Be Still! – Week of November 1, 2021
“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46: 10-11
“Ok, kids, settle down. Hey! Be still, it’s about to start!” When something exciting is about to happen: a field trip, special snack, or visitor, it is hard (and perhaps developmentally impossible) for children to wait without wiggling or making noise. Children can get excited and anxious when the normal routine is disrupted, even if the new experience is a positive one.
The words “Be still” in this verse can be a rebuke. In the same way that we may tell a child, “we have to wait”, or “stop wiggling,” God tells us to “Be still” and know that he has full control over all things. Like children, we get excited or anxious when our own routine is disrupted. As adults, even if the new experience is ultimately a positive one, the fear of the unknown takes hold of our heart and we forget to “be still.” We panic and forget to instead come to our God for help. The entire world around us is rebelling against God and his promises and it is easy to join in that rebellion by doubting God or becoming angry with God when we struggle. We forget that God is all-powerful, he loves us, and he wants us to come to him for help.
We need reminding how God ultimately showed his love for us: he gave up all that power for our sakes, to be “the LORD Almighty with us” in human flesh, to suffer and die for our every sin. When Jesus rose from the dead, he took back all that power. He still is the LORD Almighty who is with us.
And so, the words “be still”, can also be an assurance of peace. God is saying, “Don’t worry, it’s going to be ok, I’ve got you.” The words give us the peace that we do know God has all the power. He does not promise that we will never struggle in this world. In fact, he says that, because of sin, there will be pain and sadness. But he also says that we should take comfort in his promise to be with us through the dangerous times. Because Jesus died and rose again, we will find complete freedom from the sorrow of this world when we are with him in heaven.
What can we do when we forget to “Be still”? First, we can go to God in prayer. He hears our every need! We can also ask others to pray with us. Surrounding ourselves with friends who trust in our almighty God and his promises will help to strengthen our faith and theirs. Knowing that God is with us and he is our fortress, we pray with the hymn writer, Martin Luther: “Support us in our final strife, and lead us out of death to life!”
Lord, Jesus Christ, your power make known.
For you are Lord of lords alone;
defend your Christendom that we
may sing your praise eternally.
O Comforter of priceless worth,
Send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife,
and lead us out of death to life. Amen
Christian Worship 93 203/CW21 862 v.2-3
A Question to Consider:
How can you use God’s assurance of peace to comfort a friend who is struggling?