I have been spending lots of time in my Passion Translation Psalms. I love the Psalms themselves, but the thing that has really been drawing me in are the chapter "titles". Every Psalm has a title that just draws you in and makes you want to read! I started out thinking I would choose one Psalm to focus on tonight. But it was just impossible to find my focus and pick that one that was speaking to me. I confess that I spent over an hour just reading this book today. When I sat back and stopped to consider what I had been hearing during all this reading.....well it was a surprise. The overriding message to me today was that God is in charge! Okay, this should not have been a surprise. I guess that I just didn't expect that message from the Psalms. Not quite so clearly. Given the news of the last couple of days, with the terror attacks in Paris, France, I parked on Psalm 46. Here is the end of that chapter......
Come and see the breathtaking wonders of our God.
For He brings forth both ruin and revival.
And He's the one to make conflicts end
Throughout the earth,
breaking and burning every weapon of war.
Surrender your anxiety!
Be silent and stop your striving,
And you will see that I am God!
I am the God above all nations,
And I will be exalted throughout the whole earth!
Here He stands!
The mighty Lord of Angel-Armies is on our side!
The God of Jacob fights for us!
Every newscast, every post on the internet about the events in France seem to raise the fear and anxiety levels. I love that this Psalm asks us to SURRENDER our anxiety. We need to make a decision to let it go. And then we are encouraged to BE SILENT. Do we really need to talk about this, comment on the event in any way except to pray for all those involved? And then we are to STOP STRIVING! Wow, that is quite the clear direction isn't it? These are four powerful "S" words to spend some time chewing on.
I was remembering the powerful dedication of the 9/11 memorial. During that event, President Obama read Psalm 46 as his entire remarks. I love that he made the declaration for the United States...that Yahweh, the God of Jacob is on our side and fighting for us. And now, after hearing this translation of Psalm 46, and having those words sink into my spirit, I will relax and take a deep breath.
And here is the most amazing part of this... another "S" word .....Here He STANDS! What a powerful end to this Psalm. God is not at rest, sitting down or reclining. He is not asleep or unaware. He is alert and STANDING! And He is standing for us! Yes, this is a great way to end today. With those words of great comfort.
Jesus, thank you for The Passion Translation. Holy Spirit thank you for speaking to me through those pages and for the revelation that you bring. Please give us all encouragement to let go of our anxiety in all things. Help us all to think before we speak. Pour out your strength and power so that we may let go and let you work in us. And Jesus, thank you for time away with friends. Amen