Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will 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."
It seems like I'm hearing about an ever-increasing number of natural disasters around the world. Most terrifying, they seem to be occurring more and more frequently in the United States. Earthquakes, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis. They reap devastation and create fear wherever they go.
I get scared sometimes, hearing about another disaster and wondering if the next one will hit me. It's scary. But we're not called to a spirit of fear. God is here; no matter what disaster strikes, He is my refuge, "an ever-present help." He's always with me, and I can trust in that.
Psalm 48:14 "For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."
This chapter is all about the strength and power of God. The city where He dwells is invincible; enemies who come against it flee in terror. The same is true for us, because God chooses to dwell in us. If God wouldn't let His city be overrun, why do I think He'd let me be smashed? He won't. I might crack a little, but that just lets God's Light shine brighter through me. My God is with me forever. He's guiding me, so why should I worry about direction? He's got everything covered. Help me to trust in that truth, Lord.
Psalm 50:14-15, 23 "Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me… He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
A thankful heart is fertile soil for God to work in. During the first half of the chapter, God explains that He doesn't need our sacrifices. He has no need of sacrificed bulls and goats to feed Himself. He owns all of Creation. We're sacrificing things to Him that are already His.
Yet He delights in our thank offerings. I think God wants to give us joy, and joy swells from gratitude. A thankful heart says, "I'm not going to focus on the bad things in my life. Instead, I'm going to find the good and thank God for it." Gratitude takes our gazes off our problems and puts them on God.
A thankful heart is looking for the blessings all around, and I think God loves to use that kind of heart.
What do these verses say to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!