A few different verses jumped out at me in this psalm.
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
I really don’t think you can be reminded enough of the safety that God provides us. It’s something that I really struggled with for a long time and something I’ve written about before. I’ve always had a tendency to stand alone in times of trouble, determined to try to weather the storms through my own strength of will. That’s not what the Bible tells me I have to do. It regularly paints God as my fortress and stronghold, the place I can go for shelter when times are tough.
As I’ve studied the Bible this past year I’ve come to believe that when it repeats something over and over it’s usually because that thing is vitally important. And this idea of God being our refuge during times of trouble, it comes up a lot. God’s so much to us. Savior, provider, creator, father, but He’s also our stronghold. Our refuge. If it’s important enough that the Bible includes it time and time again then I think it’s something we should always hold in our memory so the moment troubles strike we know to seek shelter with the King.
Before I move on from this I want to take a look at the verse one more time. Look at what God is providing refuge from and help with in the verse. The earth gives way, the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea, the waters of the sea roar and foam so violently that the mountains tremble. The world is breaking apart here! Earthquake doesn’t even begin to describe the picture this verse is painting, we’re talking about something that goes beyond what the Richter Scale can handle. Yet look at verse 2, look at what those who take refuge in God are doing amidst this upheaval of the very earth. “Therefore we will not fear.” That’s the power of God’s shelter. Even when the world is cracking apart around us, we rest easy in His stronghold, we rest easy in the comfort and safety He provides. What a God!
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This psalm is very descriptive, as you’ll see in this next verse.
Psalm 46:6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The power of God never ceases to amaze me. I’m always impressed with the countless different ways the Bible is able to represent the awe inspiring power of the Lord. Just read that verse again, it’s describing a level of power that goes beyond all understanding. God could melt the earth with nothing but His voice! It’s another in a long line of incredible depictions of His unmeasurable levels of power.
As I was reading this psalm there was something in it that I just kept coming back to.
Psalm 48:10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
I love when the Bible reminds me of the bigness of God. His name reaches to the ends of the earth. His praise reaches to the ends of the earth. If people are hearing His name and good things about Him (praise), in a way you could relate this to fame. His fame reaches to the ends of the earth. But here’s the thing. How does fame spread? How do you learn about great new bands, or a fantastic new restaurant to eat at? Someone tells you, or you read about it somewhere, or you see a video about it online. Fame is earned because someone does something notable, but fame is spread by people passing around the story of that someone and the notable things they did.
So the question for us as believers becomes this. What are we doing to make Jesus famous? What are we doing to spread His name and His praise to the ends of the earth? The more I study my Bible, the deeper my faith grows, the deeper my knowledge of God grows, and I’m just so aware of the active status of being in a relationship with God. Ours is not a passive religion, it’s an active one! You don’t help people come to salvation by sitting on your couch. You don’t uplift the downtrodden by playing Playstation 4. Trust me, I’ve wasted a lot of years doing those things, and never once did I somehow manage to bring someone to Jesus by sitting alone at night watching television. Never once has my high score on Final Fantasy 7 brought someone to Jesus. If we’re going to make Jesus famous, if we’re going to fulfill the words of the Bible and spread His name and His praise to the ends of the earth, we’re going to have to get active.
You know, the first time I heard the phrase “make Jesus famous” it sounded odd to me. When I think about fame I think about the world around me. Who is famous? Justin Timberlake is famous. The guy’s a pretty decent actor, a fantastic singer, and a wondrous dancer. He’s famous for these things. Donald Trump is famous. The guy’s really rich, has some strong opinions, has bizarrely bad hair, and has been on TV a bunch. Kim Kardashian is famous. She’s on a TV show about her family, is featured in lots of photos. These people are famous. That’s the barometer here in our world for fame. Most people attain fame by entertaining the masses.
So let’s look at Jesus. Here’s a guy who brings love to loveless situations. A guy who brings light into the darkness. A guy who loves you back to spiritual health instead of leaving you to decay and die in your barren state. A guy who died for you, even when He didn’t have to, because He loved you enough to suffer in your place to pay your debt of sin. A guy who heals the sick, delivers the enslaved, and has an eternal paradise waiting for those who believe in Him when they die. If ever there was a figure in history that deserves fame, it’s Jesus. I mean seriously think about this, the Taco Bell dog was famous for like five years because of TV commercials where he said “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” That’s the measuring stick for fame in America!
I want to make Jesus famous because that means I’m making Him and His goodness known. And once you know Him, once you get close and experience all that Jesus brings, everything changes. He is the everything, the sum total of goodness and love, and I want to do my part to spread His name across the entire earth.
PRAYER AND CLOSING
Father God, today there’s so much to be thankful for. I thank you for your refuge. Your word reminds me of it time and again, and as I grow in wisdom and start learning to reside within the walls of your stronghold during times of trouble, I see the incredible comfort it provides. What can hope to penetrate your defenses? Nothing. So there’s zero reason to fear. What a gift that is to your people, Lord, and I’m just so thankful for it. Lord Jesus, on this day I proclaim that I want to make you famous. I want to be part of a cultural shift, a movement that takes down posters of comic book heroes and musicians and instead puts up posters of you. I want to have to wait in line to get into my church because there are so many people flocking to it to see you. Today I ask for wisdom and guidance, show me the ways in which I can spread your fame. Give me targets, Lord, and then give me the boldness to approach them and share your love. You know, I often think about your sense of humor, Jesus. I just have to believe that you laugh a lot, because in my mind there are few things more pure and good than genuine laughter. I thank you for laughter, and I thank you that laughter is abundant in my life. You are the king of joy, the god of my smile, and I’m just so in awe of you. I praise your holy name, I rejoice in you on this day. Thank you for all that you are, and all that you’re doing. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, amen.
The week is off and running, friends, and I hope you’re doing great on this day. I love you all, but man, my love pales in comparison to the love that God has for you. He is a Father that loves his children, and He desires a closer relationship with His kids. God pursues you not to condemn you or judge you, He pursues you so He can grab you up in a giant hug and tell you that everything is going to be okay and that He loves you. So stop running from Him, turn around and accept that love that He’s so desperately trying to share with you. It’s a decision that you’ll never regret, I promise you that.