Psalm 46:1 Meaning of God Is Our Refuge and Strength

Psalm 46:1
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

Explanation and Commentary of Psalm 46:1

People seek everywhere for refuge and strength. This is what undergirded so much idolatry in the ancient world, even among God’s chosen people, and this is what undergirds idolatry today.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had God alone as their refuge and strength. They completely and totally depended upon him even as they fulfilled their responsibility as image-bearers with the delegated authority to make decisions and rule the earth (Gen 1-2). It was not enough for them. Satan found a way to exploit a desire to be their own god, “knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:5-6). Their own knowledge and wisdom would be their refuge and strength. What a tragedy.

But because of his mercy and his great forgiveness, manifested and made possible by Christ on the cross, we can be restored to the faith that trusts only in God.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Psalm 46:1

#1 “God is…”
This verse begins the great Psalm that includes, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). Why would this be of comfort? Because God calls himself “I Am” (Ex 3:14). God exists in the present moment always. Whatever “God is” He is right now. Stop and realize that at this moment, God is. He is with you.

#2 “…our refuge and strength,”
The Father knows every hair on your head. You are precious to him. He will protect you and strengthen you for what he has for you if you will only surrender to him. Anytime you want to be held safe, he is there. Anytime you need strength for the fight, he is there. The sad fact is that, though he is always present, he is most often ignored. We can be like children hiding our acts from our parents because we want to do what we want to do. We take pride in becoming our own refuge and strength.

#3 “an ever-present help…”
Once again, we see that God is “ever-present.” He always is, right now. He will never leave you or forsake you (Deut 31:6). Your life could and should be walking and being in him at all times. Walk by faith. Walk by the Spirit. Walk in and with Christ. Abide. Be still and know.

#4 “in trouble.”
God is there, even in trouble. Some people, in their sin, move away from God in trouble. They betray their lack of faith because they’ve been playing at Christianity for some reason, but when trouble comes, they look to their real gods. Others only go to God when they are in trouble. This is better and shows that deep down there must be faith, but why not live in him at all times? Nevertheless, the Psalmist shows that God is our refuge, strength and help when, and not if, trouble comes.

Bible Study on Psalm 46:1

Expert Overview of Psalms

Biblical Translations of Psalm 46:1

NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

NLT
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

ESV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

KJV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

NKJV
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Psalm 46:1 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.