Do the prevailing circumstances in our world not feel like the very foundations are being shaken?
In Psalm 46, the writer paints a picture of serious instability. He depicts mountains, the very symbol of stability, being uprooted from their foundations and tossed into a raging sea. What a frightening image of catastrophic proportions!
Similarly, our world in entirety has been rocked to its core, as it slowly slides into the uncertain sea of Covid-19 crisis. At individual, family, national and global levels, the distressing consequences of this pandemic are being felt without an end in sight. The words of this ancient Hebrew song contain: foundation-strengthening, fear dispelling and trust engendering assurances.
Firstly, we are assured of God’s presence when we are in trouble.
The psalmist affirms that the Lord is an Ever-present help in trouble (vs. 1,7,11). Just like Jerusalem was the city of God, where His presence dwelt in the ark, we too are the spiritual house in whom He lives. (2 Peter 2:5). We are in Christ and He lives in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 6:19). Because He is with us, the Lord encourages us not to fear (Isaiah 41:10). Therefore, when we pass through the “waters” He will be with us (Isaiah 43:2). We can count on His constant presence in the situations we are in.
Secondly, we are assured of God’s help in our troubles.
Here, the Lord is described as our refuge, strength and fortress when we are in trouble. Just like Yahweh would uphold His city in times of attack, the Lord is committed to helping us, such that, in tough circumstances, we will not be overcome. We need only look to Him, in trust, for the help we need. God will minister to us through the “river” of His Spirit, such that His joy will be our strength. He has promised to uphold, strengthen and help us with His victorious right hand (Is. 41:10). He is our helper in time of need, truly a shelter in the time of storm.
Thirdly, the Lord is at work in the trouble.
We need to acknowledge that the Lord is at work in this crisis (Come and see the works of the LORD Vs 8). May we be grasped by the truth that in all things, the Lord is at work, beyond our comprehension, He sovereignly orchestrates every situation to fulfill His purposes. He is the one in control of the current situation- when it started and when it ends. We can be confident, He is working all things together for good, even when we can’t comprehend it. (Rom. 8:28).
Fourthly, the Lord is and will be exalted.
Scripture teaches that our God, who is LORD, is highly exalted (Exodus 15:1). Ultimately, He will be exalted among the nations and in the heavens, even as the current events unfold. (vs10).Therefore, we need to be still and know that He is God. As we go through these troubles, the disposition of our hearts needs to be of quiet contemplation and surrender, recognizing that He reigns over all things on the earth and in the heavens.
Finally, since our God is Lord over uncertainty, let us be assured of His abiding presence and help. May the LORD truly be our refuge, fortress, and strength…causing us to reach out to others in the love of our Heavenly Father in this season of upheaval. Be still and shalom.