PSALM 9:9-10:

9) “The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

10) And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (ESV)

OBSERVATION: What is a “stronghold” (in the positive Biblical sense)? The Hebrew word translated “stronghold” in this verse literally means – a high place, a secure height, a retreat. It is a place that lifts you up above your enemy, up above your troubles. Immediately my thoughts go to the recent floods that we have experienced in North Texas. We have been blessed by rain having come out of a very severe drought. However, it has come in extremely great quantities and in an extremely short period of time. The results have been flooding. Whenever there is a flood the first thing a person instinct-fully does is seek “higher ground” (a stronghold).

Why is it that when we face such physical troubles we instinct-fully know what to do? However, when we face times of spiritual and emotional challenge, even physical (health) challenge, we don’t respond in the same kind? Perhaps we know that when flood waters are rising we don’t have many other options. It is seek “higher ground” (a stronghold) – or drown. However, when we face spiritual, emotional and physical challenges we have a myriad of other things that we can try before we come to our last resort – seeking “higher ground”.

This does not mean that we do not seek the help of a pastor, a counselor, or a doctor. All of these are very important and very much needed. However, there is something we need to always do first. That something is to run to our “stronghold”. That something is to run to the Lord! It is only from His perspective, from “higher ground”, that we are able to gain the insight into the steps that He has prescribed for our help and our healing. Note that the passage does not say that the Bible, prayer, worship, or anything we do is our stronghold. THE LORD is our stronghold! THE LORD is our “higher ground”.

The Psalmist goes on to say that He is a stronghold to those who “know” His name, who put their trust in the Lord. The end of the journey for this person is an encounter with the faithfulness and provision of the Lord. “…For you , O Lord, have not forsaken them who seek you.” The writer of Hebrews echoes the same truth when he writes – “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (‭Hebrews‬ ‭11‬:‭6‬ ESV)

The ultimate goal of life is faith – working through love. God wants our heart, single and undivided. He is more interested in our hearts than anything else. He may allow trouble in our lives if that is the only thing that will drive us to “higher ground”. When it does, and when we turn our hearts fully to the Lord, we find His Grace, His Strength, His Comfort, and His Provision. The flood may still be raging around us, but we find ourselves in His Perfect Peace, because our hearts and minds have found His “higher ground”.

Lord, draw me this morning to “higher ground”. May I not grumble about my circumstances. Rather, let me come to you in full assurance of faith. Let me call upon Your Name in my time of trouble and find Your Grace, Your Strength, Your Comfort, and Your Peace! I know that You will not forsake those who diligently seek You! In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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