I can hardly believe it, but we are already in May. This month, we kick off a brand new series titled Rest For Your Mind & Soul.
May is mental health awareness month, and what could be more fitting than to explore ways to rest our minds.
The book of Psalms is the perfect backdrop for our exploration. Some popular psalms include:
- Psalm 23: comfort for the weary traveler
- Psalm 52: restoration when we mess up
- Psalm 1: guidance for following the ways of the Lord
- Psalm 119: illustrates how scripture can guide our way
This week, we kick off the series with an exploration of a little verse buried in Psalm 46.
It says in Psalm 46:10,
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46 was written as a song to be sung by the descendants of Korah. Korah was from the tribe of Levi who were the priests for the Israelites.
The Israelites came out of Egypt after Pharaoh let them go after a series of plagues that ended in the death of all firstborn children unless they had the blood of the lamb painted on the sides and over the door.
This way, when the angel of death came through the land it would pass over the house, and death would not happen.
All of the Egyptians lost their firstborn children and cattle, and Pharaoh essentially threw out the Israelites. This is where Passover originates.
The Lord Is Our Strength
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years and never saw the promised land with the generation that exited Egypt because they did not obey the Lord.
However, they recognized that the Lord was never far from them even when they messed up.
It says in Psalm 46:1,
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Even though the Israelites would test the Lord, they knew God would be there to protect and guide them.
The truth of this verse echoes in our hearts and minds today. God is our strength. He sees us when we are struggling and in the good times.
He is ready to help us when trouble comes our way. The truth is…we don't always recognize His presence when we are going thru stressful or troublesome times.
I remembered a few years ago, I was in the middle of a large work project, and my stress and anxiety levels were at an all-time high.
Each night I would come home from work, collapse on the couch, and just binge-watch whatever I was watching the previous day. It was not healthy mentally or physically.
I recall coming across Max Lucado's book, Anxious For Nothing, and it challenged me to lay my burdens and anxiety on Jesus.
I also found journaling to be a great way to process my thoughts at the end of a long workday. In the future, when the world seemed like it was caving in around me, I could go back to my journal entries and see God’s faithfulness.
Reminder #1: God’s Voice Commands
The Israelites needed reminding of God’s faithfulness, and Psalm 46 provided comfort for them.
“The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!” – Psalm 46:6
Our world can be in chaos, but the strong voice of the Lord reigns down upon the world. According to some scholars, at the time of the writing of this Psalm, the Israelites had recently returned from a battle that the Lord won for them in an unexpected way.4
Reminder #2: God’s Glorious Works
The glorious work of the Lord is on display as He crushes the evildoers that work to destroy His people. It says in Psalm 46:8,
“Come, see the glorious works of the Lord : See how he brings destruction upon the world.”
God is at work in us and around the world. Sometimes we lose sight of all that He is doing in the world because the world is filled with chaos and noise.
Reminder #3: Stillness
Many times when our world is in chaos, and we struggle to understand what is happening to us or around us, people quote Psalm 46:10.
“'Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
The Lord reminds us to slow down for a moment. He says, ”be still and know that I am God”. When the chaotic world around us seems to be closing in on us, the Lord wants us to know that it is okay to slow down.
Yep, it’s okay to slow down and rest. The Lord wants us to be still and listen for His still small voice in our hearts.
It might sound like a whisper, or it may come from a megaphone, depending on how God speaks to you.
However, I want you to know that being still and quiet can be deafening. Silence is deafening at times. We don’t like to be in our heads and minds because it causes us to reflect, and that can be painful or uncomfortable.
The second half of the verse is a reminder to us that God will be honored across the globe. Whether we say His name or not, He will be honored, and in the future, every knee will bow before Him.
As you reflect on Psalm 46 this week, I challenge you to do two things:
- Be silent before the Lord, and rest your soul and mind – let His peace wash over you this week and remove the chaos from your life.
- Live with the reminder that God is our strength and refuge – when the world feels out of control this week, whisper in your heart, “God, you are my refuge and strength”.
If you journal, share a few thoughts from this week of your time spent in silence before the Lord or how God rescued you when you needed Him most.
Lord, thank you for your presence in our lives and the reminder that you are our refuge and strength in the midst of chaos. We invite you to clean out our hearts and speak to us this week. May our eyes be upon you, not just when we need help but also when the times are good. Thank you for your watchful care over us, Your children. Amen!
- Five Tools To Help Make Journaling Part of Your Life
- Start Fresh in 2021 with a Prayer and Journaling Habit
- Build a Prayer and Journaling Habit
- Day One app
- Day One app course (The Sweet Setup)
- The immediate evidence that he “is with us,” our fortress, is some recent victory so unexpected as to require divine intervention to explain it. Hezekiah’s deliverance from Sennacherib comes readily to mind (2 Kings 18–19).Verses 4–6 suggest the inner spiritual resources of a besieged city which knows that God has only to speak and all opposition melts.R. E. O. White, “Psalms,” in Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 381. ↩
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