Monday, September 18, 2006

Modern-Day Psalm 46

Fearful. Anxious. Worried. How many of us could add some additional words to make a more complete picture of what life on earth has the potential to be? Humanity, it seems, is always finding its fair share of struggles. The book of Job puts it nicely: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (14:1). Yup, we people know how to find trouble. Or, sometimes the trouble seems to find us. Layoffs, divorce, cutback or cancer, we go through the storm. And such has been our existence since Adam and Eve decided that they knew what was best.

The days certainly to the casual observer seem dark. The problems we face can seem like such a cruel tormentor. And we Christians are not in anyway exempted from the storms of life. In the 46th Psalm, the writer also seems to be describing a time of trouble. Whatever that trouble was, the nation of Israel was under some kind of distress. Yet, the writer found himself looking above the battle to see the God that held them in his Everlasting Arms (Deut. 33:27). He reminded them that even if the world seemed destined to fall apart as the mountains shook and the waters roared, God was with them, and he was their refuge. He was the help they needed, always ready to come the aid of his people (vs. 1).

Not only did the psalmist speak of God’s hand helping them, he spoke of the joy of the Lord. “There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God” (vs. 4). We New Testament believers can look at this and see its fulfillment in us as the Church. Jesus said that out of us believers would rivers of living water. He spoke of the Holy Spirit, who comforts us in all our trials. Friends, whatever the battle, we have the Spirit of God to bring us comfort and joy.

When I think about my problems, I often do what I can to help myself out of them. However, sometimes there is simply nothing I can do. So, what to do when there’s nothing to do? Do what God says to do, which is “Be still, and know that I am God”(vs. 10). Huh? How can I be still when the whole world is coming against me? But friends, according the Word of God, if all things are against you, you are still in great shape because the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God is with you! Sometimes, we just have to sit still, relax (really what that phrase, “be still” means) in God’s wisdom, and trust him to bring us through. When we do, we are really telling the Lord that he is big enough, smart enough and caring enough to know what to do, always with the promise that whatever he does will work out for our good (Rom. 8:28).

Perhaps it was a foreign army that was coming against Israel. May it was some natural catastrophe. But whatever it was, God made it clear that it was no match for him. So, whatever battle you find yourself in today, realize that God hasn’t forgotten you. He knows where you are at, and is more than ready to give you the grace you need. God bless!


I just realized that I seem to beating the same drum lately. But this was in my heart to write, so I pray that it is a blessing to someone, even if it seems a bit monotonous lately.


ruthrap said...

monotonous,no....comforting, yes! Thanks for reminding us that when the chips are down and the storm rages, HE is our comfort and shelter and that when we trust in HIM there's nothing to fear!

Travis Johnson said...

Good stuff, Jeff. FYI-I linked to you at