Sunday, 1 November 2020
Title: Be Still and Know I am God
By Elder Yu Chin Shie
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
Psalm 46 is one of the favourite psalms for believers in Christ down the centuries. This psalm was written during the reign of Jehoshaphat when the enemies of Judah, viz. Moab, Ammon and Edom came up against Judah. Jehoshaphat knew it was impossible to defeat the vast army attacking his nation. He led his people to cry to God at the temple of the Lord for deliverance. God intervened supernaturally without Jehoshaphat and his army lifting their fingers as we read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-30.
Many would know that Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation. However, not many might know the greatest work he accomplished was the translation of the New Testament into the language of the people. He also wrote many hymns and gospel songs. The song for which Luther was well remembered, written circa 1527, is “A Mighty Fortress is our God” which is a paraphrase of Psalm 46.
On the base of Luther’s tomb is inscribed, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
Historians tell us that the song had been sung by the persecuted on their way to exile, and by martyrs before their death. The hymn was translated from German in 1853. Part of the hymn reads :
A mighty fortress is our God
A bulwark never failing
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe
His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate
On earth is not his equal
Knowing the background in which the psalm was written and also the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” written by Luther, how can we apply this to our life in facing challenges, suffering and pain?
Our meditation this morning is from Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God
We have all faced and experienced suffering, pain and challenges or trials in life. Some are even facing it right now such as: the unexpected passing of a loved one, loss of jobs, pay cut or business affected due to the Covid 19 pandemic or even suffering from a life-threatening illness.
How we react or respond to crisis in life and when confronted with pain and suffering, will determine whether we go to the path of depression and a downward spiral or grow even stronger in our faith and experience the power of Christ in our lives which we might never have experienced before.
I like to propose when we are in times of suffering and pain when facing trials and imminent threats, we take time to meditate on Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God
We are told to be calm and believe “God is indeed God.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 says “the Lord your God is indeed God.”
Normally when facing crisis in life, we panic and become anxious and try our best to solve the problem with our own ability or seek help from others. I am sure we all realize from experience that usually it is a futile exercise because we are often in situations which are beyond our control, for example when a loved one is stricken with a terminal illness.
To believe “God is indeed God” is to acknowledge who He is. From Psalm 46, we learn of His omnipotence, His love and His ultimate plan and purpose for His people.
I can recall two experiences which challenged my faith and caused me to renew my trust in God when I reflected on Psalm 46:10 besides claiming other promises of God from scripture. The first traumatic experience was when I first came to know my mom had breast cancer when I was back home on student vacation from Melbourne at the age of 20. My family had withheld the news from me till I returned home, not wanting the news to affect my studies. I had that year just come back to the Lord and you could imagine the impact on my young faith. By the grace of God, my mom miraculously came to accept Jesus as her personal Saviour 5 years later when I came home for good.
The other challenging experience was when I lost my job at the age of 51. It was not a good time to be out of job at that age as I still had financial commitments and needed funds to educate my kids. As I had shared previously, the Lord had subsequently provided for me in a most unexpected way a good job in which I stayed on for over 16 years. I retired just recently.
I pray if any of us are now facing challenging times or in pain or suffering, please take time to be still and reflect on God’s attributes – His omnipotence, His love, His omniscience, His wisdom, etc. You will be amazed how God will minister to you and give you His peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and the faith to believe He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
You are the Almighty God who is sovereign over all things.
Whatever the situation we are now in, You are well aware and well able to comfort us, provide for us and will hold our hands as we go through the storms of life.
In Jesus’ name.
我祈祷，如果有任何人现在正面临挑战，或是在痛苦之中，请花些时间在安静在主面前，反思上帝的属性 — 祂的无所不能、祂的爱、祂的无所不知、祂的智慧。你会惊奇地发现上帝会赐超过人能理解的平安（见腓4:7），以及赐你信心相信，祂必为爱神的人使万事互相效力（见罗8:28）。