“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
Very present. My God is very present. The footnote in my Bible says this verse may also read “well proved” – which means He has proven, time and time again, to be our help in times of trouble. Times when His children have needed refuge and shelter and peace, times when we have needed strength to keep moving and breathing and trusting. He is very present, very near, very watchful, very giving of all that we need, and well-proved in it all.
“Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:2-3). Because we know our God is very present, we will not fear – even if our world is entirely shaken and even if the seemingly strongest of mountains trembles. We will not fear. It isn’t because we are better or stronger in ourselves, but because God is our strength and He is here. We cling to His promises, to His Word and His constant, faithful presence which are well-proved. “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns” (Psalm 46:5).
“The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46:7). Our covenant God – the God who holds fast to the covenant He has made with us, cleansing and restoring and making us alive in Christ forever, just as He held fast to His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all those generations ago – He is our Fortress. Our God who will not fail. Our God who cannot lie or turn back on His Word. He who promised is faithful; He will see each of us through to the end.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a). We can be still, we can rest, we can find peace in the midst of trouble because the One who is very present with us is God Most High. My mind is drawn to two verses as I contemplate this. 2 Chronicles 16:9 records these words spoken to a king of Judah: “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those who heart is blameless toward him.” The other verse is from a prayer issued by that king’s son who reigned after him, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12b). Our God is ready to be our strength. We must simply come to Him in faith and trust Him to act for us in righteousness.
Reflect on our God’s character. Study His Word, for it is how He has chosen to reveal Himself to us. Focus your thoughts on His power, His goodness, His love. He is the One who is with you and who will never leave. He is the One who understands you each moment. He knows every fear, every pain, and He draws near to speak peace and truth and healing into the deepest parts of your soul. Be still, and listen for His songs of love over you. Songs of love from our God who is mighty to save, who commands the stars and comes riding through the heavens to your help.
Go forward today with the ending words of Psalm 46:11 resounding in your heart:
“The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”