VIDEO Be Still My Soul

Jun 17, 2009

Amy Grant singing the classic hymn “Be Still My Soul”. The tune for this song, Finlandia, is an important Finnish national song (though not Finland’s national anthem). The song opens with a beautiful guitar solo by Richard Bennett, called “Fields Of Plenty”. Amy closes the song with a short poem based on Psalms 37:4 : “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The renowned Stuart Duncan on fiddle.

Are You Listening?

Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. MATTHEW 7:8

Once there was a man who dared God to speak: Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God. And I will follow. Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God. And I will fight. Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God.

And I will listen.

And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea and waited for God to speak.

And God heard the man, so God answered. He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church. He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin. He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.

And God waited for the man to respond. And he waited … and waited.

But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks and not lives, seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing.

Finally he looked to God and asked, Have you lost your power?

And God looked at him and said, Have you lost your hearing?

A Gentle Thunder

Be Still

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! —Psalm 46:10

Eric Liddell, memorialized in the film Chariots of Fire, won a gold medal in the 1924 Paris Olympics before going to China as a missionary. Some years later, with the outbreak of World War II, Liddell sent his family to safety in Canada, but he remained in China. Soon Liddell and other foreign missionaries were interned in a Japanese detainment camp. After months of captivity, he developed what doctors feared was a brain tumor.

Every Sunday afternoon a band would play near the hospital, so one day Liddell requested they play the hymn “Be Still, My Soul.” As he listened, I wonder if Eric pondered these words from the song: Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on / When we shall be forever with the Lord. / When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, / Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored. / Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past / All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

That beautiful hymn, so comforting to Eric as he faced an illness that led to his death 3 days later, expresses a great reality of Scripture. In Psalm 46:10, David wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God.” In our darkest moments, we can rest, for our Lord conquered death on our behalf. Be still, and allow Him to calm your greatest fears.

Teach me, Lord, to still my soul before You. Help
me to bear patiently the trials I face, and to
leave everything to You to direct and provide.
I know that You will always remain faithful. by Bill Crowder

God’s whisper of comfort quiets the noise of our trials.

The Truth

“. . . God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

The verses preceding our text encourage believers to be in prayer “for all men” (v. 1), including “all that are in authority” (v. 2), that our own lives might be “quiet and peaceable,” as well as for their salvation.

God, who abhors and promises to judge sinful individuals, does not desire to punish anyone. His desire is for “all men to be saved,” and He has done all that is necessary to bring this about, by paying sin’s awful penalty of death. While not all will avail themselves of this opportunity, choosing instead to continue in their sin, our prayers somehow are used by God to bring some “to the knowledge of the truth.”

The truth necessary for salvation follows: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all” (vv. 5-6).

In order to be saved, we must embrace the fact that there is only “one God” who alone holds the key to eternity, and that there is only one way by which we can reach that God, “the man Christ Jesus.” We, in our natural state, are at war with God, estranged from Him, and separated by the presence of sin in our lives. Christ Jesus, acting as our mediator, our peacemaker, our advocate, being both fully God (i.e., “one God”) and fully man (i.e., “the man”) bridges the gap between the Father and all men. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6).

How has He bridged the gap? He “gave himself a ransom for all” (v. 6). The Bible teaches that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) but that “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Since He willingly “gave himself” as a punishment for our sins, we can stand before God the Father in Christ’s sinlessness. JDM

On all bare heights shall be their pasture

“On all bare heights shall be their pasture.” (Isa. 49:9, R. V.)

Toys and trinkets are easily won, but the greatest things are greatly bought. The topmost place of power is always bought with blood. You may have the pinnacles if you have enough blood to pay. That is the conquest condition of the holy heights everywhere. The story of real heroisms is the story of sacrificial blood. The chiefest values in life and character are not blown across our way by vagrant winds. Great souls have great sorrows.

“Great truths are dearly bought, the common truths,
Such as men give and take from day to day,
Come in the common walk of easy life,
Blown by the careless wind across our way.

“Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance,
Nor wafted on the breath of summer dream;
But grasped in the great struggle of the soul,
Hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream.

“But in the day of conflict, fear and grief,
When the strong hand of God, put forth in might,
Plows up the subsoil of the stagnant heart,
And brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light.

“Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours
Of weakness, solitude, perchance of pain,
Truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field,
And the soul feels it has not wept in vain.”

The capacity for knowing God enlarges as we are brought by Him into circumstances which oblige us to exercise faith; so, when difficulties beset our path let us thank God that He is taking trouble with us, and lean hard upon Him.

Their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven

“Their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, even unto heaven.” 2 Chronicles 30:27

Prayer is the never-failing resort of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword you may take to the weapon of all-prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bow-string may be relaxed, but the weapon of all-prayer need never be out of order. Leviathan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need furbishing, but prayer never rusts, and when we think it most blunt it cuts the best.

Prayer is an open door which none can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand. We can never be taken by blockade, escalade, mine, or storm, so long as heavenly succours can come down to us by Jacob’s ladder to relieve us in the time of our necessities. Prayer is never out of season: in summer and in winter its merchandize is precious. Prayer gains audience with heaven in the dead of night, in the midst of business, in the heat of noonday, in the shades of evening.

In every condition, whether of poverty, or sickness, or obscurity, or slander, or doubt, your covenant God will welcome your prayer and answer it from His holy place. Nor is prayer ever futile. True prayer is evermore true power. You may not always get what you ask, but you shall always have your real wants supplied. When God does not answer His children according to the letter, He does so according to the spirit. If thou askest for coarse meal, wilt thou be angered because He gives thee the finest flour? If thou seekest bodily health, shouldst thou complain if instead thereof He makes thy sickness turn to the healing of spiritual maladies? Is it not better to have the cross sanctified than removed? This evening, my soul, forget not to offer thy petition and request, for the Lord is ready to grant thee thy desires.

Behold, he prayeth

“Behold, he prayeth.” Acts 9:11

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of heaven. “Thou puttest my tears into thy bottle,” implies that they are caught as they flow. The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words, will be well understood by the Most High. He may only look up with misty eye; but “prayer is the falling of a tear.”

Tears are the diamonds of heaven; sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with “the sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Think not that your prayer, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Jacob’s ladder is lofty, but our prayers shall lean upon the Angel of the covenant and so climb its starry rounds. Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it. “He forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” True, He regards not high looks and lofty words; He cares not for the pomp and pageantry of kings; He listens not to the swell of martial music; He regards not the triumph and pride of man; but wherever there is a heart big with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open; He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom.

“Faith asks no signal from the skies,
To show that prayers accepted rise,
Our Priest is in His holy place,
And answers from the throne of grace.”