Finding PEACE when life leaves you in PIECES.
PSALM 46: “1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help IN trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields. 10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
To deform steel, it takes a temperature range between 1300°F and 1550°F. That’s some intense heat! Psalm 46 offers a wonderful synopsis of what to do when the temperature of our lives gets turned up.
Though most us would rather go around the heat instead of through it, this detour is not the reality seen in God’s Word. How we respond to this difficult truth (accepting or denying) dictates whether we will remain spiritual infants, adolescents, or mature into adulthood.
The Psalmist writes in verse 1 that the Lord is our refuge and strength. This truth is imperative to understand as we see quickly in the next part of the verse that trouble WILL come in this life; and often. Even Jesus said in John 16:33, ‘in this world you will have trouble…’
Instead of wishing our circumstances away, becoming bitter, or getting defensive by grasping for control, the Lord offers us rest in Him. The Psalmist concludes verse 1 by trumpeting that God is an ever-present help in trouble. Thus, we are called to cease and desist clenching our jaw and grinding our teeth in favor of waiting on the Lord.
Waiting patiently is painful, which explains why so few do it. When someone works out physically to build muscle, they are causing tiny tears (known as “micro-tears”) in the muscle fibers, which the body then repairs and adapts the muscles to better manage the stimulus that caused the damage. This is the process by which muscles grow. This is where the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ comes from.
If we embrace God’s truth rather than fight and run, it will change our entire lives because this is how the Lord matures us. As one theologian puts it, “Faith is trusting God even when He doesn’t do what I want.”
Even when the world is falling apart God does not panic. He is a Solid Rock. Verses 2-3 give us a picture of chaos. Then, we see a big contrast thereafter in verses 4 & 5.
Here we see the rivers and streams in God’s dwelling place overshadowing the roaring and foaming waters and quaking mountains pictured in verse 3. This is the place where our identity is found. Thus, when the waters foam and the mountains quake we are able to not only survive but thrive because we are rooted in our identity that nothing can take away.
As we go further, in verses 6-9, we see God’s sovereignty. Nation’s rage. Kingdoms rise and fall. Nevertheless, the Lord is firmly on the throne. He operates on His time, not ours. So, although things may seem like they are out of control, they are not. It’s impossible for things to be out of control because God MUST be in control because HE is God.
With that said, God is not in a rush because He sees everything in one view. We tend to freak out when things get tough because we are limited. What’s God’s answer to this dilemma? BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD (verse 10). This is the stunning theme and climax of Psalm 46.
Therefore, we can always live out of a place of deep rest in Him, especially when things are ablaze. Being still before God is true faith and genuine Christianity in action.
Twice the Psalmist says ‘The Lord Almighty is with us’ in verse seven and finally in verse eleven at the conclusion. It is when we surrender and rest in this reality that our lives start to take proper form and shape because our faith becomes immovable in a world of constant movement.
Keep Looking Up,
Rev. Jon Barrett | Director of CVCCS