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Please enjoy the following devotional written and recorded by Ascent College faculty member Rev. Mark Freeman as part of our “Psalms in the Summer” series.

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,

though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

(Psalm 46, NIV)

When I read Psalm 46, I can’t help but picture the scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End as the ship is disintegrating from the cannon blasts around the character Cutler Beckett. He slowly walks from his cabin as the explosions and ultimate defeat is imminent. There’s a calm, almost resigned submission to the circumstance where Beckett is reflecting on all that brought him to this point. Even amid the chaos, there’s a peace, a recognition, that try as he might, he really had no control, and so he surrenders.

Of course, this scene is terrifying if you find yourself on the losing side, as Beckett does.

However, the same notion can be true for those of us on the winning side of the battle. The first nine verses of this 11-verse Psalm remind the reader of God’s amazing record of victory and not just triumph but His utter dominance against His advisories. Then, we get to verse 10: “Be still, and know that I am God!”

This is both an exhortation and a promise. We, with good intention, want so desperately to fight the good fight, to win every battle to prove our worth on the battlefield, that we often forget it’s God who fights for us. So, whether we feel victory is in our hands or defeat is at our doorstep, we are reminded to “be still.” It’s in the act of quieting our hearts, our minds, and many times even our physical bodies that we can see and know that He is God. It’s in the stillness that we hear His voice, it’s in the stillness that we see Him winning the fight, it’s in stillness we are reminded who is in control, it’s in stillness we let go of what we think is control and we can truly see Jesus. 

Whether you’re in a season of victory or feeling defeated today, take a moment to “be still” and refocus on Who has already won the battle!