I love that the Holy Spirit can give me a fresh insight on a familiar passage of Scripture. God’s Word will never grow old. . .
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
refuge – machaceh e.g. deliverance from; strength – ‘oz e.g. deliverance through; trouble – tsarah e.g. distress, affliction, adversity
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
It’s so easy to think, during times of adversity and confusion, that God is as out of control as the circumstances.
That thinking is wrong thinking.
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.
Nor is God wringing his hands as a helpless bystander. He has a purpose. He has a plan. He is powerful enough to carry out his plan. No kingdom, no natural disaster, no force of evil, no disease, no financial difficulty, no relational disaster can stop Him.
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.
Be still. Stop fighting me. Cease striving. That does not mean throwing up my hands and crying, “what’s the use?!”
“Be still” means to consciously decide to trust in God’s sovereignty. Stop arguing with Him about everything. Choose to believe that God only allows that which will serve to bring Him glory and refine my faith. Accepting God’s sovereign rule in my life does lead to peace and even joy. I am never alone. I am always loved and cherished by my Sovereign, Almighty Heavenly Father.
I am still absorbing the reality of “systemic severe microvascular ischemia” and “endothelial dysfunction” — no cure, difficult to treat. It’s not a new diagnosis. The endothelial dysfunction was found in my heart in 2003. What we know is that over the past decade it has worsened in my heart and spread to my other organs. Diet, supplements, medication serve the purpose of slowing down the progression. The fatigue, the headaches, the sensory overload, are simply a consequence of the worsening progression.
I am not throwing up my hands. I am not giving in to despair. God is with me. God is for me. He has a task for me to do, and that task will be accomplished through my weakness.
The apostle Paul wrote most of his letters to the churches from prison.
The Philippian jailer and his family were converted through the ministry of prisoners Paul and Silas.
Fanny Crosby gave us so many wonderful hymns and songs of praise despite her blindness.
Corrie and Betsy ten Boom were a tremendous witness and encouragement to others while suffering in a Nazi concentration camp.
That is only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know if it is an American thing or just a normal human thing to demand escape from suffering.
God does not promise escape. He promises presence. He promises sovereignty.