Psalms 46 – – Please read.
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASB
Picking up where we left off yesterday, I have found that Psalms 46 contains a powerful message for daily living. It was born in the context of extreme stress and pressure. It is a healing balm for all who are bowed down under the load of the cares of life.
In church history, it is reported that Martin Luther, a man constantly under pressure and satanic attack, found Psalms 46 to be an incredibly powerful source of comfort and peace and penned the words of a hymn: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, A Bulwark Never Failing.”
In the first verse of the Psalm, we find the theme of the Psalm – “God is our instant help when we are in a tight squeeze.” The word trouble in Hebrew means ‘to be restricted, to be tied up in a narrow and cramped place.’ That calls to mind the old expression – “Between a rock and a hard place.”
Stress means that I am being pressed and pressured. I am being squeezed. When stress is doing a number on us is when we need to heed the words of the Psalmist that “God is our refuge and strength.” It is when you are stressed, pressured, and squeezed that you need to recognize the weakness of your humanity and the infiniteness of His Power! It is in the midst of our troubles that God is building a tent of refuge where He can bring us in out of the storm and refresh our spirits.
This Psalm notes three specific situations and offers to console in those times:
- Natural Calamities – – [vv. 1-3]
When these come the reaction is “I will not fear!”
- Civil Disturbances – – [vv. 4-7]
The city is under attack. The reaction is – “God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.”
- Post Battle Fatigue – – [vv. 8-11]
‘Cease striving and know that I am God” Therefore the reaction is “I will not strive!”
This is about conquering fear and even if the earth should change mountains should quake, and fire should roar out of control – – God is our bridge over troubled waters! He should be but too often we do not recognize this aspect of His promise and power and crumble under the stress and pressure.
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.”
Psalms 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?”
Psalms 27:10 – “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.”
Elvis Presley popularized the term “All Shook Up.” Elvis grew up dirt poor in a little Mississippi town. He had little encouragement and no special skill as far as the workplace was concerned. At the age of 18, making $14 per week as a truck driver he decided to make a record and you know the rest of the story. He became the best-paid male entertainer in American history. Elvis said shortly before he died that he would give $1 Million for one week of normal life and peace. Money will not relieve stress. Fame will not cure the pressures of stress. The only cure is GOD!
Therefore, as you enter this day, I pray that God will help you to cease striving and relax in Him. May God be with you as you go through your day!