Dear church family,
Read Psalm 46
 
’The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.’
This Psalm reminds us of two things about God that change how we see these days.
The protection of God
This is one that God’s people know – and it changes how we react to the chaos around us.  It makes us people who react differently.  God’s described here as ‘our refuge and strength.’  He is ‘our fortress.’  Whilst the nations are in uproar, and kingdoms fall; whilst the world around feels like its roaring and foaming, quaking and falling, surging and giving way – we are people who know sure-footedness, security and safety in the presence of our God.  It is in being where He is that we feel and experience that.  The ‘city of God’ is the place that won’t fall, where God dwells, and His people are made glad.
Be still… and know that He is God.
Don’t get caught up in panic buying, panic emails, panic phone calls, panic striving – every day, be still… and know that He is God.
The power of God
This is one that the world is going to see – and it will change how much attention the world pays to God.  ‘He lifts His voice, the earth melts.’  He just speaks, and the world loses its self-made shape.  Have a look at vv.8-9.  I’ve always found those strange verses.  God brings desolation to the earth?  (That sounds terrible!)  God makes wars to cease?  (That sounds great!)  But today, I get it.  It’s in bringing the first that He’s bringing the second.  In the desolation of COVID-19, bows and spears are broken, and the world comes together to manufacture ventilators and vaccines.  The UN called for the ‘immediate cessation of all hostilities across the world.’  I don’t imagine that will go perfectly – but what peace might God bring to the nations through the humbling, powerful desolation He brings?
Be still… and know that He is God.
The tone of these words in v.10 is not lovely and pastoral.  It’s a powerful, authoritative God silencing the clamorous nations, forcing them to stop and pay attention to Him and His presence.  Could we pray that, with planes grounded and streets quietened, 24/7 materialism paused and busy lives arrested, the world might be still… and know that He is God?
Lord God, I will be still today and know that you are God.  I will sit still in your presence… I will let you speak there… I will know the strength of your surrounding.
 
Lord God, let the world be still and know that you are God.  Do mighty things to humble us, and then mighty things to heal us.  And let the world bot brush you off, but see your undeniable, unmatchable power.  Let the nations come to peace – with you and with one another – and may you use all that’s happening towards that.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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