Posts Tagged ‘Be Still and Know that I am God’

God, our refuge and strength: Be still and know

August 10, 2020

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for August 10, 2020 offers this blessed assurance found in Psalm 46:1 (AMP):

[God the Refuge of His People.] [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song. ] God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], a very present and well-proved help in trouble

As we examine the verse more closely, we find great comfort and strength. First of all, God is described as “our refuge,” a place of trust, described in

Psalm 2:12 (NLT):

Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry,
and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—
for his anger flares up in an instant.
But what joy for all who take refuge in him!

Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere we find numerous references to God as a source of strength. Psalm 27:2 reveals that “The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid,” while Psalm 18:2 declares:

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety.

The expression “a very present help” literally means “a help He has been found exceedingly.” As the Amplified Bible puts it, “a very present and well-proved help in trouble.” I also recall the opening and closing stanzas of the hymn by Dr. Isaac Watts: “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

“In the time of trouble” also brings to mind other verses:


Psalm 27:5

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalm 37:39

But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

Isaiah 33:2

O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

Psalm 46 opens with a striking declaration regarding who God is in verse 1, and the powerful psalm ends with a directive from God Almighty in verses 10 and 11:

10Let be, and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!
11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Verse 10 introduces this poem with the first three words of the psalm as its title:

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalms 46:10


Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.
Though your cherished dreams seem to have faded and gone
The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,
As I weave the tapestry of eternity.

Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,
Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,
And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:
Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm, and friends may abandon
When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.
These scenes reveal people whom we thought we could be,
As words of the Psalmist also help us to see,
When this life is over, and all is said and done:
Be still and know that I am God.

We pause and calmly think about that—as we “Selah” this Psalm and give heed to these words of Kari Jobe, who tenderly encourages us: “Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest)”


A very present and well-proved help in trouble

August 10, 2016

Psalms-46--1-5

The Verse of the Day for August 10, 2016 acknowledges who God is and what He alone provides:

Psalm 46:1(AMP)

[God the Refuge of His People.] [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song. ] God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.

In addition to verse 1, the entire Psalm reassures believers of God’s presence in the midst of chaotic conditions.

Psalm 46:

1GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,

3Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

4There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].

6The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

8Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.

9He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire.

10Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Verse 10 also introduces an original poem with the first four words of the psalm as its title:

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalms 46:10

 

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.

Though your cherished dreams have faded and long since gone

The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,

As I weave the tapestry of eternity.

Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,

Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,

And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:

Be still and know that I am God.

 

Though storms may overwhelm and friends may abandon

When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.

These scenes will reveal the man I thought I could be,

As words of the Psalmist comfort and remind me,

When this life is over and all is said and done:

Be still and know that I am God.

As we pause and calmly think about that—as we “Selah” this Psalm, we also give heed to these words—

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still my soul and be at peace.

Rise above your circumstance and rest in me.

In closing, listen to Steven Curtis Chapman singing “Be Still and Know.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C01lLxEo3xM&feature=related

To be who you want to be: pay the price

June 2, 2014

Proverbs 23--7

“What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.” This thought-provoking quote by Mignon McLaughlin brought to mind another familiar saying, “Everything has its price.” Many times we have a mental picture of ourselves as we would ideally like to be. The road to success in going from the “real” to the “ideal” can be quite arduous. It takes considerable time, energy, and effort to bring those mental pictures into reality. To achieve success in any endeavor, one must be willing to pay the price.

In the public speaking classes that I teach, I sometimes introduce the concepts of affirmation and visualization, whereby students can improve their speaking ability through using these techniques: through what they say about themselves and how they see themselves. Claude M. Bristol states, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.” In addition, Paul J. Meyer says, “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!” In Mark 11:24 in the Amplified Bible, Jesus Christ boldly declares:

For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].

I encourage my students to spend a few quiet minutes each day visualizing themselves as successful in speaking before the public or in whatever activity they may undertake. I also encourage myself by speaking positive affirmations and developing positive mental images of the person that I desire to become.

Many times in the morning as I rise to use the bathroom and refresh myself to start the day, I often recite a statement made by Kim Clement, as I look in the mirror and wash my hands: “I see myself somewhere in the future, and I’m looking so much better than I look right now. . .” I go on to attach this personal addendum: “But right now, I’m looking good!”

The mental picture that you carry of yourself is what you will become. The Scriptures confirm that “As a man thinks in heart so he is.” As believers we are to look into the mirror of the Word of God to see who God says we are.

The recent documentary series on “The Sixties” shown on CNN brought to mind that pivotal decade that formed the backdrop for my coming of age as a Christian believer who was impacted by The Jesus Movement. I recall the lyrics to one of the songs written and performed by the Christian rock group of that era Cookin Mama: “You can be who you want to be/when you find out who you are.” Lyrics from another song from Ted Ferrell also make known this truth:

You are what God says you are

Just believe it and you’ll go far

Don’t sit around feeling blue

You can do what God says you can do

As I reflect upon my life that continues to unfold as a scroll, I see that I am still in the process of becoming the man I have desired to be. In the midst of these most turbulent times of crisis and seemingly overwhelming circumstances, I anchor myself in the truth of God’s Word that tells me in no uncertain terms exactly who I am. In the last stanza of the poem “Be Still and Know” I refer to “the man I thought I could be.”

Be Still and Know

Psalm 46

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.

Though your cherished dreams have faded and long since gone

The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,

As I weave the tapestry of eternity.

Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,

Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,

And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:

Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm and friends may abandon

When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.

These scenes will reveal the man I thought I could be,

As words of the Psalmist comfort and remind me,

When this life is over and all is said and done:

Be still and know that I am God.

 

The accompanying video by Steven Curtis Chapman is inspired by Psalm 46:10, the verse from which the title of the poem is taken.

In the midst of the storms of life: Remember the miracle of the bread

August 21, 2012

Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, occurred in August, 2005.

Not too long ago, without warning, a series of severe storms swept through the heart of the nation, leaving millions without power in its aftermath.  In thinking about “Storms” I recall a number of original poems that focus on that subject.  In longer poem “A Prayer to Know the Fullness of Your Grace” is this short piece:

Protect Me

 As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

 So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.”

 Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place,

 My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

 Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer.

 For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

Another related work that references storms is also inspired by Psalm 46:

Be Still and Know

Psalm 46

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.

Though your cherished dreams have faded and long since gone

The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,

As I weave the tapestry of eternity.

Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,

Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,

And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:

Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm and friends may abandon

When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.

These scenes will reveal the man I thought I could be,

As words of the Psalmist comfort and remind me,

When this life is over and all is said and done:

Be still and know that I am God.

The accompanying video by Steven Curtis Chapman is likewise inspired by Psalm 46:10:

In thinking about the storms of life, I recall the words of Dr. Aaron Parker, who spoke of the cycle of life, whereby, as believers, we are either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm and preparing to go through another storm.  The statement was made following one of the most devastating and destructive storms in recent memory, Hurricane Katrina, occurring in 2005. My sister, Cheryl, who lives in Atlanta, sent me the tape series of sermons focusing on storms, by Dr. Parker, her pastor, each of which inspired the following trio of poems:

This Ever-present Truth 

For He commands and raises the stormy wind,

which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths;

Their soul melts because of trouble.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet;

so He guides them to their desired haven.

Psalm 107:25-26, 29-30

As we navigate through the stages of our lives,

Mild breezes that caress our days are soon transformed

Into wild gales and floods, as one more storm arrives.

Despite this ever-present truth, we are alarmed

And unprepared for life’s torrential winds and rain,

As the raging storm center races toward our shore,

Gathering force and mounting into a hurricane.            

We find ourselves near the eye of the storm once more.

The whirlwind soon passes over and leaves behind

Rising flood waters that would overwhelm the soul,

But through prayer and strong faith we know that we shall find

Courage to endure, though each storm exacts its toll.

God prepares us to go through howling gusts and rain,

With strength between storms, ready to go through again.

 The Prayer Directive: Strength between Storms

 Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,

 continuing steadfastly in prayer;

 Romans 12:12 [NKJV]

 When it seems that we have reached our outer limits

 Of exhausted options and can no longer cope,

 Wrestling with unbelief, our foe that inhibits,

 God’s Word reminds us to keep rejoicing in hope.

 We know that in patience we possess our soul.

 In the midst of life’s pressures, we remain secure,

 Assured that in Christ Jesus, we have been made whole,

 Watching and waiting with renewed strength to endure.

 As stately palm trees, we yield and bend in the wind,

 And pray in the spirit, with requests that never cease.

 As sweet-smelling incense, our fervent prayers ascend

 In greater measure, as our petitions increase.

 Though storms may overwhelm, we are still in God’s care:

 Therefore rejoice, be patient, continue in prayer.

 Walking on the Troubled Waters of Life   

Matthew 14:22-33

In the fourth watch, long before the sun begins to rise,

A tempest attacks my ship with waves that overwhelm.

My vessel seems abandoned with no one at the helm

When a vision of the Savior appears before my eyes:

Jesus comes walking on the troubled waters of life.

As storms of our times bring conflict, confusion and strife.

May I not be fretful, anxious, cowardly like some,

But like Peter say, “Since you are my Lord, bid me come.”

And step out of the boat to walk on the storm-tossed sea.

While battered by fierce waves, tormented and tossed about,

In the time of my distress I cry out, “Lord, save me!”

He then asks, “O, you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In the midst of turbulent times, may I “get a grip”

  And walk hand in hand with the Master back to the ship.

I recall also lyrics related to storms, such as the following song:

I Will Deliver You

I will deliver you from the snare of the fowler.

As a bird escapes from the cage, so I will release you from captivity.

I will lift you up, out of the hand of your fiercest enemy.

I will draw you to myself and hide you under the safety of my wing.

I will deliver you from the raging deep waters.

The sea shall not overwhelm you, but I will bring you through the storms in peace.

I will lift you up, and bear you up on the wings of an eagle.

I will provide for you and hide you in my secret dwelling place.

These lyrics bring to mind a song of great comfort “You are my hiding place” offered by Selah”: 

Finally, a teaching by Apostle John Tetsola entitled “The Miracle of the Bread” was one of the highlights from Transferring the Mantle, a 3-day conference hosted by Equip U Ministries of Columbus, Ohio. Apostle Tetsola taught on the power of consistency in overcoming adverse situations where there is overwhelming lack of provision during seasons of difficulty, in the midst of the storms of life. He covered a number of accounts whereby Jesus performed a miracle of feeding the multitude with the fishes and the loaves, having an abundance of “leftovers” afterwards. The life changing ministry of the Word inspired this poem which is also the title of his teaching:

The Miracle of the Bread

 For every single problem that you have, 

the answer lies in the miracle of the bread.

Apostle John Tetsola

 

I will trust in the Lord and will not be afraid.

When the storms of life arise and seem to prevail,

When my strength is gone, and I seem destined to fail,

 In these tough times I recall words that Jesus said:

“O you of little faith, tell me, why did you doubt?”

No matter how midnight-black my nights seem to be,

I still access the power of consistency.

Although the world says no way, God will bring me out.

I learn never to elevate facts over truth

But recall past victories and bring them to my mind

When thousands were fed and abundance left behind

From two fishes and five loaves given by a youth.

In times of lack, I will not doubt but have faith instead

And always remember the miracle of the bread.