It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of everything going on in the world today. Headlines swirl, nations rage, marriages strain, children stray, storm clouds loom.
We bend under the weight of it all and try to support each other with the words of Psalm 46:10, “Be silent, and know that I am God.” It is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. We put it on posters, write it on cards of encouragement and say it during times of trouble. We long to feel this deep and lasting harmony, to rest in the peace and power of God.
Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, we find it difficult to live with it. We are seldom still, tossing and turning in our sleep, and we hardly ever live as if God were God, and we are not. So what should we do? How can we “stop struggling” as some translate “being still”? How are we going to achieve such peace and trust? The clues are back in verses eight and nine of Psalm 46.
Verse eight tells us to “These are the works of the Lord”, and it is intriguing to think of what those works might have been. Psalm 46 was probably written after defeating one of Judah’s enemies, when God won. For example, in 2 Chronicles 32:20-21, an angel of God destroyed the Assyrians in their camp. So verse eight is a personal invitation to the people of Jerusalem to come and see the destruction of their enemies and to witness God’s complete deliverance: He has saved His people once more. It is only in verse 10 that God Himself tells us, “Be silent, and know that I am God.
5 ways to live Psalm 46:10
So how do we stand still or stop striving? We must “see the works of the Lord. When we “see the works of the Lord,” we notice God’s deliverance, and this assures us that we can be still and know that he is God and rest in his power and security.
Turn off the news.
This psalm shows us that people have been preoccupied with world events throughout time. Although the situation in the world as presented to us by the 24-hour news seems negative and out of control, this psalm reminds us that God is in charge of everything. In the midst of all this turmoil, God is with us and will deliver His people. Yes, conflicts continue to erupt and injustice demands voice and action. Yet, when we become anxious, it helps to remember what God has done: “see the works of the Lord.”
As part of this strategy, you must unfollow the caustic friend on Facebook and turn off news for a day or a week. Do you remember what was on the TV news a year ago today? Probably not. Why? This news has passed. What happened that day did not shock the world. So when you feel anxious watching the news, step back and recognize that God is still in control. Rest in the power and safety of God, and know that He will make things right.
One of the best ways to contemplate the works of the Lord, which in turn help you stay calm and know that He is God, is to look around you while exploring the outdoors. You can notice the colors of the sky early in the morning, at noon and at sunset. Try counting the shades of green in a maple tree. Think about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly and all that the process entails. Take in fresh air, supplied with perfect amounts of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water. Spending time outdoors can also help you stay grounded in the power and peace of God, as it allows you to realize that He created everything around you.
Look at the people around you.
When we behold the works of the Lord and notice the deliverance He has wrought, it helps us to be calm, to stop struggling, to rest knowing that God is God. Another way to live Psalm 46:10 is to look at the people around you. Consider how God has worked in the lives of your friends and family. Did he heal a broken heart, transform a lost soul or change an expression? These are marvelous works of the Lord. Look at them and be silent: Be amazed by what God has done. As you watch the people around you, thank God for all He has done. Staying grateful can help you rest in the peace and power of God.
Stop the fighting.
Psalm 46:10 basically says, “Stop your warfare, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.” “Stop your fighting” is somewhat unique among translations of this verse. Many Bible translations translate the imperative as “Be quiet.” Then most people interpret scripture as “we are to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and be alone with God”. Indeed, that is true, but there is more to this verse. Notice how verses eight, nine, and 11 refer to certain aspects of warfare and fighting. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are not only fighting the Lord’s battles, but perhaps we are fighting the Lord Himself. There comes a time when we must lay down our arms and know that he is God. He will do what he wants.
Look inside yourself.
Now it gets personal: what works has God done in you? How did he deliver you? What peace has it brought you? Take a quiet moment to consider the works of God in your own life, how he has redeemed you and called you by name. Has it changed your heart or an attitude? Did he lift your chin to see his face more clearly? Has it helped you forgive yourself or others? These are some of the most phenomenal works of God, works to behold, works that allow us to be still and know that He is God.
It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of modern times. However, we must take the time to be quiet and allow God to have what he wants. He has ultimate control and knows what He is doing. The power and security of God can get us through anything, so we must rest in the peace and power of God.