Central to Psalm 46 (our sermon text from yesterday), is the call of v. 10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The incomparably powerful presence of God with us should cause us to be still — even in the midst of the most chaotic of circumstances.
But how can we do that? What intentional steps can we take to respond in faith to this Psalm? Here are four ways:
The first to do is to stop. Stop what you’re doing and resist the natural inclinations that come with the frenetic pace of your soul. Put down your phone. Turn off the TV. Close the computer. It’s good to intentionally step away from these things in our free moments from time-to-time.
The second thing we can do is pray. A turning away from distraction should be met with a turn toward God in prayer. Sometimes nothing feels more unproductive than prayer. But the reality is that there is nothing more vital and life-giving. Reflect on how God has multiplied his thoughts toward you (Ps. 40:5), be honest with your feelings (Ps. 55:1-2), confess your fears and failures (Ps. 51:4), plead with him to act (Ps. 43:3). As we seek the Lord in prayer, our souls are gradually re-oriented to what is good and true and beautiful.
Third, we read. Read God’s word. Start reading through the Psalms. Pick a resource to help you start reading through the Bible. Pick a favorite part of Scripture and go there. The word of God is living and active and powerful — it changes what it touches. Turn from distraction and toward prayer and God’s word.
Finally, reflect. Consider what you are reading. Pray about what you are reading. Ask God to meet you and grant you the peace that’s not contingent on understanding what’s going on (Phil. 4:4-7). Because of the work of Christ, you can be sure that he hears you (Heb 4:14-16), that he is for you (Ps. 56:9), and that nothing ever will or can separate you from him (Rom. 8:31-39).
We are living in precarious times. Very little has gone untouched by the global pandemic. But there are things that remain sure. Chaos and uncertainty are pressing in around us, but there is one whose presence brings peace. Let’s push against the tendency to constantly distract or immediately solve problems. Let’s stop, pray, read and reflect. Let’s be still and know that he is God.