8/2/23 Devotional from Ed
August 2, 2023
Text: Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar; the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice; the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations;
I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Sometimes the start of the week at FLPC is quiet – no church family members in the hospital and no upcoming surgeries. This week, however, is a little different, as a few of our church family members are anxious about how the next few days will unfold.
Scripture can comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted, and this particular psalm has always been a “go to” for me. During my middle school years, a childhood friend and I would attend a Christian camp in the mountains of North Carolina, and verses 1-3 of Psalm 46 were ones I chose to memorize at this camp.
Why did these words jump out to me? They’re comforting, and like all of Scripture’s themes, they’re timeless.
I think about our church family members who need good news, news that could be delivered today through the voices of nurses and doctors. I think about our church family members who are caring for an elderly parent who seems to be slipping away physically or mentally. I think about our church family members who simply need to be reminded that “God is our refuge and strength.”
If you have 5-10 minutes today, try memorizing the first three verses (or more) of Psalm 46. After a few hours, go back to these three verses and repeat them. Do this throughout the week. What happens when you say these words to yourself? Are you reminded of God’s presence. I hope so.
If you find yourself clinging to the words of Psalm 46, please join us this Sunday at 6 PM in the sanctuary for a healing and wholeness worship service.
May all FLPC members feel God’s presence today and beyond.
Prayer: Holy God, fill us with your Spirit today and always. We give you thanks that you are our refuge and strength, and empower us to cling to your love and presence when we are anxious. Amen.