“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38–39). God is not a generic refuge for every person on earth, but only for those who belong to Him by repentant faith in Jesus Christ.
Mankind consists of two categories: children of God and children of the devil (1 John 3:10). Only children of God have the impenetrable assurance of God’s covenant love in any and every trial of life. John 1:11–13 says of Christ: “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” In other words, we are not children of God by physical birth, but by the new birth, by faith in Jesus Christ, by the spiritual rebirth brought about by the Spirit of God (John 3:1–8).
When we have assurance of a relationship with God through His Son, we possess a refuge in Him. The psalmist writes, “though the earth should change,” or “mountains slip into the heart of the sea,” “though its waters roar and foam,” and the “mountains quake,” we will not fear (Psalm 46). Why? Because the living God, our refuge and strength, is present with us. The causes of fear mentioned by the psalmist are totally beyond our control. We have no control over earthquakes or mountains slipping into the sea. God alone controls these things. We must remember that, no matter how difficult our circumstances may become, we are never alone. God is our very present help. The psalmist is saying, “Trust God. Fear God, and nothing else.” To fear God is to escape from all other fears, to anchor our souls to an immovable rock in a harbor of strong defense.