Are you going through a trial or trouble? Is someone or something making you feel distressed or disturbed?
Israel knew trouble. They were slaves in Egypt for 430 years, being forced to perform hard labor and have their newborn sons taken for a nation in great fear of their increasing size. And in one night, God redeemed them. He led them out of Egypt – with much provision – to begin their journey to the Promised Land. But it was not an easy journey. He took them through the wilderness, where they had no one but God to protect them.
And sometimes we are in the wilderness. And all we think we have on our side is God … and even the thought of God’s love may feel impossible or unsure.
Psalm 46 can be our go-to assurance that God is with us and God is for us.
Because He is “God the Refuge of His People” (Subtitle, NKJV).
There is nothing we go through that God does not know about. He wants to help us through everything. He also wants to restore everything we have been through.
So why would we not trust Him?
“God is our refuge and strength” (1a).
God enables us to keep moving forward, into the unknown (scariness) of tomorrow. He helps us remember how He can and will work out this impossible situation for our good (Romans 8:28). He helps us remember that His best life does not come easy – His character in us is developed through trial and tribulation (Romans 5:3-5). He helps us remember that His love is real and readily available to us (Romans 8:38-39).
So He tells us twice more that He has our back – “The God of Jacob is our refuge” (7b, 11b). We can run to Him with any problem. We can trust Him with any pressure.
And we can know we are never alone – “The Lord of hosts is with us” (7a, 11a).
When our security – a job, our spouse, a friendship, etc. – is taken away or disappears from our life … “Even though the earth be removed” (2b).
When all that is good seems to be sucked from our lives and we seem to have no hope to cling to … “And though the mountains be carried into the midst [heart] of the sea” (2c).
When all we can see is the bad and all we hear is the negative the world wants us to focus on … “Though its waters roar and be troubled” (3a).
When our hope is being strangled by fear and our heart is being overcome by worry because the answer to our prayers seems to be withheld … “Though the mountains shake with its swelling” (3b).
No matter how our situation looks.
No matter how our emotions are raging.
No matter how our heart is leaning.
No matter how unsure our faith is.
We need to remember – and tell ourselves over and over again – that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (1).
As life happens and effects our hope –
God is not far away.
God is not unfeeling or lacking compassion.
God is not punishing us.
God is not hoping we will take care of ourselves.
God is with us.
Next to us when we need support.
Ahead of us when we need guidance.
Behind us when we need protection.
So remember you have the Creator of the world fighting for you and cheering you on to victory. And remind yourself of these truths:
– “God is in the midst of her” (5a) life, giving strength in the struggle
– “she shall not be moved [shaken]” (5a) by temporary, fickle, or powerless things
– “God shall help her” (5b) in every way possible to get through
– “just at the break of dawn” (5b), in His perfect timing and according to His perfect purposes
He can defeat or remove anything that will keep us from His love and His best life.
– The things we control and hold onto instead of trusting Him … “He uttered His voice, the earth melted” (6b)
– The habits, mindsets, and attitudes that keep us from growing and making progress … “Who has made desolations in the earth” (8b)
– The relationships and influences that cause us to stray from doing good and living right … “He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two” (9b)
– The harsh and cruel words we speak over ourselves and the negativity we speak over our lives … “He burns the chariot in the fire” (9c)
Which will allow His peace to secure you, His love to assure you, and His grace to move you.
So when life is at its hardest and stress is at its highest, we can be confident in Him and His power. “Therefore we will not fear” (2a) anything we see, hear, or think. We will choose to be assured of God’s purposes.
So we will praise. We will choose to rejoice and “make glad” (4a) about His answer and redemption that are coming. We will choose to rest in “the holy place” (4b) of grace and produce worship instead of worry.
And as we trust and worship, something amazing will happen. We will be able to “Be still, and know that I am God” (10a).
We will calm our emotions.
We will check our thoughts.
We will control our words.
And our hearts will be quietly at peace, knowing God is in complete control and can be trusted to help us.
What powerful truths! So desperately needed in this season of my life, where I am experiencing a war of the wills at work. I need to continually remind myself to step back and give God space to work for me – instead of charging ahead trying to work it out myself. I need to continually remind myself that God is bigger than any vendetta – and He will only be hindered by any pettiness on my part. I need to continually remind myself that God’s part is to be God – and I do not need to control or manipulate things to my advantage.
I must trust God to work things out. “Come, behold the works of the Lord” (8a) that are possible when I let go and let God, choosing to “be still” (10a) instead of choosing to be vengeful.
So Father, thank You for loving me. Through every failure to yield to You. Through every stubborn decision to go my own way. Through every moment I tried to control the outcome. Thank You for never, ever, ever giving up on me. As I go through my current valley, I pray You help me step back from control and lean into Your love. I pray You help me pause before speaking and consider the consequences. I pray You help me sift through my churned-up emotions and only listen to the ones that promote peace. I pray You give me the endurance to keep going through each hard day with an undaunted spirit and an unfaltering faith. Thank You for being with me and never giving up on me as I go through. In Jesus’ all-mighty name. AMEN!
Marie Fremin. 4/27/19