Be Still and Know… How to Rest in Jesus

Be Still

Recently, I took a few hours off to be by myself and get away with Jesus. I sat on bench by a fountain in town and envisioned myself in the presence of God - something that is always a reality, but I chose to focus in on this beautiful truth. My heart felt burdened and overloaded and I brought this feeling before God. In my heart, I spoke out, “Lord, please don’t take this as a feeling of ungratefulness. You are nothing but present with me and have blessed me in countless ways.” His gentle voice spoke back, “I know. I see your heart. You are not here to complain. You are here, so I can fill your cup.”


Wednesday in the Word

Come with me as I walk through a passage of Scripture phrase by phrase, reviewing its context, interpreting, and offering an application. Some of us - including me - learn best by watching somebody else. That’s what I am inviting you to do today as I study through Psalm 46:

1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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


This passage is water to a thirsty soul. If you are feeling worn out, burdened, or anxious, find rest in this chapter of the Bible. Remind yourself of God’s character and presence. He is your refuge.

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

What jumps out at you when you read this first verse? Maybe it’s the reminder that God is our refuge - a place we can run to for safety when we feel attacked - or that He is our strength when we feel nothing but weak. 

Maybe it’s the incredibly awesome fact that God - the Maker of heaven and earth, the King of the universe - is our Helper. He is here to help us. Yes, God rules over us. Yes, He is powerful and strong. He also comes to our side to help us. 

What caught my eye was the phrase “ever-present”. He is always there, available for us at all times! How amazing is it that you can approach God right now - and always?! 

How does that impact our lives?

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

Let’s dwell on this picture. Psalms use a lot of figurative language. Sure, God is present and strong in the midst of natural disasters - some of us have lived through them, and they can be scary. 

As this is a Psalm, a poem, we can assume the author is speaking metaphorically. When your whole life is shaken, everything seems to be falling apart, the troubles of life are roaring around you, and you feel like you are losing your grip on life, your footing… DO NOT FEAR!

God is your refuge and strength, your ever-present help. So you don’t have to be afraid or anxious even when your world is in turmoil. 

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

The word picture of God as a steady river flowing through a city makes me envision a calm, refreshing presence. It’s a fresh breath of air after all of the natural disasters the author just used to describe the troubles of life.

The “city of God” is mentioned here, and that begs for an explanation. Jerusalem was considered the city of God during much of the Old Testament. God’s dwelling pace was the temple, more specifically the Holy of Holies. 

Back then, God’s presence dwelled in this specific location and only a priest was allowed to enter God’s presence on behalf of the people - and even that wasn’t done flippantly or at random. 

Today, because the blood of Jesus covers our sins, and because the Holy Spirit indwells our hearts like God used to indwell a physical temple, we have immediate and direct access to God. That calming river now lives inside you, Christian.

Just as God led and protected His city - His people - day after day during the Old Testament, so He leads and protects His people, the Church, today. You are a part of that!

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

God sure helps us on a personal level, but that was not the only mindset of the biblical authors, especially in the Old Testament. While individuals surely made professions of faith, they approached God as a nation. They were the people of God, and other nations were not.

As a nation, they faced opposition in the forms of military attacks and wars. Throughout the Old Testament, we see God grant Israel victory and protection, even when they were greatly outnumbered and vulnerable.

God was present with His people, a fortress in times of trouble, and more powerful than anything they could imagine. Even wars and weapons could not thwart the will of God. 

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

The world around is rarely still. It’s full of upheaval, stress, and pain - ours or those of others. We have talked about wars and desolation, struggles that feel like your whole world is turning upside down. And in the midst of that, God encourages us in verse 10…

Great post about the famous verse, "Be still and know that I am God" in context of Psalm 46 | Plus: free printable | Scripture Confident Living

BE STILL… 

Right now! Quiet your heart. Take a breath. Be still before God. He is right here. He is your refuge. Your strength. Your Fortress. 

Be still. 

Let the troubles fall away.

KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.

Dwell only on Him… right now, as your heart quiets down. He is God. He is in charge. He is sovereign over your circumstances. 

He is! 

Believe it! Know it with certainly in the deepest parts of your soul. Let it sink in from your head to your heart. HE IS GOD!

He is sovereign. Nothing will stand in the way of His glory. He will be exalted in the earth.

THE LORD ALMIGHTY IS WITH YOU.

He is not far away, not a theoretical idea, not a faraway eye in the clouds. He is here with you, and He is mighty - almighty. 

He is the God of Jacob - the God who walked through times of distress, learning, and uncertainty with generations of people who trusted in Him. The God who was with Jacob is with us today. He remains the same, faithful God (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 119:90).

This ever-present, faithful-through-generations God is your fortress, your safe place. When your world is caving in, this is where you find peace: with God!

Psalm 46 addresses this type of danger, turmoil, or time of need. It reminds us that God is present even then, that He is available even now.

However, God is always present. He is always worthy of worship - when things are all wrong, and when they are wonderful. 

Spend time with God regularly, not just when life goes wrong. When you are in the habit of sitting still before God and dwelling on Who He is, it will be your natural response to do so when your world caves in. Why wouldn't you run to God? It’s what you always do.

That day when I was sitting by the fountain allowing Jesus to fill my cup, I decided to try a little exercise. I took several deep breaths, and with each inhale I dwelled on something that weighed me down, and with each exhale I envisioned myself laying this burden before the Lord (Psalm 55:22). 

Slowly, my weary soul felt refreshed. I love my times of sitting still before God and allowing His presence to rejuvenate me. I am so incapable of handling life on my own. I am dependent on God. I need Jesus to fill my cup, so that I have anything to give at all (Psalm 23:5). 

The real question is, “Why don’t I do this more often?” God is my ever-present help. Being still before the Lord does not need to be an occasional special treat. He does not limit our lifetime access of coming before Him for refuge and rest.

FREE printable: Be still and know that I am God.

Let’s remind ourselves to come before the Lord often, being still before Him and reminding ourselves of who He is. Lay your burdens before Him, and allow Him to give your soul rest. 

Download these FREE printable reminders:

BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. Psalm 46:10

CAST YOUR CARES ON THE LORD, AND HE WILL SUSTAIN YOU. Psalm 55:22

Print them on card stock and fold them in half. Put them on your desk, kitchen counter, or in your quiet time spot. Turn them over to remind yourself of these little exercises:

1. Quiet your heart. Let the troubles of this world fade away. Dwell on who God is. 

2. Take several deep breaths. As you inhale, think of what is weighting you down. As you exhale, lay that burden down at the feet of Jesus and leave it there.

I hope these reminders and exercises will be a blessing to your soul. Sign up below to receive download instructions.

Has God met you in a time of stress and overload lately? Did He take your burden and refresh your soul? Tell us about it in the comments and allow us to praise God with you. 

We serve a God who is mighty and present and cares for us deeply. May God be glorified as our hearts express gratitude and dependence on Him!