February 21, 2021
Facing Life with God’s Help
As I read the Scriptures, I find no instant formula for spiritual maturity. A lot of people are searching for one. They just want to have an experience or say a prayer, and have instant spiritual maturity. But it doesn’t come that way! Growth comes through stress & struggle as we endeavor to live the Christian life.
Two psychiatrists, Thomas Holmes & Richard Rahe did some research on Human Stress. They listed many of the common experiences of life, evaluated their impact on our mental & emotional well-being, and rated them according to the stress they produced in our lives. This stress rating was expressed in what they called “Life-Changing Units, or LCUs.” The worse the stress rating, the higher the LCUs.
For instance, death of a spouse is 100 LCUs. Getting a divorce is 73 LCUs. Being pregnant is 40 LCUs. Taking a vacation is 13 LCUs. The stress of Christmas is rated as 12 LCUs. On & On went their list of life’s stresses, each one rated in LCUs.
When we learn of our relatives or friends who is terminally ill, or when we go to the doctor & he tells us there is something questionable in our Xray; or when our children grow up & move away; or we sell our home & move someplace else; or we change jobs, or we retire. These are all Life-Changing Units or LCUs.
We are constantly being bombarded by LCUs, & In this research of Holmes & Rahe, their conclusion was that, if within a year’s time, we experience a cumulative total of more than 300 Life-Changing Units, most people will not be able to handle it.
They concluded that if we experience that many LCUs in one year’s time that most of us will have either a physical or emotional breakdown because, humanly speaking, we just can’t cope with that much change. But notice that I said “humanly speaking,” & I emphasize the word “humanly”, because our trust in God can make a difference.
Now with that in mind, let’s look at Psalm 46:1-10. This Psalm was evidently written in a kind of stress environment. There must have been times when the psalmist felt like he was in a pressure -cooker and couldn’t get out. So, he wrote the words of this Psalm as he sought to deal with the stresses of his life.
I WILL NOT FEAR!
A. v. 1 A refuge provides a shelter from danger. Strength gives us courage in danger. Very present, is the idea of “well-proved help”. God’s help is both present and proven, ready and reliable.
B. vv. 2-3, Whatever happens, I will not fear; “Though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea: water maybe troubled, and mountains may shake, I will not fear.
And what about the hurricanes that lash our coasts, the tornadoes that sweep across our states, the snow blizzards that paralyze cities, the drought that shrivels up & cracks our farm land. The floods that wash away bridges & homes? The tsunami that devastate other countries. Some are beginning to cry out, ’What is happening in our world today?
But as Christians, how are we to react to all this? The Psalmist says, “I will not be afraid.” My Lord is till in command of the winds & the waves & the sea. Therefore, I will not fear. God is my refuge & my strength.
I WILL NOT BE MOVED!
A. v. 4 A river for physical and spiritual blessing. These words about refreshing waters, are opposite with those about threatening floods in v. 3.
B. v. 5,6 I will not be moved (moving, slipping, tottering, sliding and roaring) because of the presence of the Lord. The forces of nature are no more a threat to us because we dwell with God.
C. v. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; He secures the safety of His people.
I WILL NOT BE FILLED WITH STRESS ANYMORE!
It seems that the Psalmist sits back & looks at all the changes that have taken place and he reflect on them in 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 & shatters the spear; He burns the chariots with fire.”
Then in verse 10 he says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Do you realize what the psalmist is saying? He is saying, “In the midst of it all, I have decided that I will no longer let my life be filled with stress & anxiety.” Why? Because God is my refuge and strength.”
Someone said that 3 words can summarize how most of us spend our lives - hurrying, worrying, and scurrying. It’s time for us to take the Psalmist to heart, to, “Be still, and know that I am God.
Facing Life with God’s Help
REMEMBER THESE GREAT TRUTHS
1. God is always near & available to us.
2. God’s power is greater than anything in all the world. Greater than winds or storms, or earthquakes, or volcanoes. There is no greater power.
3. God’s help works even when we can’t help ourselves. Have you felt weak lately? Have you felt like there are too many stresses, to many LCUs in your life & that you about to explode? God’s help is available.