August 2023


Finding Strength in Times of Turmoil: Lessons from Psalm 46 

Fellow Jesus followers of St. Peter’s,   We are a people bound together in faith and fellowship.  We are God’s people named, claimed, and redeemed by Jesus.  We know who and whose we are.  We are empowered and strengthened by the Holy Spirit in whom we abide.  

Yet, we live in a world that is often turbulent and uncertain. Challenges arise, and trials can weigh heavy on our hearts. Yet, in the midst of these storms, there is a steadfast source of hope, encouragement, and strength that has sustains us; just as countless others have been sustained for generations.  That hope, encouragement, and strength is the grace filled love of God poured out and washing over all creation, including you and me. Psalm 46, captures the essence of a God who will never fail us or let us go, no matter the storms that rage and threaten to devour us. 

Psalm 46 begins with a powerful reminder that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. It paints a vivid picture of the chaos and turmoil that can surround and threaten us, just as it did for the psalmist, but it also points to the unchanging nature of our God who remains our anchor in the midst of the storm.  

1.     "God is our refuge" ...  When we face adversity and feel overwhelmed, we find refuge in our God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our God invites and encourages us to seek solace in the presence of the divine, to find rest in strong and holy arms, and to be held in God’s unfailing love. Our God is not distant or unconcerned; rather, our God is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives. We can approach that throne of grace with our fears, doubts, and burdens, knowing that God hears our cries and draws near to comfort us.  

2.    "God is our strength" ...  In times of weakness, we often underestimate the power that God brings to our lives. When we draw upon the strength of God, we receive a newfound courage to face our trials with unwavering faith. Remember that God's strength is not limited to a select few; that strength abides in each and every one of us, to be drawn upon in every facet of our lives. In our weaknesses, our Lord fills us with a power not our own, lifting us up and carrying us through the darkest moments.   

 3.    "An ever-present help in trouble" ...   It is essential to recognize that God does not promise us a life free of difficulties; but, we are promised that Christ is with us in the storms that threaten to swallow us up. No matter the scale of the challenges we encounter, God leads, guides, and strengthens us as our constant companion, offering guidance, wisdom, strength, and support. Even when the world seems chaotic and uncertain, God's presence remains our unshakable anchor, strength, and hope.   

4.    "Be still, and know that I am God" ...  In the midst of chaos, we are called to be still and remember who God is. Amid the noise of the world, we must quiet our hearts and minds, recentering ourselves on the unchanging character of our Lord. Trust in holy goodness, wisdom, and sovereignty, even when circumstances seem perplexing and overwhelming. By cultivating a heart of stillness and trust, we invite and welcome God to work in and through us, bringing clarity to our minds and peace to our spirits.  

In the timeless wisdom revealed in Psalm 46 we find renewed hope in the grace of God’s abiding presence. The Lord is our refuge, our strength, and our ever-present help in times of trouble. We lean on, trust in, and find hope in all circumstances, knowing that the Lord will lead, empower, and guide us through every storm, while equipping us to be beacons of hope to those around us.  

As we continue our journey of faith together, the words of Psalm 46 echo in our hearts, reminding us of the abiding truth that God is our ultimate source of strength, comfort, and peace. Together, we find courage, joy, and inspiration as God’s beloved, proclaiming the power of God’s grace, hope, and love to the world as St. Peter’s Lutheran Church shining the light of Christ together.  

May His peace be with you always.  

In Christ's love,

Pastor Greg