Summary: Verse one of this Psalm 46 lists three things that we can know about God that will help you relax in spite of the outcome of any battle you face.
WINNING THE BATTLES OF LIFE
In God’s word, life is often compared to a series of battles.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul advises Christians to prepare themselves for the day- to-day combat of life by putting on "..... the full armor of God"
As he faced his own death he described his life by saying, “I have fought the good fight....”
And I think it is accurate to picture life in these combative terms because our days on this earth are often a series of struggles....
Today I want to lay some groundwork by focusing on the foundational truth that, as Christians, no matter what battles we face in life----we can win.....
The 46th Psalm is one of many passages in the Bible where life is described as a battle.
So, let’s read it together and see what basic strategy it contains....
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 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 "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.
I don’t know if you noticed but this Psalm gives some very unexpected advice for fighting a battle.
It says, “Be still....” Other versions translate it as, “Cease striving...” The Hebrew here that we translate, “cease striving” or “be still” literally means “relax”. It means “to let go, to let your arms down to your side....RELAX!”
So, in this verse God advises that as we see a battle on the horizon of our lives we are to respond by RELAXING...
Of course....this is not our normal response to the onset of “battle”....so this advice doesn’t seem to make much sense.....any time I have been involved in a struggle I have wanted to do something....
Think how vulnerable you feel when you drop your arms, let go, cease striving, and relax! Yet, this is what God instructs us to do in this Psalm. But God doesn’t just tell us what to do here....He doesn’t just tell us to “relax”....He also tells us how to relax.
He says “Be still.........AND KNOW that I am God.” In other words, there is something we can KNOW to help us cease our striving in the midst of the battles of life.
There is something we can KNOW that will help us to relax when things get rough.
Often we respond to problems in life emotionally... based on feelings of fear and insecurity and panic....but in this Psalm, God challenges us to respond...not emotionally but cognitively...to respond on the basis of something we KNOW....instead of something we feel.
When we face the struggles and battles of life we may not KNOW how things are going to work out but this Psalm says we can be still...we cease striving...we can relax....because even though we don’t know how things are going to work out we do know Who is going to work things out.
And knowing God is better than knowing the outcomes.
Life is not good....often the battle turns against us....we do WIN some and LOSE SOME....life is fickle...good for some and bad for others...but God is always good.
And we can relax in this comforting fact.
Verse one of this Psalm lists three things that we can know about God that will help you relax in spite of the outcome of any battle you face....
I. FIRST, GOD IS OUR REFUGE (v.1a)
In any battle you need a safe place...a fortress where you can go to rest and recoup and think...and this text reminds us that God is that place in our daily struggles.
One of the most beautiful pictures of spiritual refuge is found in Psalm 91:4 where it says, “God will shield you with His wings.”
Have you ever seen little chicks hop around, chirping, pecking, doing “little chick stuff”?
If the mother hen becomes aware of a predator or a threat to her offspring, she responds by lifting her wings and within seconds, all the baby chicks disappear underneath them.