“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted in the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10)
In times past, I thought Psalm 46:10 was a stand-alone, comfort-filled verse. And, that it is! However, it was not until I read verse ten in light of the entire Psalm that I had a greater appreciation; as well as, a personal application of its reassurance. The consolation in verse ten comes at the end of a lengthy list of human fears and sincere concerns. The Psalmist recites the burdens of his day which seem to mirror many of our present-day fears: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and wars. It seems that uncertainty was the surety of the day as it is today.
The forty-sixth Psalm provides an eternal perspective in light of the genuine worries of the day. During uncertain times in my life, I have been girded by shifting my focus from my circumstances to the reality of my heavenly citizenship and God’s presence with me. It has been said that Martin Luther, upon hearing discouraging news, would say, “Come, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm together.” Building further upon an eternal perspective, the Psalmist remembered the mighty works of God in former times. Like the Psalmist and Luther, I too, have been sustained by remembering God’s former faithfulness in my life. Upon reflection of His former works, my only conclusion is that He will continue to show Himself faithful on my behalf.
God has promised to be our “Refuge” in trouble. From the dictionary and Strong’s Concordance, the word “Refuge” or “Fortress,” means: any place of exceptional security, anything to which one has recourse for aid, a defense, a high fort, to be set on high, and to be inaccessible. These definitions are powerful, and yet, I find them misleading to some extent. The misleading arises because my definition of “inaccessible” and God’s definition are slightly divergent… See, in this Psalm, comfort and reassurance are offered in the midst of trouble, and I would prefer comfort without the tumult, wouldn’t you?
I am reminded of Jesus’ words to His disciples, and to us, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Again, in the midst of trouble, Jesus soothes our hearts with the truth that He has overcome all that disturbs us, and offers us peace, not the absence of discord. So, what does “Be still” mean from Psalm 46:10? “Still” from Strong’s Concordance means to leave, to let alone, to mend, to cure, to repair, to heal, and to make whole. The Lord is beckoning us here to let alone our anxieties, place them into His caring and capable hands, and receive His peace which stills our hearts and minds. As a result, we will be in a better position for His mending, curing, repairing, and healing of those broken places in our hearts and in our lives.
May your heart find strength and rest today as you place the burdens of your heart, your concerns for today, and your thoughts of the future into His hands. And, as you consider the place where the Most High dwells, remembering His past faithfulness in your life, may you receive His peace in exchange for your burdens. He is our refuge and strength and will be exalted in our lives yet again! Thank you, Jesus! : )
In order to still my heart and mind, worship has helped me to gain a proper perspective in difficult times. You might find the song, “God of our Yesterdays” by Matt Redman, to help you rest in Him. You can click on the “PleasantWords” link below to listen. Rest in Him today and allow Him to still your heart and mind.
Scripture verses taken from the New International Version