A Message of Hope from Bishop Steiner Ball

By WV UMC Admin

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Are you feeling the pressure of what is taking place around us? I am. Hurricanes – not just one, but several. Earthquakes. Earth shaking. Water from the seas and from the air roaring and foaming, surging forth, taking with it buildings, vegetation, security, and life. It’s scary, troubling, heart stirring, emotional. We worry about people in the path, people being affected beyond our imagination by the shaking, the roaring of wind and water. There is much out of our control. We are tempted to think that we are helpless and hopeless. However, our God is present. We have not been left alone. Our God is right here with us and with all those whose lives have been changed – with those in shelters, with those who are evacuating, with those who are even now responding to the terror, with those both giving and receiving help. Our God is a very present help even in these times of great trouble.

When trouble wants to rip from us our sense of hope, a center of security and strength can be found in God’s presence. God is our refuge. Yes, there is trouble – Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Wind, Rain – but God’s promise is that we will never be left alone. Christ’s promise is that He will be with us! As we pray fervently for those affected by the Harvey, Irma, Jose, the earthquake – let us take refuge in the fact that God is present and will be present to bring healing and salvation to our needy world. And, as we pray, let us pray to hear God’s direction for how we can help others take refuge in God’s presence and thus truly become God’s messengers, and the presence of Christ, for the people whose lives have been shaken to their very foundations and who are frightened, crying out, and who seek hope, and love, and life.