February 23, 2021
Today’s Reading: Psalm 46
There is so much to pull from Psalm 46. I will try to bracket a couple of the beginning and ending verses that spoke to me when reading this week. Let’s start here.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Quick question for you, “Do you turn to our Lord when you are in trouble or need strength?
I know we all face troubles. Trouble can look like a lot of things. They come in the form of disappointments, frustrations, misunderstandings, unfulfilled dreams, unmet expectations, great loss, great loneliness, fear, criticism, persecution, conflict. At one point or another, you may have faced one or all of these scenarios. The pain from divorce, abuse, failure, and many other situations that either happened or I put myself in. I should have known they would come with the nickname “trouble.” (This is another story and need for prayer.)
Recently I talked with multiple family members and a friend who are going through some trials of relationships, depression, and anxiety. Some have turned to alcohol and others to medications that help with the stress. Both of these solutions seemed to take away the pain temporarily but had bigger, more negative impacts in other areas besides what they were currently dealing with. In these conversations, we have talked about our hope, refuge, and strength coming from the Lord.
There are also times when we deal with trials and pain by keeping ourselves busy. Never taking time to be still and seek Him. As we have read through the Psalms, I’ve noticed how the Psalmist never really asks for the trials never to happen. The request is just delivery us from them. We know that everyone will face trials.
We need to remember and trust that God is with us in every circumstance.
2 Corinthians 4:8 We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;
I’m going to bracket the start of Psalm 46:10 with the end.
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.”
In our modern world of noise, busyness, and 24/7 of being on the go, solitude is truly countercultural. It’s a very challenging behavior to adopt. To be with God without an agenda and to just be in His presence. In our trials, we face we can turn to God and find clarity in the silence.
When was the last time you intentionally spent a significant amount of time with God in solitude? Don’t bring your to-do list; just listen to His voice. If you can’t remember, this might be a clue to take some time. In fact, take a few minutes to be alone with God right now. Put your hands on your knees, palms down. Think of any of the concerns you have at this moment and imagine laying them down at His feet. After you have given Him all your concerns, turn your palms up in a posture of receiving what God wants to give you. Listen for His voice. Recite Psalm 46:10 now like this.
Be still, and know that I am God.
Be still, and know.
Hebrews 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.