Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The first lines of this Psalm have always had a calming effect on me. They were among my first adult memory verses. Every time I face difficulty or uncertainty, they spring automatically into my mind and I am strengthened. It’s a promise God has made to us, the promise of a haven of peace in a world of turmoil.

The writer of Hebrews used a nautical analogy to bring the same point home. He wrote, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” (Hebr.6:19-20) In the time before harbors could be dredged to accommodate large ships, sailors of these ships had to anchor outside the harbor and transfer passengers and goods to small boats to get them ashore. Because wind and currents would work to tear a ship loose from its moorings in open seas, there was always a danger that they’d find themselves cast adrift. To prevent this, they attached their anchors to long lines and then rowed them into the harbor where they set the anchor in calm waters unaffected by winds and currents. Though the waves rolled and the wind blew out where the ships were, the anchors remained firmly set beneath the quiet waters of the harbor, keeping the ship secure.

In Hebrews 6 the writer explains the security afforded to one who trusts solely in the Lord’s completed work on the cross. Using this nautical analogy, he pictures the anchor of our soul planted firmly in the Holy of Holies. Protected from the winds of controversy and the currents of deceit, our blessed hope is secure, anchored in the Throne Room of the Creator by our Lord Jesus, Who sprinkled His blood there on our behalf. Let the storms rage, let the waves crash. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Hallelujah!

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