Good morning to you again my precious family in Christ
I am reading Psalm 46
1"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; He utters His voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, how He has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the chariots with fire.
10 "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 of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah"
For all of us, the last few months have been very - how can I say "unique." For some of us, COVID-19 has meant feelings of anxiety, fear and uncertainty. For others, this virus has bought economic worries and job instability. For others, this has significantly impacted our travel plans, wedding plans, work plans, big events, and even our sources of income. And of course, for many of us, the health and sickness realities of the Corona Virus are playing on our minds too.
What can we learn from Psalm 46 in this unique, global moment?
The Psalmist says that no matter what happens around us, we need not fear, because God is our refuge and strength.
A refuge is a place where we hide when troubles get to be too much. Like a cleft in the rock, it covers and protects us. We need that when the storms of life come. But notice: God does not providea refuge for us; He is our refuge. He doesn't giveus an umbrella to cover us from the driving rain; He isthat umbrella that covers us.
In verses 1, 7 and 11 God is described as our Fortress, or refuge, or strength. Many of us have never been in a fortress, but we know what a Fortress is, and we can picture one in our minds. A Fortress is a military building, that is strong and secure from an attack from the enemy.
If God is our fortress, it means our lives are found in Him. He is our security, our hope, our protection. If God is our fortress, it means that our Hope is in Him. It is not in our jobs, our health, our friends or family, or life as we have known it. If God is our Fortress, it means that He is the one we turn to and trust in even when things go wrong, or when we are scared, or when we need Help.
God is also our strength when we run out of steam and get weary in life. It takes strength to believe, to trust, to do God's will, to stand against the onslaught of the enemy. But, again: He doesn't just giveus strength; He isour strength. As you and I put your trust in Him, He will do things in and through us that we cannot even imagine. He will keep our feet on the right path, lift up our arms, and give us strength we thought that we could never have.
The verses also say that even if the unthinkable should occur – just like what we are living through right now – that we do not need to fear (verse 2) because the Lord is our fortress (verse 7)
We need to ask if that is true of you and me?
Secondly, verse 10 reminds us to: "Be still, and know that I am God".
To "Be still" means to stop. It means to stop striving, or trying, or doing life in our own strength. It also means to stop and know that our Lord Jesus is God.
Now, to "know" doesn't mean that we think more about God. This is not an academic knowing. To stop and know that Jesus is God means that we come to God personally. We must stop what we're doing, stop what we're worrying about, and come and be with our Lord Jesus. We must focus on Jesus (in Hebrews 12 verses 1 and 2 we are told to run our race with our eyes focused on Christ: "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith") and as we pray, we can rest in Him and experience this promised reality that He is our fortress, our refuge, and our strength. If we are focused on Christ, then He has our attention; we are concentrating on Him and His Word; He occupies the forefront of our minds. Such a focus is only fitting, because Jesus "is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy" (Colossians 1:18). By rights, He should be our focus and we need Him always.
And for many of us in the midst of all that is going on, this is the word we need to hear. That God is in control and is far greater than the Corona Virus. And, that God is our Fortress and strength.
We are living through extraordinary times, so we can't keep living the way we ordinarily do. We need to make changes, and stop living the way we've been living, and make God our fortress, in the midst of the storm we are facing.
And if we do this, we can know for sure, that God will be with us, and that He will be a very present help in our times of trouble.
God is an ever-present help in time of trouble — this means all the time… continually! Do you need to be sheltered in your mind and in your heart today? Do you need someone to protect and hold you close at this moment in your life? Our Lord Jesus is there right when you and I need Him. We can't always say that about a physical doctor; sometimes we can't get an appointment for weeks. But the Great Physician is ever-present, always ready to help us.
What is the worst thing that can happen? The Psalmist says that even if the earth is removed, the mountains are carried into the sea, the water surges and roars, and the mountains shake, he will not fear. Can you and I say the same?
This same God, in whom the Psalmist trusted, is our God fellow believer! The Psalmist's faith should be your faith as well! You can safely love and trust Him; He will never leave you or forsake you. God allows trials because He knows these things will drive us to Himself.
The challenge for each believer is to make time for and trust Him at ALL times and to call on our amazing God and Father.
Let us Pray
O Lord our God and Heavenly Father You know what pressures or attack we are experiencing in our lives today, and we ask in faith for You to help us. Father God, You said that You'd be my refuge! Lord You have not promised to spare us from difficult times, but You said that You would be with us. When we are weak, You do not tell us to be STRONG but to be STILL. For when we are still, then we are strong. Father God You do not just say, "Be still," You said, "Know that I am God. "Lord You said in Isaiah 30 verse 15, " In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and in trust shall be your strength". Thank You Lord that we can trust You when we have run out of strength to do Your work, and we can know that You are our strength. Help us to run to You always. We praise You for loving us and for being all that we need. We thank You that You are greater than every problem and bigger than any mountain. Thank You, Lord, for who You are. We trust You to be our refuge and our strength always. In the Mighty name of our Lord Jesus we pray. Amen
Much love in our Lord Jesus from Maurice and Margaret