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Meditations on Psalm 46

This week, I want us to meditate on one of my favorite Psalms. I’m not going to say a lot about each grouping of verses, but instead I’m asking you to consider some things as we pause to focus on a few words. Through taking a long, slow look at this chapter, hopefully it will bring us to a place of exalting God.

Please add your thoughts in the comment section below, so we can experience together God at work in this passage!

In the early morning hours, before I even open my eyes, this prayer from Psalm 46 is often on my lips:

[box]God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah (Ps. 46:1–3)[/box]

I love the first word of this Psalm. Who does the Psalmist direct our attention to, before we walk through the challenges described here?

Define refuge.

What is going on in your life right now and how do you need His protection?

Do you feel weak today? How does this Psalm address your need?

Are you struggling under a heavy load?

How have you seen God be your strength in the past? Can you depend on Him? Have you found Him faithful as a source of strength?

What is a “present” help? What is significant about God using this word when trouble surrounds you? Who does this passage point to as your help?

What is troubling you today? Have you taken that to Him and asked Him to be your present help in tangible and specific ways?

Have things in your life been shaken up a bit? Have you experienced a few personal earthquakes? Where is God when the earth shakes and mountains slip into the sea?

Do externals escape His notice? Are the collapsing mountains beyond His ability to bring stability into your life?

Ever feel like you’re drowning?

Where is God when you feel as though the roaring waves are about to take you under?

Has He ever failed you? Have you found Him to be the Rock of safety when the waters are over your head? Has He provided you with the solid ground you need?

I encourage you to take the first verse of this passage and tuck it in your heart today. Mull it over, memorize it, carry it with you throughout the day, consider its implications in light of what is going on in your life. Pray this passage back to the Lord and insert the specific “mountains” that are quaking in your life today. Cry out to God for help and praise Him for being your refuge and strength.

Who or what are you looking to today to serve as your refuge, help, and strength?

I hope you’ll share your heart below and let us know if there is any way we can pray for you!

Image courtesy of phasinphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

18 Comments

  • Vicki

    I love this Psalm, Kim! It’s one that I memorized several years ago when we headed into a marriage trial – a trial that lasted way longer than I would have thought I could bear. I will admit that probably some of the reason it lasted so long was due to my fierceness and foolishness (your books was a great help in that area), but as I have turned to God to be my refuge, He has not only calmed the quaking, He has helped me to “be still and KNOW that He is God!”

    I also want to just mention your post of a week ago about how you were in a spiritual battle. I knew it!! I knew you were struggling, and I have no explanation other than that God laid you on my heart. I was praying for you! I almost asked in the comment section of one of your posts if you were doing okay, but I didn’t. I hope tthat encourages you that God has you hemmed in, before and behind!! He loves you so much!!!

    I eagerly look forward to interacting – and growing deeper in The Lord – with you and others as we contemplate these verses.

    -Vicki

  • Laura Howell

    Kim,
    I love these thoughts and questions. Oh the blessedness of the Word of God! May the Lord bless you and fill you, dear sister.
    I am brought back again to look not at what God can do or at what He might do, but to God Himself in all of His self-sufficient power and glory and beauty and to rest in Him alone as the waves roar. Blessed be our God. Hallelujah!

    All my love to you across the miles,
    Laura

  • Naomi

    Wow! Kim, all I can say is thank you, thank you and thank God for raising you up and placing this blog in my life. This verse is so on time and befitting. I’m reflecting on so many times God has been my refuge and my strength. In 2012 my son(16) was diagnosis with an heart defect that cause him to have a 7 hour heart procedure. A mother’s worst nightmare. His heart is functioning normal now. God was my refuge and my strength. In 2013 my family was homeless and my husband had quadruple by-pass surgery. He had a full recovery and he’s back to his normal routine. God was my refuge and my strength. Now that I’m facing a dark season in my marital relationship, it’s really earth shattering, at times I’ve felt like I was drowning and wasn’t going to make it. But, God is showing me His love through it all, even though it hurts. He is my refuge, my strength and my present help. I thank Him for that!!!

    Blessings in disguise,

    Naomi

  • Jess

    Refuge to me means something that will keep us safe. We are to rely on God as our refuge daily. In trials that seems to be easy, I think that sometimes when life is good when we are on the up of the roller coaster ride we may forget that. It is my goal to depend on him during the good times and the bad times.
    My husband moved out in August. He told me when he moved out that we had to divorce. He started “seeing somebody else” several months ago. The beginning of this month I got the papers that he did file for divorce. I feel weak a lot of days but praise God he has given me the strength I need to get through each day. In these verses it says God is our strength and our help in trouble. This has been so true. There is not a day that I could get through without him giving me the strength. I know I can depend on him to give me the strength that I need. I feel that this divorce has surrounded me with trouble, each day seems long. This trouble or test or season has made me persevere and dig deep into my relationship with the Lord. For this I am very thankful. I have taken this divorce and surrendered it to the Lord. I have been praying and will continue to pray for him to continue his work in me, growing me to be more like him. Working in my husband to soften his heart and remove his blinders while working in him. Then after working in both of us he will restore our marriage and our family (we have 2 children) so that we can be a stronger family. We can share our testimony as a living example of how powerful God is. How he can take an impossible situation and make it possible. In September I did feel like I was drowning, that waves were taking me under. I ended up attempting to take my life. That is when I stopped and asked God to give me the strength that I need to reach for him. He brought me from a very unstable point to a stable point. I know God never fails us, I know his Word tells us he will never leave us or forsake us. My question comes in his answer to prayer, yes, no, or not now. I have to believe that he answers prayers according to his will and the promises in his Word. So, I am struggling with the fact if I should move on in my life or if I should continue to rely on God as my Rock of Safety and know that he hates divorce and as long as I follow his commands and his paths that one day according to his perfect timing he will restore our marriage, that he will make my husband remove his eyes from the other woman and back to the love of his youth. I truly believe that this separation is more of a spiritual battle than anything else. My husband has struggled with lust since we started dating 19 years ago. I feel that this test has brought me to my knees, to a point in my life where I completely surrendered my life to him and I pray that the same process will happen in my husband. Of course I know this is all according to his perfect timing but I have to admit it’s my prayer that his perfect timing is sooner rather than later.
    I will continue to rely on God as my strength, praying to him daily, maturing in my relationship with the Lord, reading the Bible, and attending church.
    Kim, thank you for your ministry, thank you for posting your devotions and the questions to make us think and absorb the living word.
    I believe in the power of prayer and specific prayer so if anybody reading this would take a second and pray for our marriage to be reconciled and restored I would GREATLY appreciate it.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Vicki, thank you so much for being sensitive to the Spirit and praying for me! That means so much to know the Father alerted you to the fact that I was facing a spiritual battle. He is faithful, He provides just what we need–when we need it, even when we’re not aware at times of how He does it!

    THANK YOU, Friend!! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Precious Friend ~

    So good to hear from you, Laura! I’ve watched you respond to the intimate invitation issued in this Psalm, as you’ve been still before God in the midst of personal earthquakes. Yes, He alone can rescue, and He alone deserves our attention and focus as we consider Him at work. Thankful for your friendship and your example in that.

    Love to you dear one ~

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Wow, Naomi ~

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with us. You’ve walked through many dark valleys–but how encouraging to hear how God met with you in each of those dark places. As you are battling in prayer for your marriage right now, remind yourself of how you’ve seen God come through in the past and let that be a faith-building source of strength. Pray for your husband from the position of knowing how God has worked in the past and how He is able to do more than we can think or imagine! (Eph. 3:20)

    Praying as you meditate on Psalm 46 today, you will sense His presence as your Refuge of strength!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dearest Jess ~

    Reading your comment is heartbreaking. I know you are experiencing such pain and loss and I am so very sorry. I’m sure many women reading the blog will join you in praying for your marriage.

    Let me encourage you to not “move on” with your life as you put it, but to continue seeking God devotedly–not just for the restoration of your marriage–but seek God to walk in obedience to Him and His Word daily whether your husband ever returns or not. I know it is so hard to consider that as a possibility, but your husband may not respond to God’s conviction, and God deserves your worship and adoration, your obedience and surrender, no matter what your husband chooses to do.

    One thing you can be assured of, God will never forsake or abandon you. I am so glad that you are looking to Him for your place of refuge, so thankful that He rescued you from the destructive action of taking your life.

    I pray that God brings a beautiful work of transformation, I’m asking Him to capture your husband’s heart, and that one day you will know and love one another in a deeper way than you can imagine.

    But if that never happens, God loves you and values you, dear Jess, He is worthy of all your adoration and devotion.

    Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20–21)

    Pausing to pray for you now ~

  • Jean

    This Psalm has been a comfort to me lately. I’ve see the Lord be a very present help in times of trouble. My trouble is a terrible marriage crisis that is so painful…. so unrelenting. This Psalm has helped me so much. I have it on my wall so when I get up and go to bed, I see it.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Jean,

    I am so sorry for the pain you are currently experiencing. I’m thankful you are looking to God, seeking Him as your place of safety and comfort. May you be aware of His power at work in your life as you depend on Him!

  • Sue

    Good morning, my new friend!
    I have been basking in Psalm 46 over the recent several weeks that God has called both my stepfather and my mother-in-law Home. HE accepted Jesus a month before he died, and SHE said no. But, I am grateful Jesus has the final word. This Psalm has carried us through the “not knowing” what her final answer was.
    Thank you for your daily words of wisdom! Blessings to you and Leroy as you continue in His service.
    Sue

  • Sharon Dennehy

    Hi Kim: This series on Psalm 46 has come at the perfect time for me. After almost 30 years of full-time motherhood, I have ventured back into the workforce as a real estate agent. It’s been interesting and exciting, but it’s also bringing anxiety. Will I be able to make it in the working world after all this time? I feel very vulnerable and somewhat inadequate. I need to bath myself in these assurances from God’s Word. He has been faithful to me and my family in miraculous ways and I have testified to it many times. Now it’s time for me to trust! Thanks so much for offering these mediations this week. I appreciate your blog!

  • Naomi

    Jess,

    I will be praying for you. I’m experiencing the same thing in my marriage. Hoping God will turn my husband around and back toward me and our children. But, like Kim said, if he doesn’t God is still worthy to be praise! Just know that “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” I don’t want to loose my husband to another woman. However, where we are God has put us here or allowed us to be here and His grace is sufficient. Keep calling on the name of Jesus there is power in His name, He hears and He answers. Trust Him in the process. I have many sad, lonely days the emotions hard to bare. He is our refuge, strength and present help. Just know you have another person praying with you.

    Blessings in Disguise!

    Naomi

  • Jess

    Thank you Kim for taking the time to reply. I have been seeking God every day in every area of my life. I know God wanted me to get to this point in my life. I know this was Step 1, now Step 2 and so on.

  • Jess

    Thanks Naomi! Lots of prayers for your situation too. Seeking God daily as our refuge, our friend, and our guidance was def step 1 of this process. I’m excited for each new step and the level of maturity that he has brought in my relationship with him.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sue ~

    Wow, what a powerful testimony of God’s faithfulness. Thank you for sharing. The truth expressed in this Psalm has been a fortification for believers throughout the centuries and it never ceases to amaze me how God personalizes it to our individual circumstances and uses it to minister to us and to also bring us to a place of worship.

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, so glad to have you joining me on the blog!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello, Sharon ~

    Good to hear from you! I’m so glad to get a life-update and hope to hear more from you in how we can pray specifically during this transition time. How is your precious family?

    I’m sure you are experiencing many fears and challenges right now. As you seek the Father, and He confirms His will in each of the decisions along the way, cling to those words from Scripture when the enemy (or your personal fears) begin to assault you.

    I’m so glad you’re still plugged in here at the blog. Made me smile to see your kind face in the comment section 🙂

    Blessings, friend ~