A lot has been going on globally, and in many of our lives over the last few days and weeks. So, we wanted to create Daily Devotionals to help our Churches to keep focused on Jesus, and follow Him in the midst of the crisis and uncertainty we’re facing. I hope these will serve you well.
Before you start reading this devotional, take a moment to stop what you’re doing, slow down and focus on Jesus.
Pray and ask him to open your eyes to see as you read the scriptures, and to open your ears to hear as you wait on the leading of the Spirit.
1“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots 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 of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah”
For all of us, the last couple of days or weeks have been very unique. For some of us, COVID-19 has meant feelings of anxiety, fear and uncertainty. For others, this virus has bought economic worries and job instability. For others, this has significantly impacted our plans: travel plans, wedding plans, work plans, big events, and even our sources of income. And of course, for many of us, the health and sickness realities of the Corona Virus are playing on our minds too.
What does Psalm 46 have to say to us, in this unique, global moment?
Well, in verses 1, 7 and 11 God is described as our Fortress, or refuge, or strength. Now, many of us have never been in a fortress, but we know what a Fortress is, and we can picture one in our minds. A Fortress is a military building, that is strong and secure from attack.
Living as if God is our fortress does not mean ‘throwing up a prayer’ from time to time to the big guy. Or even regularly attending Church, reading your Bible and praying, and being in community. This isn’t a religious picture, but a lived reality.
If God is our fortress, it means our lives are found in Him. He is our security, our hope, our protection. If God is our fortress, it means that our Hope is in Him. Not in our jobs, our health, our friends or family, or life as we have known it. If God is our Fortress, it means that He is the one we turn to and trust in when things go wrong, or we are scared, or we need Help.
Is that true of you?
This passage is saying that even if the unthinkable should occur – just like what we are living through right now – that we do not need to fear (v2) because the Lord is our fortress (v7).
And secondly, this passage says: “Be still, and know that I am God” (v10).
To “Be still” means to stop. It means to stop striving, or trying, or doing life in your own strength.
To Stop and know that Jesus is God.
Now, to “know” doesn’t mean that we think more about God. This is not an academic knowing. To stop and know that Jesus is God means that we come to God experientially, or personally. That we stop what we’re doing, stop what we’re worrying about, and come and be with Jesus. We focus on Jesus, we pray, we rest in Him. And experience this promised reality that He is our fortress, our refuge, and our strength.
That we admit that we need Him at this time. Not just right thinking about Him. But Him.
And for many of us in the midst of all that is going on, this is the word we need to hear. That God is in control and is far greater than the Corona Virus. And, that God is our Fortress and strength.
And to stop what we’re doing. And stop allowing ourselves to be distracted. And stop indulging in escapism and binging shows on Netflix, or whatever your drug of choice is. And make time to be with God.
We are living through extraordinary times, so we can’t keep living the way we ordinarily do. We need to make changes, and stop living the way we’ve been living, and make God our fortress, in the midst of the storm we are facing.
And if we do this, we can know for sure, that God will be with us, and that He will be a very present help in our times of trouble.
Respond to God in prayer by speaking to Him about what stood out to your from this passage this morning.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you right now?
What are you going to do in response to what God is saying to you from the text and by the Spirit?