All of Psalms 46 describes the worldly and natural calamities at work to bring us into a state of worry, anxiety and fear. Yet it constantly reminds us of He Who is our “refuge and strength, a tested help in time of trouble.” In recent years verse ten’s meaning has become misinterpreted in a variety of ways through the Contemplative and spiritual disciplines groups as they have taken it out of context. . It reads:
Be still and know that I am God. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
“But all who listen to Me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.
– Pr 1:33
If you missed the a post in the series i’m calling “A Spirit of Fear” click on the available links here:
Post 1 on 5/11/18: “The Love and Power of God in Overcoming Fear”
Post 2 on 5/18/18: His Power
Many years ago I did a study on the word “still.” The word comes from the root word “rapha” in the original language. In the Old Testament there were many different names for God that revealed His true character. One of these names is Jehovah Rapha.
Jehovah Rapha means “The Lord Who Heals Us”. From this verse I have discovered the way the Lord would have me be when I am in physical or emotional difficulties. I am to be still: to cease from “spinning my wheels” in my head with worry and anxiety. I am to be still and to remember and think on only one thing: that He is the God Who loves me, Whose power is towards me always, Who does everything for my utmost good. He has never failed me; and He can never fail you – for God can never fail (we simply have to trust Him that what He is doing is for good in our lives and from His love. There is a song – “I know there will be tests, but I know You know what’s best. I trust You.” Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the cares of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
“In the multitude of my anxious thoughts, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul.”
– Psalm 94:19 (Amp)
As soon as you feel the anxiety, tension and fear beginning to build inside you, stop. Be still. Remember the verses you have hopefully memorized, prayed on and reflected on. If you can, go to your prayer closet and pray. If you do not have that luxury because both the dogs are barking and all three kids under the age of three are crying, just cry out to the Lord. The important thing is to stop so that you don’t let the anxiety build, remember and pray those comforting verses He has given you, lean on Him. He will hear; He will answer; He will comfort; He will be forever faithful. Now when fear tries to invade – and of course it will – I have a hiding place, a place to rest. It begins with knowing His Word. Yet there is a next step…knowing Him more deeply.
“He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, Whose thoughts turn often to the Lord. Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.”
– Is 26:3-4 (LB)
SOMETHING I LEARNED AS TIME WENT BY
Please do not misunderstand what I will share with you next. I named this blog very carefully – holdinghiswordhigher – because I highly esteem the Word of God. Jesus prayed to the Father:
Sanctify them by the Truth. Your Word is Truth. – John 17: 17
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. – John 1: 1
The Word in the Bible – the printed Word – and the Person go together. They complete and complement each other. You cannot have one without the other. Both Jesus and His Word speak Truth. That means I can trust them and put my whole confidence in them
As the years went by and more and more troubles came along, I discovered something very interesting: the words themselves on a printed page were not completely sufficient. What I needed was to know deeper the Jesus His Word spoke about. I don’t know if I can make the distinction but I’ll try.
I learned that I needed to spend more quiet time with Him and His Word. I needed to learn how to rest in Him. It was the resting not the proclaiming the victory that brought me peace. Why do I have to proclaim a victory He has already won? I finally realized that. Somehow, proclaiming not just resting made me more anxious and exhausted. But praising Him, resting in His love, His care over me, knowing I was in His Hands always – that brought me peace.
Now when fear tries to invade – and of course it still does – I will look at the accompanying verses as a reminder of His great care and think of Him and His great love and power…and rest.
I will tell you a story. About a year and a half ago I got the flu ( the vaccine wasn’t effective). I got it so bad that I became physically violent. I had to be admitted to the hospital where we discovered I had lost my memory. To every question the doctors asked me, my answer was – I don’t know. What’s your last name? I don’t know? What holiday was last week? I don’t know. (It was Christmas ). They asked a few more questions and every time I answered the same. I became frightened because I had no memory. They admitted me and the room wasn’t big enough for John to stay with me. And there was something “creepy” about the room or so I thought. I was so upset I couldn’t sleep and of course they couldn’t give me anything for that. I laid there, frightened, with no memory…and the strangest, most wonderful thing happened. Almost 40 years ago The Lord had prompted me to memorize the 23rd Psalm. As I was laying there with no memory, the Lord had me start remembering the entire 23rd Psalm!😌 When I got to this verse something totally joyous happened : “yey, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” I stopped and said it again and again. I need not fear. He was with me. I wasn’t alone. I fell asleep completely at peace. The next morning I was so completely better, they released me and couldn’t believe I had recovered so fast. But it wasn’t the healing that was so marvelous to me. It was the one more proof that I need not ever fear – for He, the Living Word, my Precious Loving Savior is with me at all times.
Please do not mistake this for a mystical experience. I see it as the Word of God having become so much “imprinted on my mind and engraved in my heart” (Hebrews 8:10) that it was now a part of me. So deep had the words become over the years – decades – that when I most needed them they were there within me. How then can I fear – His Word and He are with me.
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I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Michelle Arrington, Hannah Hall, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, Tracy Yoder, and J.P.Wilhelm. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.