God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
For more than 3,000 years the hearts of God’s people have been encouraged and bolstered by the words of Psalm 46. In our troubled times we still turn to this psalm. May I share with you about three experiences when this psalm strengthened our troubled hearts?
First, the awful news on November 22, 1963: “President Kennedy has been shot.” We were stunned, numbed into silence. At the seminary I was attending we had a special chapel service, and our professor read Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Those words made our weak and wounded hearts sturdier.
Second, during the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic, Psalm 46 spoke to many of our troubled and lonely hearts. In times of anxious uncertainty and isolation, we needed to hear God say, “Be still, and know that I am God,” anchoring and calming our souls.
Third, I visited a dear mother whose son had just been killed in a car accident. A tearful smile lined her sad face as she welcomed me into her neatly kept home. She talked. I listened. Then we turned to Psalm 46—“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” In later visits she often reminded me how powerful and precious Psalm 46 was to her.
“Therefore we will not fear. . . . The Lord almighty is with us. . . .”
Thank you, O God, for being our ever-present help in trouble. Amen.