trouble” (Psalm 9:9, Psalm 62:7-8)

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Journey Into Pause VI!

Interesting note, He can’t redeem what we won’t surrender.

And if we are just too busy to let go of a handful of minutes each day, it’s no wonder we feel disconnected from Him and can’t hear His voice or see Him at work.

When Jesus taught His disciples to pray by “go[ing] into your private room and shut[ting] your door”, it wasn’t a metaphor. He was serious and meant His instruction to be taken literally. (Matthew 6:6)

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Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!

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Jan22 - Feb 9, 2023 - Journey Theme #128

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