“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
A couple of month’s ago at St Jude’s we had a weekend centered around the theme “Dam Busters” (drawing from the 1955 film). In our lead up to that weekend we noted that it was time for St Jude’s as a church to break out and break through. In what way was that achieved? We saw as a church a turning away from the distraction and noise around us towards focusing upon our Lord Jesus Christ and giving to Him and the Father excited and powerful praise. The Bible says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. As a result of that weekend, people who had every right to be concerned with multiple issues surrounding them, found themselves in what God was doing in our community and our visitors that weekend.
From Psalm 46 we can learn a number of things:
God is our refuge and strength – no matter how great the trouble might be around us we do not need to fear. Even if the very foundations of the earth might tremble, we can stand firm in our God!
Stream of gladness – there is a river of God’s joyfulness ebbing through the life of the families of our church. I always get a little nervous using the term joy because I believe the church has used it in the past with superficial meaning. Joyfulness in extreme circumstances does not result in a dissociation from those circumstances, but an empowering from God to tackle those circumstances full on. Men, women and children who do that come through those circumstances stronger than they have ever been, expanded in their capacity to be used by God for His purposes.
God’s unsettling presence – human institutions might vaunt themselves before others and us, but there is always a day of reckoning with God. Those institutions, referred to in the psalm as the nations, end up in uproar because the very things that they relied upon in the past, which had given them power and domination, crumbled into dust before our God. This is because the Lord of Hosts is with us.
God brings peace – God always acts with the aim to bring resolution to conflicts from one end of the earth to the other. God brings healing to the broken relationships of couples and families whose bitterness and anger compounded the difficulties they confronted.
Enduring trust in God – God brings a cessation of our ongoing striving with Him and others. He quietens the troubled places of our hearts and minds. Our hearts shift from anxiety and fear to stand in awesome wonder at the mightiness of our God who is exalted among the nations as we sing His praises to His name.
All this is preparation for all that God intends to do through us and with us. When trouble brews around us, if we focus upon God, unseen forces are unleashed that act upon our behalf to see His promises fulfilled for us personally.
How is God preparing you?