BE STILL AND KNOW GOD
by Wayne S. Walker
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46:10). This Psalm, which is attributed to the Sons of Korah, begins, "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble" (v. 1). This world is filled with noises from many different sources–not just physical noise but spiritual noise as well. However, because, as Martin Luther reminds us, "A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper, He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing," we need to stop from time to time, be still, and turn to God for guidance.
On many occasions in this life we face various kinds of tribulations which scream at us that the effort which we are trying to put into serving the Lord and being faithful Christians is not worth it, that we might as well just give up, throw in the towel, and quit. When we hear such voices, we should be still and look to God and "glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character hope" (Romans 5:3-4). He will give us strength to endure our tribulations.
Every day temptations surround us, speaking with seductive voices in an attempt to draw us away from God’s will and telling us that we can find more pleasure in sin than in doing God’s will. Rather than paying attention to them, we must be still and listen to God, who promises, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). He will help us overcome our temptations.
However, before we can hear God, we first have to quiet our own hearts. "Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake To guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; The wind and waves still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below" (Katharina von Schlegel, 1752).