If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”Psalm 91:9-12 NIV
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
This passage is such a comforting promise. But one that would be very easy to misunderstand. It is not a guarantee that no harm will ever befall you if you say the right words. But it is a promise that if you are taking shelter in the Lord, he will guard and keep you safe from harm.
Saying that the Lord is my refuge is more than a magic incantation. Instead, it is a declaration of trust in the Lord. It is making the Most High your dwelling. It is finding your security in him rather than in a job, a bank account, or strength of arms.
A Refuge Through Suffering
It would be wonderful if I could expect that my life would be easy once I have committed it to the Lord. And, on the surface, this passage would seem to affirm that idea. But when you take the Scripture as a whole, it cannot mean that I will never stub my toe on a rock. The Scripture records many accounts of people who have made the Lord their refuge and yet suffered in this life.
The apostle Paul is a good example. He suffered tremendously as he faithfully served the Lord (2 Cor. 11:16-33). Yet he could still affirm the truth of this passage. In 2 Timothy 1:12, despite all that he suffered, he was able to say, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” He suffered in this life. But he had confidence that God would bring him safely into his presence. And all who have made the Lord their refuge can have that same hope.