Jenny's Psalm Reflections: Psalm 46 v.1

Today’s verse is Psalm 46 v.1

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Background:

Psalm 46 is a Psalm everyone can return to again and again for our individual difficulties and world crises. It is called a “song of holy confidence. It also is known as Luther’s Psalm as Martin Luther wrote his popular hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God, based on this Psalm. The Psalm is proposed to have been composed after David defeated the enemies of Israel from surrounding lands. In terms of Christianity, it may also be prophesying the Kingdom of God under Jesus Christ. 

A Psalm for all times, it tells us how the God who sustained us in the past is the same God who will not let us down in the present. Interestingly, the Old Testament has twenty-one words for “trouble”. In verse 1, the word means “in tight places.”  In such difficult circumstances, God is our Refuge-He hides us. God is our strength-He helps us. This is almost like a rejuvenation. 

Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk
Illustration by jeremythomasart.co.uk

At times when we need a refuge, when the storm is blowing metaphorically and the battle is raging, God will hide us and help us. We do not stay hidden, however. After some time, we can return to the battle and face the storm, rejuvenated. The doubts and fears may not be at an end, but we can overcome our feelings because of the absolute commitment that God is with us “The God of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.” (verse 11).

Meditation

1. Find a quiet place.

Sit comfortably but alert – feet flat on the floor, back pushed hard against the back of the chair.

2. Focus as well on your breathing.

Pay attention to in-breaths and out-breaths. You may think of breathing in God’s life and peace and breathing out any tension.

3. Be aware of your body.

Let your aches and pains be there. Rest your feet on the floor; still being aware of them pressed firmly into the floor. Shrug your shoulders, ease your neck. Take time to become still.

4. Sit silently and read through the whole Psalm.

Then focus on verse 1. Are circumstances overwhelming you?  Centre yourself on the stillness of God. Feel a sense of calm in your heart.

5. Sit quietly and feel safe.

Sit quietly and feel safe and refreshed.

6. Finish with this prayer:

God of Jacob, when the earth shakes and I am in my own personal battles or difficulties, speak, and let the storm be still; through Jesus Christ our Lord.. Amen.

Posted on June 24th 2021

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