Published December 25, 2014
Bible Studies for Life, Jan. 4
Peace as defined by society is something disconnected from reality and just out of reach. It is like a scavenger hunt in the middle of a busy mall, trying to move through the traffic of people in a frantic pace and never really knowing where to look.
Beauty queens declare the need for “world peace” while dignitaries blame the neighboring nations for the lack of this allusive attitude. But at home, in the real world, we need real peace as we struggle with depression, bitterness, traffic jams, screaming kids, tornadoes, and an occasional late payment. This begs the question, “How can we have real peace in the real world?”
According to Psalm 46, peace is not an outside force to be acquired, instead it is the inner confidence already made available because of God and who He is. We do not have to search for it in the situations of life, because the serenity in life is found in the power of God within a believer’s soul.
The psalmist begins with a declarative statement about God without debate, “God is my refuge and strength.” He further builds the point by saying “God is a present or proven help in time of trouble.” The psalmist finally moves on through three stanzas of song to describe how God’s help affects us in spite of the troubles we face.
The eternal value of our soul is more important to God than the temporal events of life and according to verses 2 and 3, in spite of the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and large waves, we do not have to be afraid. Temporal circumstances always shift and cannot be trusted, yet they do not change the eternal nature of God.
Furthermore, He is not surprised by what happens and neither is He affected by them. We have something greater than the world can influence.
The second stanza refers to the city of God that is surrounded and the enemy is waiting for the food and water to run out. They are attempting to cause the city to give up or panic for lack of resources, and even with this attempt the city is rejoicing, for the enemy cannot cut off their water supply. A stream continually flows from a rock within the city walls, so the crops will continue to grow and the thirst will be quenched. As a matter of fact, Jerusalem is at rest.
When turmoil takes place, many are supposed to panic and despair, but because God is with us, it will be like a clear cool spring bringing peace – a settled rest. The emphatic language in verse six says the enemy rages, or becomes a force wanting to incite harm to the point of death. Scary! But, God utters His voice and the earth melts or takes the form of a liquid easily moved. Peace comes from knowing God, our source of strength, is with us.
Moving forward, we read that no nation or earthly force can control God. This fact is so evident the Psalmist said to look at the works of the Lord. Instead of the world controlling God and proudly bullying the earth, God says when and where wars will cease. Futhermore, God breaks down the proud warrior and his bow, and if we are still, we will recognize that very fact.
How can I apply this truth?
There are three progressive thoughts to show us the shelter of God’s peace at home, found in verse 10.
The first principle is to calm down!
We all know that some experiences in life are devastating and we feel the right to panic, but peace will never exist until we calm down. To “be still” in verse 10, means to stop fighting, relax, and not panic . We hyperventilate on so many occasions about the smallest things. They are big to us, but relax. They are nothing to God.
When we panic, our minds are clouded and if peace were found under some rock, we would be in no condition to even look. God is present, relaxed, and aware, so calm down.
How can we know He is God if we keep fighting the problem? Once you take a deep breath then you are in a position to find the solution.
The second thought is to pay attention!
Look through a different set of eyes. Looking at the circumstances will adequately depress you and fighting for a solution will destroy you. Gaze with God’s eyes and see Him. Some of the greatest rest is to see trials from God’s perspective. Trials cannot influence God. Trials cannot control God.
That perspective reminds us that He is God and He is with me. You will finally take your mind off of the struggle and onto the solution, which leads to the final principle.
The third thought is to stop searching!
By the time you pay attention, you have found peace. The emphasis of this Psalm is on God’s role in peace and frankly, it boils down to whether He is mine and I am His. If you are His, concentrate on God and knowing Him.
Focus on your relationship with God instead of trying to find peace, because God is peace and a relationship with Him guarantees peace within you. Calm down, pay attention and stop searching.
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