“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
The classic hymn “It Is Well” begins with these famous lyrics:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
Have you heard the story of the man who wrote it? The author, Horatio G. Stafford, was a lawyer whose first major test of his faith came in 1871 when the Great Chicago Fire ruined him financially, destroying most of his real estate investments. Two years later, when his family had finally pieced their lives back together, he decided to take his wife and four daughters on a vacation. However, at the last minute, Stafford was called back on business, so his wife and children went ahead on the ship. A short time later, the ship sank, killing all four of his daughters; only his wife survived. After hearing the tragic news and setting out to travel to meet his grieving wife, Stafford penned the classic hymn.
How was Stafford able to write “It is well, it is well with my soul” despite the tragedy he experienced? And how can we remain faithful to God’s truth even in desperate times when we feel far from Him? The few short words of God in Psalm 46:10 will help us understand.
First God says to “be still.” In other words, don’t panic!
Sure, you may be thinking, that’s easy enough to say, but quite tough to do when it feels like your world has been turned upside down.
That’s why God told us to “know that I am God.”
Note carefully what God did NOT say. He did not say “Be still, and FEEL that I am God.” He said “Be still, and KNOW that I am God.” Regardless of how we may feel, if we know that God is there, and that His Word is true, we will be able to have confidence in Him and praise Him, regardless of our temporary feelings.
This doesn’t mean that feelings should be ignored or marginalized. But it does suggest that feelings are fleeting and uncertain, while God’s promises are everlasting and certain. Therefore we must try to pray and trust based on what we know in times of tragedy rather than primarily on how we feel.
If today you are feeling “peace, like a river”, thank God and increase in knowledge so that you will prepare yourself for times of trouble.
And if you are instead at a time “when sorrows like sea billows roll” don’t focus on your temporary feelings, but focus instead on the knowledge that God loves you, Jesus died for you, and, like Paul said as he suffered in prison, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.” 1Timothy 1:12, (NLT)
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
By Darren Hewer
Used by Permission
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Today, if you have fallen away from God but want to renew your commitment to Him, if you are looking for a deeply satisfying relationship with God, I encourage you to pray by faith and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has given you His Holy Spirit to help you live life according to His perfect plan. Why not pray this suggested prayer and by faith invite Him to fill you with His Spirit:
Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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