PSALM 46 TALK: GOD IS WITH US (THE GOD WHO IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF TROUBLE)

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 PSALM 46 TALK

GOD IS WITH US

(THE GOD WHO IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF TROUBLE)

 INTRODUCTION

 So many religious groups and nations over the history of the world have gone to war with the slogan, “God is on our side”. Some have even used God and their faith in him as a reason for going to war. Today we see this in the extreme Muslin groups who wage Holy War on the west called “Jihad”. Most level headed and peace loving Muslims point out that “Jihad: is miss understood by these extreme groups within Islam and by people of the west. I found this interesting quote on a web page called “Jihad Faqs”,

“While Islam in general is misunderstood in the western world, perhaps no other Islamic term evokes such strong reactions as the word Jihad. The word Jihad is mistranslated as “Holy War”. The Arabic equivalent of “Holy War” is harb-u-muqadasah. This term is not found in any verse of the Qur’an. There is nothing in the Islamic sources that permit a Muslim to fight against non-Muslims solely on the basis that they are not Muslim”.

The article goes on to point out that “Jihad” actually means “Struggle” and Muslims struggle in many ways but this still does not mean they should go to war because of their struggle with the world.

Unfortunately in the past some miss guided Christians have conducted “Holy War” like the Christian crusaders in the middle ages. Even in modern times Germans fought against the western alliance in both wars believing God was on their side, as did their enemies.

The concept of God being on our side is the major theme of Psalm 46 it is found in its opening verse and particularly in the twice-repeated refrain or chorus, verse’s 7 and 11,

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”

Interestingly I read some excellent sermons based on this Psalm that pointed out the folly of going to war with the belief that “God is on our side”. I quote from a sermon by an American minister named J. Clinton McCann known also as the “working preacher”.

“But Psalm 46 does not promise the U.S.A. or any other sovereign state that “God is on our side”. Rather, it promises that God is “with us”. And to what we often think or are told, this means not arming ourselves but disarming ourselves. The surprising nature of this conclusion is captured by the seemingly satirical strategy in verses 8 – 10”.

 We will look closely at these verses in this study later but for now I want to suggest that this Psalm is all about knowing God as a God who can be trusted for help even in the face of the most troubled times of life.

I would also like to make two short introductory comments on this Psalm before we look more closely at it.

The first is it’s possible original setting. This was for me a very difficult problem to solve. I am not going to suggest I know for sure when this Psalm was written and what was going on when it was written. Many commentators suggested that it was written around 701BC after Assyrian forces led by a man named Sennacherib where turned back from the gates of Jerusalem by a miraculous intervention of God when something like eighty five thousand men died when the angel of the Lord attacked the Assyrian camp one night. This is recorded in 2 Kings 18 – 19 and Isaiah 36 – 37. This story commentators say fits the possible background of Psalm 46 especially verses 8 – 9,

“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”.

Also the middle section of the Psalm seems speak of the Temple of Jerusalem and how God will protect it from the nations of the world”.

I have two problems with this view and they are:

  1. The Temple of Jerusalem did fall to a foreign nation in 587BC when the Babylonian’s broke through Jerusalem’s walls and destroyed the temple.
  1. The Psalms introductory notes attribute this Psalm to “The Son’s of Korah”

who wrote Psalms 42 – 49 in this second book. This second book of Psalms seems to have been put together by Solomon who wrote the last Psalm in this book, Psalm 72. This means the Son’s of Korah Psalms in this book were written during the reigns of David and Solomon.

I think the story of the siege of Jerusalem in 702BC is a relevant and interesting application of the teaching of this Psalm but is not the background to the Psalm.

The second introductory comment I would like to make is concerning the introductions words and an intriguing application of it. The heading reads,

“For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.”

This heading tells us three things:

  1. It written for worship in the Temple as it was given the director of music.
  2. It was written by “The Sons of Korah” who I will soon comment on.
  3. It was written to “Alamoth” a possible musical term some have suggested means “maidens” and could be suggesting this Psalm should be sung by soprano voices. This term also appears in 1 Chronicles 15: 20 where the Son’s of Korah are given musical instructions for the installation of the Ark of the covenant in Jerusalem by King David.

The intriguing application concerns the “Sons of Korah” who’s family background is a real lesson in the grace of God. These sons of Korah are related to Korah who was part of a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron recorded in Numbers 4. He and most of his family paid for this rebellion by the ground giving way and swallowing them up.

Numbers 26: 9 -11 tells us some of the children of the rebellious Kohathites were spared and their descendants went on to become door keepers in the Tabernacle (1 Chronicles 9: 19 -21, the prophet Samuel came from this family line (1 Chronicles 6; 38 and 1 Samuel 1: 1, 20) and one group of this family were made Tabernacle / Temple singers and musicians. Now we see that some of these singer / musicians wrote Psalms.

These descendants of the rebellious Koah wrote in verse 2,

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea”.

Dr Carla Waterman makes this insightful comment,

“This is a strong metaphor for anyone except the Sons of Korah. For them, the earth actually once had given way. The earth moved so decisively that it swallowed up their entire disaffected family. In writing Psalm 46, might they have been living in the memory of their familial rescue?”

What was left of this family that survived that terrible day went on to become one of the most famous families God used in his service and they had to learn to live out the words of verse 10 of Psalm 46,

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”.

This Psalm has three distinctive sections of three verses and a refrain or chorus appears after the second and third sections. Some have suggested that maybe in the early days of this Psalm this refrain appeared after the first section, verses 1 to 3.

  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF NATURAL DISASTERS (1 -3) 
  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF WAR (4- 7)
  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN WHEN MANKIND IS IN REBELLION (8 – 11)
  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF NATURAL DISASTERS (1 – 3)

The opening words of this Psalm are as famous as they are striking,

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”

These words inspired Martin Luther to write his famous hymn, and the first verse reads,

A mighty fortress is our God,

A bulwark never failing;

Our helper he amid the flood

Of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe

Doth seek to work us woe;

His craft and power are great,

And armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal.

It’s been said that Luther wrote his hymn to apply the opening words of Psalm 46 to the church of his time and its struggles. Luther and his reformed church endured enormous troubles and difficulties as they faced the power and might of the Roman Catholic Church, which sought to rub it out of existence by any means it could. But Luther and many reformed Christians clung to God as their refuge and strength.

Leopold points out that the original Hebrew,

“Places emphasis on the word God”

 And goes on to say,

“He, nothing else is our refuge in the face of calamities of every sort”.

 When we face any kind of trouble what we really believe is revealed.

Who do we turn to when trouble comes?

Some people are actually caught out by trouble and calamity and either turn away from God or turn on God with words of anger.

I once knew a man in a church I attended many years ago who told me that if God could let his wife suffer from cancer as badly as she did then he wanted nothing to do with such a God.

By turning away from God this man missed out on the promise of the second half of this verse that reads,

“An ever-present help in trouble”

 Jesus wants to come close to us when this world’s fallen consequences catches up to us in some form of trouble or suffering and he holds out his loving arms in promises like Matthew 11: 28 – 30,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 This opening statement of confidence in God to help and protect us in the face of trouble and difficulty is then applied to a variety of natural disasters in the next two verses.

Verse 2 and 3 say,

“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”.

 Note the confidence of this Son of Korah when he says, “we will not fear”. Only a person of faith could say this when the entire world around them seems to be collapsing. He seems to be describing some kind of mighty earthquake when the mountains seem to be falling into the sea.

The waters roaring and foaming remind me of pictures I saw of the tsunami that hit Japan in 2013 and how buildings, cars and tragically people were simply swept away by a mighty wave of water. Who could say, I will not be afraid when they faced that?

Yet I know of Christians who with a missionary my church supports drove for hours to that devastated part of Japan to offer practical help in the name of Christ to the victims of that terrible natural disaster.

As I said in the introduction maybe this Son of Korah who wrote this Psalm was thinking of how the ground gave way on his rebellious ancestors and now because of his sure faith in the God of Israel he can now say, “I do not fear” the unpredictable world in which we live in because “God is with me”.

  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN IN TIMES OF WAR (4 – 7)

This section starts with a poetic description of Jerusalem and its Temple Mount called Mount Zion.

Verse 4,

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells”.

Why does the Psalm now turn to a poetic description of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount known as Mount Zion?

Many commentators now introduce the story of the Assyrian siege in 701 BC when Jerusalem was under attack from a might army. However I think the Psalmist just wants us to think of the people of God and their special relationship with him symbolized by the Temple of God on Mount Zion, which he calls,

“The holy place where the Most High dwells”.

And wants them to realize that even if the most mighty of armies comes upon them they can be assured that God is with them to be their refuge and strength.

This son of Korah was a leader of the music sung and played in the Temple and was well aware of its significance.

Did he believe God was confined to a place even a special place like Mount Zion?

In many places in the Psalms God is not on earth but in heaven as Psalm 115: 3 states,

“Our God is in heaven he does whatever pleases him”.

The New Testament makes this clear as Paul state in Acts 17: 24,

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands”.

However for the Old Testament Jew like this Sons of Korah the Temple in Jerusalem held special significance for him and represented God’s dwelling with his people on earth.

In the New Testament Mount Zion is God’s heavenly home with the Lamb of God and his church as Hebrews 12: 22 – 24 says,

“But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel”.

And Revelation 14: 1,

“Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads”.

The number 144,000 is the symbol for the complete number of the Church when it assembles in the heavenly Mount Zion.

So in Old Testament times Mount Zion and the Temple on it represented God being with his people just as the heavenly Mount Zion represents in the New Testament God being with his people in heaven.

Jesus makes it clear to the women of Samaria about the nature of worship now that he has come in John 4: 21 – 24,

“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

What then is the significance and meaning of the words,

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God”?

Interestingly the only natural flowing water in Jerusalem is a small stream called Siloam, which runs from the fountain of Siloam to the east side of Jerusalem.

This little stream could not possibly be a river and it only had regular flow of water when King Hezekiah built a tunnel to divert the water down the west side of the city guaranteeing reliable water supply even when the city is under siege.

This small stream stands in complete contrast to the surging waters of verse 3 and presents a picture of how God can take what is small and seemingly insignificant like the Nation of Israel and make it strong and secure because he is with them.

Water represents God’s renewing presence in his believing people and this is what Jesus is saying to the Samaritan women at the well in John 4: 13,

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

God’s stream or river then in verse 4 is God’s presence with his people and that water or presence,

Makes glad the city of God”

It brings hope and joy to God’s people who by faith trust in him.

Verse 5 continues to spell out what God’s presence means for his faithful people,

“God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day”.

This verse would have meant a lot in 701BC when the people of Jerusalem woke up on the morning that revealed 85,000 dead Assyrians outside the gates of their city. Sennacherib had to retreat back to Assyria with what was left of his army knowing that some powerful great force had defeated him when it looked like he had this tiny nation of Israel on its knees.

This great force is of course the Lord of Heaven and earth who has always promised people of true faith his help and special presence.

The next verse tells us that God even controls this world’s evil conflicts.

“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts”.

The history of this world is full of terrible misery and pain caused by all kinds of wars. Great and powerful nations have come and gone and this is proof that God makes kingdoms fall.

Christians have been caught up in this just as much as anyone else. They are not immune from the effects of human evil conflict but they have something special that non- believers don’t have. No matter what side of a conflict Christians serve or live under they all have something the following refrain in verse 7 speaks of,

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”.

 Many stories could be told of how Christians throughout the ages have trusted in God during dark days of a war and they can testify that even though terrible things happened to them and others God was with them and helped them to be able to cope and be victorious even in death because they have gone to be in the presence of God forever.

I would also like to comment on how God is described in verse 7,

“The God of Jacob”

I have touched on this in other Psalm Talks and have noted that to call God “The God of Jacob” is a prescription for the grace of God. The story of Jacob whose name literally mean “supplanter” is a story of how God can love even a scheming self made man like Jacob. Jacob first got his name because even at his birth he came out of the womb clutching his brother’s heel. Jacob’s life takes a real turn for the better later in his life when he has a special encounter with God in Genesis 32: 22 – 30. This special encounter is a good picture of how Jacob had lived his life for he ends up wrestling with God or an Angel sent by God. The wrestling only stops as the man sent by God touched his hip and Jacob became partially crippled from that day on. God gives Jacob a new name, which is Israel, which literally means “he who prevails with God”.

So to say that God is with us and call that God, “the God of Jacob” is to imply that God is with us not because we deserve it but only because he chooses to love us as rebellious as we are.

  1. GOD IS WITH US EVEN WHEN MANKIND IS IN REBELLION (8 – 11)

This Son of Korah then calls us to see what God can do. Of course those who say this Psalm was written after the Assyrians where defeated by God outside the city of Jerusalem say that the writer is calling people to literally see what God has done.

However if God brings down Nations as verse 6 suggests then we can see what verses 8 and 9 says poetically in any age.

“Come and see what the Lord has done, 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.”

 These verses teach us three things:

  1. God will deal with the rebellion of mankind
  2. God will intervene to stops wars (ultimate consequence of rebellion)
  3. Man’s weapons are powerless against a mighty God
  1. God will deal with the rebellion of mankind

 In the story of the Assyrian defeat in 701BC a judgment of God fell on the enemies of God in the form of an attacked by what 2 kings calls the Angel of the Lord (2 Kings 19: 35). However in 587BC God allowed the Babylonians to break through the defences of Jerusalem and Jerusalem fell just as the prophets of God had predicted.

God judged his own people for their rebellion over many years. Many battles have been fought throughout world history and one-way or another these wars are an expression of the rebellion of mankind to the rule of God in their lives.

God does and will ultimately deal with the rebellion of mankind in judgment. In Acts 17: 31 Paul declares in his speech to the Athenians,

“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 This judgment day will take place when Jesus returns and the book of Revelation describes in picture language the desolation and that will be brought on the earth on that day, Revelation 20: 11 – 15,

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire”.

  1. God will intervene to stops wars (ultimate consequence of rebellion)

 As we have seen in both book 1 and 2 of Psalms a major theme that comes up time and time again is the conflict that God’s people face is a result of the Nations of this world being in rebellion to God and his appointed king on earth. We first came across this in Psalm 2: 2,

“The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One”.

 So God’s judgment on man’s rebellion happens in various ways even before the major final Judgment day to come. The verse 9 says,

“He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth”

 War is a Nation acting in rebellion against God as a nation against another nation who is acting in rebellion against God as well. Some Nations might justify there going to war as being involved in a holy war but war is not a holy activity but an act of fallen sinful men in rebellion to God.

Romans 6: 23 says,

“The wages of sin is death”

Wars only lead to death and destruction on earth and God in his love has often stepped in and brought a war to an end. History is full of wars and often through nature or some foolish tactic of one side in a war the war has come to an end. Like when Hitler chose to bomb London after a mistaken bombing raid by one of his aircrew.

If Hitler had continued his attack English factories and airports he could have defeated England and probably won the Second World War. This wrong tactic of Hitler and a number of others I believe was God’s working through the evil plans of Adolf Hitler to bring the Second World War to an end.

  1. Man’s weapons are powerless against a mighty God

 Albert Barnes makes this insightful comment on the expression,

“He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire”.

 “The expression here may refer to a custom of collecting the spoils of war into a heap, and setting them on fire. This was particularly done when the victors were unable to remove them, or so to secure them as to preclude all danger of their being taken again and used against themselves”.

 This is what the people of Jerusalem would have literally seen in 701BC when the Angel of the Lord decimated the Assyrian army. These words in verse 9 are another reason why some commentators believe this Psalm was written at that time. However as I said in the introduction I believe this event in 701BC was a very real application of this Psalm.

 Isaiah looked forward to the day that all wars on earth would cease when God would turn implements of war into implements used for peaceful purposes, Isaiah 2: 4,

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore”.

Note that this applies to the great Judgment of God to come and the expression of God breaking bows and shattering spears is also telling us that the weapons of mankind are powerless against the power and might of the God of heaven and earth and his Judgment to come.

 Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6: 12 that we are involved in a great spiritual battle in this life,

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.

In 2 Corinthians 10: 4 he tells us,

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds”.

So we fight a battle daily with the devil and all his evil forces but in Christ we can be confident that all the weapons the devil uses are powerless against us because Christ is with us and helps us to be victorious. Paul speaks about this in Ephesians 6: 13 – 18 as putting on daily the armor of God. I would like to remind you of what Paul actually said in these verses,

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people”.

This brings us to the final words of advice this Son of Korah wants to teach us about how God helps us even in times of great trouble and he has two things to say.

  1. Stop Fighting God (verse 10)
  2. Know that God is with us (verse 11)
  1. Stop Fighting God (verse 10)

We have come across the words of verse 10 before in Psalms in the first book of Psalms,

“Be still and know that I am God”

In Psalm 37: 7 we read,

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”

Which relates in the context of that Psalm to stopping what you are doing and come to God in prayer and wait patiently on him.

In Psalm 46 we have a different application as J. Clinton McCann explains,

“Be still, and know that I am God!” “Is not an invitation to be quiet meditation or a slower pace of life. Rather, it is a clarion call to the nations of the world for a universal cease- fire; and it would better be translated as ‘Stop it!’ or more periphrastically, ‘Drop your guns!’”

This then is a call to the nations of this world to stop fighting or better still stop rebelling against God with your war and destruction in this world. God then adds to this call for disarmament with a warning,

“I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”.

God here is saying if you keep up your rebellious actions of war and destruction then one day you will face the power and might of God who rules this world with justice and truth.

This raises the thorny issue of what then should be the Christians attitude to war?

As a very young Christian I was a declared pacifist but I changed my ideas and now would say that war is a result of living in a fallen sinful world and a Christian should only go to war or support war as a last resort.

I like how J. Clinton McCann puts it when commentating on this verse and the idea that “God is with us”,

“To know that God is ‘with us’ means not the courage to wage war, but rather the courage to wage peace! To be sure, waging peace will be a ‘fight’ in a world seemingly fascinated with violence and warfare”.

Jesus made it clear in Matthew 5: 9,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”.

There is no place for Christians to glory in war but rather to work as hard as they can for peace as much as this is in opposition to the prevailing world in which we live.

  1. Know that God is with us (verse 11)

Now we come again to the refrain of this Psalm for the last time. As a songwriter and poet I know that what you express in a refrain or chorus is the central idea of your song or poem. The chorus says in a few words what you are really trying to say. This Son of Korah has been seeking to say that no matter what this world can and will throw at us God is with us to shield and strengthen us. The refrain says,

“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress”

This is not something we arrogantly proclaim to justify our acts of murder and war like the extreme Muslims are doing today. It is a word of confidence in a God of grace, “the God of Jacob”, who promises to be with us even in the face of murder and war.

The Christian message or Gospel is all about “God being with us” for even at the beginning of the life of Jesus Christ he was called Immanuel, Matthew 2: 23,

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”)”.

John makes the same point in a much more spectacular way when he opens his Gospel with the words,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning”. (John 1: 1-2)

He goes on to then say in John 1: 14,

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”.

Jesus came to this world to become a man like us to achieve two great ends:

  1. To show us what God is like
  2. To die for our sins on the cross

The Good News of the Gospel is not just that God sent Jesus into the world to be one of us but rather that by believing in him and what he has done for us we can know God now in our daily lives and when we die go to be with him forever. As Jesus spells out in John 6: 35 – 40,

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

Once we believe in Jesus and what he has done for us Jesus comes into our lives through the person of the Holy Spirit as Paul argues and teaches us in Romans 8: 9 – 11,

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofhis Spirit who lives in you”.

Jesus is with us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in those who truly believe in him and no finer application could be given than the words of Paul in Romans 8: 31 – 39,

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

 I close then with my poem, “God is with me” based on Psalm 46 and a prayer,

 GOD IS WITH ME

 God is with me every day

He walks with me all the way

My refuge now when things go wrong

For I am weak but he is strong

When all gives way and I feel small

He holds me up and makes me tall.

 

Chorus:

Jesus walks beside me

To help me find his way

Jesus lives within me

To make me new each day

Jesus will help me carry

The burdens that I bare

I just have to trust him

For he’s always there.

 

God is with me every day

His spirit guides me in his way

We are his Temple hear on earth

When his Spirit gives us new birth.

When Satan seeks to bring us down

God gives to us his victory crown.

 

Chorus:

Jesus walks beside me

To help me find his way

Jesus lives within me

To make me new each day

Jesus will help me carry

The burdens that I bare

I just have to trust him

For he’s always there.

 

God is with me every day

He hears my prayers when I pray

This world rebels and turns away

And many die in wars each day

Be still and know that God is Lord

Turn from sin and obey his word.

 

Chorus:

Jesus walks beside me

To help me find his way

Jesus lives within me

To make me new each day

Jesus will help me carry

The burdens that I bare

I just have to trust him

For he’s always there.

 

By: Jim Wenman

 

PRAYER:

Father in heaven thank you for sending Jesus so that we can know what you are really like and have our sins forgiven. Help us to be agents of peace in this world of turmoil and strife. Help us to present the Good News that through what Jesus has done for us we can know your peace and love in our lives. May we never forget that you are with us even in the most difficult circumstances of life. May we know your grace and help in our lives today. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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