Have you ever stood and withheld the majesty of something larger than yourself? For instance, have you stood at the base of a mountain, or a tree towering hundreds of feet above you? Or have you beheld a centuries’ old cathedral or skyscraper that took your breath away? I recently returned from a trip to Seattle and had the experience to feel very small at the foot of enormous trees, the towering Space Needle, and multiple sky scrapers in the city. The fortress that took my breath away was Mt. Rainier, a dormant volcano looming in the distance over the Puget Sound’s quiet bays. The formidable strength & majesty of this mountain drew me to one of our psalms for the week. Psalm 46 speaks to God as our refuge who is with us and is our mighty fortress in every battle we face.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” ~Psalm 46:1
The Psalms are the safe refuge I turn to when I am weary, angry, sad, fearful, lonely, or joyful. Many of the psalms this week speak to these feelings. Psalm 46 speaks to our fears of natural disasters, war, the slow degradation of culture, or the personal battle with sin. The song reminds us that though these natural structures, peoples, or culture may be destroyed, God will rescue all those who love Him and have placed their faith in Christ. He is our refuge.
“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” ~Psalm 46:7
God is with us. God is with you. Do you believe that in the storms of life? Do you believe He is with you when you have sinned yet again; when your health is faltering; when you have lost someone you loved deeply; or waited patiently for a spouse or a baby or a prayer gone unanswered? All of us wrestle with these questions. It is easy to be overcome with fear but God is trying to get our attention in Psalm 46 and remind us He is WITH us. If you have placed your faith in Christ, He promises us His presence. You may not feel it, but God is there with you.
Verse 7 and 11 also speak to God as the Lord Almighty who is our fortress. He is stronger than the largest mountain, greatest man-made structure, mightiest world power, or any entanglement of sin. Our God is the Almighty God. He is the One who is ultimately victorious. Martin Luther wrote a song based on this Psalm, A Mighty Fortress is our God, to describe this intense battle and struggle with Satan. Next time you are fearful of the outcome of a situation, recall Psalm 46 and the God we serve who will have the ultimate victory.
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~Psalm 46:10
This verse can be found plastered on bumper stickers and coffee mugs, but what does it really mean for us? When was the last time you quieted yourself long enough to ponder how great and mighty God is? When have you turned off the distractions of social media or work or motherhood and escaped for 10 minutes alone to stand in awe of God? (Sometimes I literally have to retreat to my closet or wake up an hour before the kids.) God is our refuge & our fortress. God is with us and God is the victor! We have nothing to fear my friends! Will you take a few minutes today to be still and know that the Lord Almighty is fighting for you and is with you always?
A Mighty Fortress is Our God by Martin Luther, Verse 2 (date: 1529)
“Did we in our own strength confide, Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side, The man of God’s own choosing,
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He – Lord Sabbaoth His name,
From age to age the same, and He must win the battle.”
Below are some references from the week’s readings. Thank God for these attributes and as you praise Him, you will grow to know Him better.
- Steadfast Love: Psalm 36:5,7; Psalm 40:11; Psalm 48:9
- Faithful: Psalm 36:5; Psalm 40:11
- Righteous: Psalm 36:6, 10; Psalm 44
- All-knowing & guide: Psalm 37:18; Psalm 48:14
- Will not abandon you: Psalm 37:33
- Our Salvation: Psalm 38:22
- Creator: Psalm 39:5
- Savior: Psalm 40:1-3; Psalm 44:7
- Trustworthy: Psalm 40:4
- Our deliverer: Psalm 40:13, 17; Psalm 41:1
- Our help: Psalm 40:2, 17
- Our protector: Psalm 41:2
- Our sustainer: Psalm 41:3; Psalm 42
- Merciful: Psalm 41:10
- Our rock, fortress: Psalm 42:9; Psalm 46:7, 11; Psalm 48:3
- Just: Psalm 44
- The one who fights for us: Psalm 44:5
- Our refuge & strength: Psalm 46:1
- Most high: Psalm 47:1
- King: Psalm 47:6, 7
- God of Abraham & Jacob: Psalm 46:7, 11; Psalm 47:9