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 we examine the biblical record and the historical evidence of what was transpiring at the writing of this Psalm, we will discover that it was in the context of extreme stress and pressure—ever been there? This is a word that 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 Hebrew means to be restricted or tied up in a narrow, cramped place. I know that place!
There is an old saying we have all heard and probably used, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” That is precisely 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 into a tight place. Anxiety, and negative stress, are doing a number on us. The Psalmist tells us that God is Our Refuge and Strength in those times!
When you are stressed under the heavy weight of pressure and being pushed down, exposing your weakness and humanity, that is an exceedingly difficult place. But God promises that in those times, He is building a tent of refuge for us. He is protecting us. He surrounds 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 learn to receive it and tap into it.
In this Psalm, the writer calls to mind three situations that can damage our faith and cause fear to well up in our hearts. He identifies these situations to help us to realize that Stress & Pressure is 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 was 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. When it would be easy to give up or go into hiding the attitude of 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, and if we take God’s Promises to heart and believe them to be current realities and available, then 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 Troubled Waters!
The question is, “IS HE?” Is He to us, personally? We must search our hearts with total transparency and honesty and see where God fits in our lives in peace and trouble. I want to offer a few passages that 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 and 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 late Elvis Presley made the song “All Shook Up” popular. He was born dirt-poor in a little Mississippi town and was an only child. He had little encouragement and no special skills. At 18, making $14 a week as a truck driver, he made 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!