Summary: How may believers maintain their peace during times of personal or national tragedy? David writes a song in Psalm 46 where we might find the answer.
MAINTAINING YOUR PEACE DURING TRAGIC TIMES
This has been a very difficult year. All over Europe, Islamic extremists have committed numerous terrorist attacks. There were 5 major attacks in England alone.
America has had its share of tragedy also. For the last few years, we are constantly watching mass riots, violence, and looting because of racial turmoil. War with North Korea is becoming mor and mor likely because of a crazy dictator with little man syndrome. And this week, the USA experienced the worst mass murder in modern history.
It seems that our society, both overseas and here at home, is unraveling. It seems constant turmoil is pervasive and peace is evasive. People and governments are searching for answers to these problems with no success.
Peace by the attempts of man are proving to be impossible and we are left with how to cope in a world of constant tragedy. With tragedy a constant all around us, if we are going to experience real peace, it will have to come from God.
In Psalm 46, is David’s song about experiencing this kind of peace. From this psalm, we can find 4 instructions for maintaining our peace during tragic times.
1. WE MUST RELY ON HIS PROTECTION.
Have you ever felt that your whole world is crashing down around you? David went thru this experience many times in his life. Each time he was unjustly attacked, though, God always delivered him. Perhaps this is why he was able to write this song.
Ps 46:1-3 1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
A. God is our Refuge. Our safe place when under attack.
B. God is our Strength. He gives us power to persevere and conquer.
C. God is our Help. He never leaves us helpless before the enemy.
** Thru our faith in God, even though chaos and destruction are all around us, we need not live in fear, because our God is with us!
2. WE MUST SEEK HIS PRESENCE.
Ps 46:4-7 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High.5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Who is this God we must seek?
A. In Vs 4, He is El Elyon, the God Most High.
He is the God of the Heavens. Notice the place where God lives:
(1) It is a peaceful place- gentle river. Most peaceful days on the river.
(2) It is a place of gladness- Great Joy in Heaven.
(3) It is a place of holiness and moral purity.
** Why do we seek God in the Heavenlies? Because He is above the problems we face in this world. When we worship Him in the heavenlies we are lift out of our struggles and pain to a higher place, the place where God is!
B. In Vs 5, He is Immanuel, God with us.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the dark places of tragedy, fear, and loneliness. We feel outnumbered, all alone, certain destruction near. In the dark night, though, we aren’t always aware of what God is doing.
Vs 5 tells us even though we feel alone, He is in our midst. He is always with us and, at the proper time, He delivers us!
C. In Vs 6-7, He is Jehovah Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts.
Who are the hosts? They are His angels.
Chris Tomlin sings an awesome song “The God of Angel Armies” that describes this magnificent and powerful Army of God.
** John Paten, a missionary to New Hebrides Islands near Australia, and his wife spent a terrifying night when natives surrounded their home intent on burning them out and killing them. They prayed thru the night and the next morning the natives were gone. A year later, the chief was converted to Christ and Paten talked with him about that night. The chief said they did not attack because the house was surrounded by giant men in shiny clothes with drawn swords. God had sent His army of angels to protect them.
So, Who is this God we seek? Well, He is El Elyon, the God Most High, the God of Heaven that comes to us in our hour of need and is Immanuel, God with us, that arrives on the scene as Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, with His army of angels to protect us and vanquish our enemies before us! That’s Who we should seek!!