Today's lesson focuses on the often-quoted Ps. 46:

"Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth."
(vs. 10 NIV)

I, for one, have often been blessed by this verse. When problems and worries rise up around me, all I can see in my troubled soul is turbulent waters, and God seems so far away from my reality. When I make the effort to meditate upon these words, however, my heart quiets, my soul calms, and I am filled with the assurance that the God who is exalted among the nations, who is exalted in the Earth, has got my problems--in His hands!

I would encourage each of you to memorize this verse, and as soon as the stormy waters of trials begin to hit, mediate on it. Repeat it over and over in your mind. You will be amazed at the difference, for as you do, your mind will stop its downward spiral of replaying your problems and all the potential negative scenarios to focus on the One who is exalted!

But wait a minute. This familiar passage is verse 10 of 11. What can we learn from the surrounding verses?

The psalm begins with an important reminder:

"God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble."
(vs. 1 NIV)

What does it mean that God is our ever-present help in trouble?

Psalms 46 gives us the answer:

"Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging."
(vs. 2-3 NIV)

With God as our ever-present help in trouble, we have no need to fear!

But wait. Who wouldn't be afraid when their spouse passes away?

Yet Psalm 46 reminds us that we do not need to fear, "though the earth give way."

Well what about the loss of my home? How can I not be afraid?

"though…the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..."

Contemplating the Lord's power gives us the assurance we need that He can and will handle what we are going through, and this makes it easier to give Him the problem!

But what if it isn't a solitary problem? Life usually brings trouble in bunches. Who wouldn't be afraid when that cancer diagnosis comes along with multiple other health problems, just at that time you lose your job and your teenager goes into a bout of rebellion?

Yet Psalm 46 tells us we do not need to fear, "though… [the sea's] waters roar and foam @and@ the mountains quake with their surging."

It doesn't matter how many serious the problem is or how many are piling on at once: God's got this! For:

"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
   the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
   God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
   he lifts his voice, the earth melts."
(vs. 4-6 NIV)

The problem is, when we focus only on our problems, no matter how significant they truly are, they begin to mushroom in our eyes. We can learn from Psalms 46 to mediate upon the works of the Lord instead. As we repeat these truths in our minds, our problems will seem to decrease as our faith grows strong: God is within us, we will not fall! God will help us at the break of day! The troubles may uproar and it may seem that everything we have worked so hard for is falling around us, but the Lord lifts His voice and the Earth melts!

God has got this and we do not need to be afraid, for:

"The Lord Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress."
(vs. 7, 11 NIV)

Interesting that this verse is repeated twice! God is trying to get our attention, to help us know beyond a doubt that no matter what you face today, He is your fortress!

The Psalm still doesn't stop there. It goes on to spell out for us the glory and might of the God of Jacob, the One who is our fortress, the One who invites us to:

"Come and see what the Lord has done,
   the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
   to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
   he burns the shields with fire."
(vs. 8-9 NIV)

God has nothing to hide. He invites us to observe and contemplate what He has done in the past, for in doing so, we will draw strength, our faith will increase and we will be overcome with the assurance that the God who has done all those things…has got your problems!

Our job is simply to:

"Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth."
(vs. 10 NIV)

Overcome with troubles and temptations? Be still. Remember what God has done in the past. Remember that He is your fortress. Remember that He will be exalted in your troubles and temptations! Be still and know that He is God!

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To access the entire "Lessons From the Psalms" mini-series, please click here.)