Thursday, February 28, 2013

Being still when waters roar because He is God

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. 
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. 
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth. 
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in the fire. 
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

God IS our refuge and strengthHe IS with us, and He IS a mighty Deliverer, and He WILL BE exalted He IS a very present help in trouble.  It is all true!  

It is also true that this side of glory, there is trouble.  How else could He be an ever present help in the midst of it?  Jesus told us in John 16:33 that He made certain things known to us..."so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Last night I crawled into bed with an aching heart...and my husband, God bless him, sat quietly and listened to me.  Then, we prayed together for Christ to be exalted as the Deliverer of all the troubles in the lives of those we hold dear.  We weep with a number of friends who are weeping in ongoing scenarios of trouble.  For some right now, it feels like "waters are roaring," threatening to swallow them whole.  Their world, as they know it, is being severely shaken.  Feelings of hopelessness taunt them as deliverance seems doubtful to the human eye.  But we are not called to live by feelings, or even by sight, but by faith.  Faith in the One who is a very present help in trouble.  Can we be still together, and know that He is God?  Can we trust Him together for that next breath, and for enough light on our path to take one more step at time? 

I don't mean "trust Jesus" in some trite way.  I mean, let Him be the foundation upon which you stand.  Let His Word be a lamp unto your feet.  I know the temptations to veg, the flip on movies and tune out, to go numb.  I know the temptation to obsess with work as a diversion as well.  Or there is always that Costco size bag of peanut m&m's to snack on...surely that will comfort you, until guilt comes knocking.  I also know about painting on smiles and trying to pretend it away.  But none of these things will hold us up.  We need to flee to our Refuge, our Strength, our Help.

This is the God who creates storms with good purpose, and calms storms in His time.  The One who says in Job 38:11, "This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!" The One who makes blind eyes see, and replaces hearts of stone with hearts of flesh.  This is the One who sets captives free.  He makes wars cease.  He will be exalted among the nations, exalted in the earth. So come: "come, behold the works of the Lord."  Don't let your expectations of your future be configured by present circumstances, but by the One who delivers and resurrects.  He has an eternal perspective and knows exactly what has to happen and where He needs to take us in the process of conforming us into Christ's image.  He is transforming us and this world.  Be still and know that He is God.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

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