READ ABOUT IT: Psalm 46
TALK ABOUT IT:
Do you think about God as a good luck charm? Do you "pull Him out" only when you decide you need Him? Do you try to put God into a box - to demand how He acts, works, and relates to you, to the church, and to the world? Are you busy telling Him what to do, instead of listening and obeying? What things are especially difficult to trust God about and follow? What things would you rather have control over that you don't?
THINK ABOUT IT:
The LC-MS National Youth Gathering was just held (7/11-7/15) in Minneapolis, MN. Over 20,000 young people traveled to MN from around the country and the world to worship, grow in faith and to serve others as they learn about the REAL. PRESENT. GOD. During The Gathering, Psalm 46 served as the foundation and theme for the week.
The Psalms are powerful parts of Scripture. They are songs and prayers and come from the heart of those who lift them up. Throughout the book of Psalms we see the wide range of experience the people of God endure. From praise and thanks to sadness and anger, and everything in between.
Psalm 46 is a Psalm that all followers of Jesus can be encouraged by. Even as mountains fall into the sea, even as the earth melts, even as trouble surrounds us, even when we continue to tell God what He can and cannot do, He remains our helper, He remains our refuge, He is our fortress.
In fact, God is SO real and SO present that He comes to be with us, even in our trouble. Jesus came for you! Jesus was tempted, ridiculed, mocked, beaten and killed for you! He is real. In baptism, we are united to Christ. We are put to death in the water and raised to new life in Christ by His promise. Therefore, we will not fear - because Christ was raised from the dead and he is coming to welcome us into eternal life with him.
And until that day, He remains present with us. Not only are we blessed by the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus on the night he was betrayed offered to His disciples, His true body and blood, the bread and the wine. We partake of this body and blood in communion today. We come humbly to the table of the Lord and are reminded, encouraged, and strengthened by the promise of His presence. We even taste it! He is present.
So, when we feel God is far off and try to tell Him how to act, how to work in our lives, when everything seems out of control and falling apart because God isn't doing what YOU want Him to do, remember this Psalm. Pray this Psalm. BE STILL and KNOW. He is with you, He is real, He is present, He is your fortress, a very present help in times of trouble.
Dear Jesus, soften our hearts to You. Help us to trust and obey in You above all things. Remind us when we try to be in control, that though the mountains move and the earth gives way and we are surrounded by all kinds of trouble, You are there. You are real. You are present. You are our fortress. Amen.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble... The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46: 1;11