Running to the True Refuge

Article by: Bridgehaven Team

Counselors Reflect on Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp
A Series to Care for the Care Takers of God’s People


“In the middle of trouble, when you are in the heat of the battle, you will run somewhere for refuge. You will run somewhere for rest, comfort, peace, encouragement, wisdom, healing, and strength. There is only one place to run where true protection, rest, and strength can be found. You and I must learn, in life and ministry, to make the Lord our refuge” (Paul David Tripp in Dangerous Calling, page 109).


Refuge: (1):  “Shelter or protection from danger or distress (2): a place that provides shelter or protection (3): something to which one has recourse in difficulty” [Webster’s Dictionary]. Ministry has many challenges. If I were to ask you, “When things get difficult and burdensome, where do you turn?” What would you say? Yes, all of us know the “right” answer as where we should turn, but where do you on a day-to-day basis actually (i.e. functionally) turn? Do you turn to entertainment in the form of TV or movies? What about food? Do you turn to Oreos, ice cream, or French Fries? Perhaps you turn to the mall or to the golf course. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that entertainment, food, or shopping, or golf are bad things. When we consistently turn to them for refuge (instead of turning to the Lord), however, good things become god-like things. Where do you run?


Both life and ministry have difficulties that come with it. As a counselor and as a believer, there are struggles that exist daily. As Tripp notes, “There is only one place to run where true protection, rest, and strength can be found”—the Lord. Though I know that in my mind, do I do that in practice? Honestly, there are days that I turn to a good movie or a good sale rather than turning to the Lord. Do those things satisfy? Maybe they pacify the longing by distraction, but they certainly do not fulfill. By the end of movie or after the purchase, the struggles remain. Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength. An ever-present help in time of trouble.” Tripp notes, “God really is your refuge and strength. Only he rules every location where your trouble exists. Only he controls all the relationships in which disappointment will rear its head. Only he has the power to rescue and deliver you. Only he has the grace you need to face what you are facing. Only he holds the wisdom that, in trouble, you so desperately need. Only he is in, with, and for you at all times. He is the refuge of refuges. Do you run to Him” (page 109)?


So, the question remains, where do you run when you are burdened and face challenges? Perhaps you have never really thought about that question. When challenges come, whether in life or ministry, try and be intentional in examining your next course of action. Are you consistently running to the Lord or to something else? Only God is the True Refuge. Though we know that in our minds, does that belief dwell in our actions?

 Join us as we explore “Dangerous Calling” by Paul David Tripp.

To order a copy of your own of Paul Tripp’s book click on the link below.

535826: Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry By Paul David Tripp / Crossway Books & Bibles