Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.” NKJV
If you examine the biblical record and the historic evidence of what was transpiring at the writing of the Psalm you discover that it was in the context of extreme stress & pressure! It is a healing balm for everyone who is bowed down under the load of the Cares of this Life. Martin Luther, a man constantly under pressure and satanic attack, found that Psalm 46 was a powerful comforting Promise of Peace and because of its message penned the hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, A Bulwark Never Failing.”
The first verses of this Psalm introduce the theme of the entire Psalm. It could be paraphrased like this: “God Is Our Instant Help When We Are in A Tight Squeeze.” The word TROUBLE in the Hebrew means to be restricted or tied up in a narrow, cramped place. I know that Place!
There is the old saying we have all heard and probably used, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” That is exactly the spot the Psalmist was in when God inspired him to pen the 46th Psalm. Stress means that I am being pressed and pressured. It is being squeezed in a tight place. Stress, negative stress, is doing a number on us. The Psalmist is telling us that in those times God is Our Refuge and Strength!
When you are stressed and under the heavy weight of pressure and being pushed down exposing your weakness and humanity that is a difficult place. But the Promise of God is that in those times He is building a Tent of Refuge for us. He is protecting us! He is surrounding us with His love, care, power, and might. He has given His angels charge over us to Protect Us. In those times and at all times His Strength is available for us IF we will learn to receive it and tap into it.
In this Psalm, the writer calls to mind three situations that can, do damage to our faith and cause fear to well up in our hearts. He identifies these situations to help us to realize that stress & pressure are not the Final desired, Destination in God – PEACE IS!
- Natural Calamities – – Psalm 46:1-3. When those come, the natural reaction is Fear but for the one Trusting in God the reaction is or will become “I Will Not Fear!’
- Civil Disturbance – – Psalm 46:4-7. The city was under attack and the natural reaction is PANIC but for the one Trusting in God the reaction is or will become, “GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF HER, SHE WILL NOT BE MOVED.”
- Post Battle Fatigue – – Psalm 46:8-11. At that moment when it would be easy to give up or go into hiding the attitude for the person Trusting in God, we declare that we will, “Cease Striving and know that God is God so, therefore, I WILL NOT STRIVE.”
We can conquer Fear! If we take God’s Promises to heart and believe them to be current realities and available we can stand as the Psalmist and declare that even if the earth should change, the mountains quake, and fire roar around us. GOD IS OUR BRIDGE OVER TROUBLE WATERS!
The question is, “IS HE?” Is He to us personally? We need to search our own hearts with total transparency and honesty and see where God fits in our lives in peace and in trouble. I want to offer a few passages that I believe will inspire confidence in your heart.
Isaiah 41:10 – “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.”
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God, has not given us the Spirit of Timidity (fear), but of Power and Love and Discipline (sound mind).”
Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong and very courageous.”
Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall, I fear? The Lord is the defense (strength) of my life; whom shall I dread?”
Psalm 27:10 – “For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.”
In times of heavy assault from stress & pressure, God extends to us His invitation to come to Him and rest in His Loving Embrace and Protective Covering. In those times, we are to Stand Fast as Psalm 46:5 declares, “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.” The word Moved in Hebrew means to totter and shake.
The song “All Shook Up” was made popular by the late Elvis Presley. He was born dirt poor in a little Mississippi town and was an only child. He had little encouragement and no special skills. At the age of 18, making $14 a week as a truck driver, he decided to make a recording on a lark. You know the rest of the story as he became the best-paid male entertainer in America. But shortly before Elvis died, he said, “I would give a million dollars for one week of a normal life and peace.” Money cannot relieve stress and fame won’t cure it. The Only Cure is God!
I want to pursue this at least one more time so I will pause here and say, May the Lord Bless you and Keep you and Guard and Guide you as you enjoy this day in Him!