Be Still & Know

Willow Creek | July 20, 2021

Our campus pastors continued Road Trip Radio this past weekend with messages on Psalm 46, and what powerful messages they were. Verses one and two of the Psalm say, “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.” What words of hope and peace, but when we’re going through life’s hardest challenges, do we still truly believe those words, or do we instead focus on the chaos all around?


In this life, we will have trouble; Jesus tells us that in John 16:33, but He also adds that peace can be found in Him. When our hopes and dreams come crashing down, without a firm foundation, it’s easy to get caught up on everything that’s falling–it’s easy to focus on the trouble. It’s easy to focus on the broken marriage, the empty bank account, or the negative diagnosis. The more we focus on the trouble, though, the more we lose sight of the peace and refuge God is. 


Driving along the coast, it’s common to see lighthouses. On the darkest of nights or through the roughest weather, lighthouses serve as beacons for ships out to sea. We’ve all gone through harsh storms–we’ve all heard words that crushed us or experienced actions that spun our worlds out of control. When our circumstances change so sharply, where are our eyes focused? Are we looking to God, our lighthouse in the storm who is ready to guide us in, or are we focusing on the pounding waves and torrential rains? 


We’re told to, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a). When we come against a struggle, it’s in our nature to react. We want to fix the balance. But it’s God that tells us to keep our eyes on Him and be still.


Be still. What a challenge. It’s hard enough to slow down during the day-to-day routine, but even harder yet when there’s a wrong we’re struggling to right. Maybe it’s easy on paper–trust God and find peace–but what’s holding so many of us back is this: do we honestly believe those words in the deepest parts of our hearts? 


Do we believe God can be our ever-present help? Do we trust in His plan over ours? Do we believe in Him to right the wrongs, that we can actually be still, and that He’s got it all under control? Do we believe it? If not, that’s the wall that needs to fall. 


In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” We are abundantly loved by the King of all creation, so much so He sent His only Son to die for us so we can have a relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him. He loves us, cares for us, and cherishes us, and He’ll never abandon us. 


Once we believe those words in our heart of hearts, we can face anything that comes our way, grounded with a peace this world could never offer.