To Be Still and Know - iBelieve Truth - December 7, 2023

Published: Dec 07, 2023

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“‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:10 (NIV) 

One day when I was under extra stress at work, I took some time off to drive to a local church that welcomed people to pray in its sanctuary anytime. As I sat there in prayer, the words of Psalm 46:10 came to mind. The stillness seemed to be embracing me with a sense of peace, which left no room for stress to linger. I didn’t need to worry about my schedule. I was in the presence of God, who invented time itself. While I didn’t know how I would get everything done, I knew who would help me so. 

We live in a world that often moves at a frenetic pace. But if we’re constantly in a hurry, we’ll experience too much stress to manage well. God reminds us Psalm 46:10 to cultivate a sense of calmness in our lives. God invites us to “be still” – to pause so we can notice his presence and receive his peace. This seemingly simple verse contains profound wisdom, reminding us that in the middle of life’s chaos, God is with us, offering us strength in any situation. It’s a reminder that peace of mind doesn’t come from striving to change our circumstances, but from a connection with someone greater than ourselves: God. 

The second part of the verse – “and know that I am God” – is a declaration of God’s eternal sovereignty and a reminder that we are not alone in this vast universe. God is the constant, the unchanging presence who is with us as we face changing circumstances. This knowledge goes beyond intellectual understanding; it involves a personal and experiential awareness of God’s love. It’s an invitation to a deep and meaningful relationship with our Creator. The act of being still and knowing God implies trust and surrender. It’s an acknowledgment that, in the stillness, God is in control. Trusting in God’s sovereignty and wisdom allows us to let go of our anxieties, placing them in the hands of a loving and powerful God.

Prayer and meditation can help us live out this verse. Taking time to be still before God, meditating on God’s messages in the Bible, and communicating with God in heartfelt prayer all move us closer to God so we can experience the wonder of God’s presence

Being still and knowing God also requires faith and confidence in God’s promises. It’s an affirmation that, even as we deal with life’s challenges, God is in control, and we can trust him to do what’s best for us. 

So, Psalm 46:10 is an invitation directly from God to experience his presence in fresh ways. We can do so by making a conscious effort to cultivate stillness within our lives – creating spaces in our daily routines for quiet reflection, prayer, and meditation, for simply being present in the moment. That means taking a break from anything that is distracting us from giving God our full devotion. We need to consider if we’re truly making our relationships with God our top priority. Is anything consuming the time and attention we should be devoting to God? Possibilities include work, power, money, possessions, success, relationships, sex, fitness, sports, entertainment, appearance, substances like alcohol and drugs, education, and even religious activities. Instead of keeping ourselves busy with activities that distract us from God, we can simply be still, and God can fill that stillness with his presence. Then we can connect with God and get to know him better. 

Being still and knowing God more is a simple practice that can transform our lives in profound ways. It can lead us to a deeper sense of peace, a greater capacity for love, and more resiliency as we deal with stress. It can wake us up to the wonder of how God is working in our lives, inspiring us with joy in any circumstances

Dear God, please help me find your presence in the middle of my busy life. Meet me where I am and help me notice you. I confess that it’s challenging to take the breaks I know I should take to spend quality time with you. Please keep reminding me regularly when it’s time to take a break and be refreshed in your presence. Thank you for always being there for me. I love you! In your holy name, amen.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/TomMerton

headshot of author Whitney HoplerWhitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on X/Twitter and on Facebook

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Originally published Thursday, 07 December 2023.