I’ve been reading Peters first letter in my daily reading of scripture. It speaks of difficult times for the early church, a time of persecution a time when it would have been easy to fall away from the faith and although this period of the Covonavirus is not the same as those persecutions; it is still a very testing time for our Christian faith. It is a time like no other in which other human beings can infect us with this dreaded disease, an invisible enemy, so we can share if you like the same feeling of fear as with those early Christians.


Yet despite all this Gods word is readily available to us and although we don’t have open churches, we can fellowship through Face book, Zoom and the like to encourage each others faith. Faith of course in Gods word, the Bible, speaks of that word in many ways; it can be a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, “he is my refuge and my fortress my God in whom I trust” v4 of the same psalm says “and under his wings you will find refuge”. Refuge means protection, Shelter, i.e. a sanctuary in other words somewhere where we can feel safe from the many storms of life the old testament Hebrew word is seter, which is used in nearly 40 contexts in scripture meaning hiding place i.e. refuge.


Of course to feel safe in Gods refuge we need to have some trust in him some people trust in lucky talisman but trusting in things is worthless Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus made a good point in a parable about this about the two men who went about building a house, one built his house on sand, whilst the other had wisdom and built his house on solid ground, when the storm came the house built on a weak foundation collapsed but the one built on a solid foundation stood firm Matthew 7:24-27.


There is a story told of a ship that was wrecked in a furious storm and the only survivor was a little boy who was swept by the waves onto a rock. He sat there all night long until the next morning he was spotted and rescued “did you tremble while you were on the rock during the night? Someone latter asked. “yes, said the boy “I trembled all night but the rock didn’t” a rock of course is something to hang on to, and Jesus is spoken of in scripture as the rock Psalm 18:2 “the lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer”, my god, my strength, in whom will I trust my shield and the horn of my salvation which again paints the picture of that word refuge, Gods hiding place for us.


This Jesus is the one who promises us he will never leave someone who believes on him someone who lays his or her worries, fears on him. The apostle Paul writing to the church in Rome encourages with these words: “for I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.


So whatever the world throws at us, even the Coronavirus, it cannot separate the true believer from the love of God.  So as the ark was for Noah, so Jesus is for us, so let us trust in our saviour Jesus Christ, who is our refuge in times of trouble, he is our true haven of safety.


Pastor Terry