Psalm 46:10

God has been bringing to mind Psalm 46 lately:

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
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.

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.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

We often pull out just the first part of verse 10, “Be still and know” and apply it to all manner of things, but reading the verse in context is powerful. The Almighty God is assuring His people of His sovereign power over even catastrophic weather events like earthquakes, or man-made tragedies, like war. 

In verse 10, in the Hebrew, “be still” means “to let drop, to relax, to let go and to be quiet”. Some translations write it “cease striving”. It’s an imperative verb, which means it’s a command, not a suggestion. “Know” is also imperative, and it means “to experience, to consider, to perceive”, and the name of God in this verse is “Elohim”, which is the name first written in Genesis at Creation. It’s a name with a plural ending, which establishes the first hint at the Trinity. My takeaway from that command is that I need to let go of whatever I think are justifiable reasons to fear, and consider the great power and sovereignty of the Creator God over all that He made. He will be exalted over all the earth and it’s people. 

I don’t believe in listening to my heart. I believe in directing my thoughts to the Truth, being transformed by the renewing of my mind as I set my mind on things above, where Christ is. As I study and meditate on Scripture, like Psalm 46, I come to understand the greatness of God and His design and my correct position toward Him. That brings peace and relieves me of fear, because I trust Him. But all of this happens in my mind, which then instructs my feelings.

Our thoughts inform our feelings, which then direct our actions. If you feel fearful, set your thoughts on the great power, sovereignty and presence of the Creator until that feeling subsides and you can let go of the fear.

Cease striving and relax into the Almighty God.

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