Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 46’

One more reminder: God is in control

January 14, 2021


A new day dawns after the horrific unfolding of events taking place in the Nation’s Capital and elsewhere across the globe last week. As we continue to pray, I recall a silver-framed plaque that was given to me with the words “God is in control.” This quotation is a comforting reminder during these stressful, perilous times described as “difficult to deal with.” The quote also brings to mind Psalm 46: 10:

Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.

Here is the entire psalm from the Amplified Bible:

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 The 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]!

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

9 He 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.

10 Let 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!

11 The 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 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 will reveal the people we thought we could be,
As words of the Psalmist comfort to remind you and 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 in your 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.”

Be still my soul

June 11, 2018

The Book of Psalms provides great comfort and assurance from God, our gracious heavenly Father, who speaks so clearly during the stressful, perilous times in which we live, those times said to be difficult to handle. The Verse of the Day for June 11, 2018 offers this solid reminder:

Psalm 46:10 (New Living Translation):

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Psalm 46 is among those Psalms using the Hebrew expression Selah serving as a refrain or interlude or reminder to “pause, and calmly think of that!” We note its usage in verses 3, 7, and 11. Here is the entire psalm taken from the Amplified Bible:

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 this original psalm with the first three words of the Psalm 46:10 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.

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.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind lyrics to the widely recognized hymn “Be Still My Soul.” Dr. C. Michael Hawn, Distinguished Professor of Church Music, describes Katharina von Schlegel (1697-?), the author, as the leading female hymn writer of 17th Century German pietism, “a movement characterized by faithfulness to Scripture, personal experience and deep emotional expression.”

Jane L. Borthwick (1813-1897), a member of the Free Church of Scotland, translated the lyrics while the melody comes from a symphonic tone poem by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) Finlandia, whose serene melody symbolizes hope and resolution of the Finnish people. The paired lyrics with this particular tune found its way to America in the 1930s with the hymnals used in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. and the United Methodist Church.

We conclude with “Be Still My Soul” offered as a beautiful medley with “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” by contemporary Christian group “Selah”:

Be still and know that I am God

May 23, 2017

Psalm 46--10a

A new day dawns after the horrific unfolding of events taking place in Manchester, Great Britain on yesterday. As I begin to pray, I look at the bookshelf above my desk and notice a silver-framed plaque with the words “God is in control.” This quotation is a comforting reminder during these stressful, perilous times described as “difficult to deal with.” The quote also brings to mind Psalm 46: 10:

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Here is the entire psalm taken from the Amplified Bible:

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 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 enemies surface to assault flesh and bone.

Darkness reveals the lights I have called you to be.

My Word strengthens and comforts and helps you to see

I am your refuge and strength, the Almighty One:

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.

We are encouraged by Steven Curtis Chapman singing “Be Still and Know.”

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

Be still

June 11, 2015

Psalm 46--10aIn the midst of the turmoil of our times, noise pollution is a growing concern, as harsh sounds and strident voices rise to deafening levels. Every day a cacophony of dissonant sounds bombard our ears. Despite what transpires all around us, we must make a conscious decision to keep our “ears near to the lips of God,” who speaks in a still, small voice. Taken from Psalm 46: 10 (NLT), the Verse of the Day for June 11, 2015, offers a tender reminder to listen:

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Here is the entire psalm taken from the New Living Translation:

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude

A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude

Verse 10 also introduces an original 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 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.”

More prophecies: Of His kingdom there shall be no end

December 15, 2014

Luke 1--30-33Below is a modified version of last year’s blog entry on this day:

Apropos of the season, the Verse of the Day for December 14, 2014 is taken from Luke 1:30-33 (NLT):

“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.

And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Another passage containing the fulfillment of words spoken by the prophets concerning the Messiah is found in Zechariah 14:9

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.

This verse brings to mind that not only shall the Lord be king over all the earth, but “of his kingdom there shall be no end.” Other scriptures also proclaim that “of his kingdom there shall be no end,” as Revelation 11:15 makes known:

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.

Psalm 45:6 (NLT) also makes known that the throne of the Messiah would be everlasting:

Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice.

Psalm 145:13 (NLT) further indicates that “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.”

Daniel 4:3 proclaims:

How great are his signs, how powerful his wonders! His kingdom will last forever, his rule through all generations.

A similar declaration was made in Daniel 7:13-14 (NLT):

13 As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence.

14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.

In 1 Chronicles 17:11-12 (NLT) we find a similar declaration regarding the throne of the everlasting kingdom of the Lord:

11 For when you die and join your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, one of your sons, and I will make his kingdom strong.

12 He is the one who will build a house—a temple—for me. And I will secure his throne forever.

George Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, the renowned oratorio with texts from the King James Version of the Bible is among the best known and most frequently performed music compositions in the Western world, particularly during the Christmas season. The celebrated work ends with the Hallelujah Chorus which echoes the same declarations regarding the everlasting kingdom of the Messiah expressed in the Verse of the Day. Listen to a contemporary adaptation of the popular piece performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Be still and know

August 10, 2014

Psalm-46--1-3

In case we should ever forget, the Verse of the Day for August 10, 2014 offers this blessed assurance found in Psalm 46:1 (KJV):

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Not only are we strengthened by the first verse, but the entire psalm offers comforting encouragement of the highest degree, as especially revealed in the Amplified Bible:

 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]!

Psalm-46--10a

The first three words of Verse 10 is the title of an original poem with verse 10 as its introduction:

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.”

Be still and know

June 11, 2014

Psalm-46 10

On the shelf above my desk is a silver-framed plaque with the words “God is in control.” This quotation came to mind, as I reflected upon the Verse of the Day for June 11, 2014 which is taken from Psalm 46: 10 (KJV):

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Here is the entire psalm taken from the Amplified Bible:

 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 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 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.”

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.