Hope in Tumultuous Times (Psalm 46)
Scripture: Psalm 46
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved.
As the elections in November edge closer, the sense of anxiety grows. Some will wonder, whether aloud or to themselves, will our nation make it? Is the divide too deep? Is the hatred too potent?
Psalm 46 is a good reminder during such a time. But not because it tells us that God will be faithful to America. It’s a good psalm for now because it points us to another city altogether, one which cannot be moved (v. 5).
Jesus embodied the wisdom of Psalm 45. When he was on his last trip to Jerusalem with the disciples, he taught that we shouldn’t put our hope in the societies and institutions of man. As the disciples marveled at the Temple in all its splendor, Jesus said to them, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Mark 13:2). It seems not even something so great as the temple would last. And indeed, in AD 70, all of it was burned to the ground.
Psalm 46, though, gives us another hope, a more stable hope. It speaks of a city of God, a city in which God himself dwells. And because “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved” (v.5). That means that even though “the nations rage” and “the kingdoms totter,” the hope of those who hope in God shall not be moved.
If you’re feeling anxious about the state of our nation these days, you have a wonderful opportunity to let God work in your heart. Ask yourself, “What am I putting my hope in?” And ask God to teach you to hope as our father in the faith, Abraham, did. “For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). When the city of God is your hope, you’ll begin to see what it means to “Be still and know that I am God” (v. 10).
Father, have mercy on us when we are anxious. Point us to the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, that city with foundations that cannot be shaken. Teach us to put our hope in you and in your rule. Teach us to be confident that the gates of hell cannot prevail against your kingdom, and that because we belong to your Son that nothing can separate us from your love--not even death itself.