a baptist perspective


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Jason Sampler
New Orleans, Louisiana

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B.A. History Education, SWOSU
M.A. Theology, NOBTS
Th.M. Theology, NOBTS

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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Psalm 46 and Me

Since mid-June, I've been in nothing short of an' emotional funk', to say the least. Those of you who know me well have watched me progress up and down through various stages of depression. I don't wish to recount the reasons, for some are very private. However, in addition to private hurts also comes the flooding of my city, New Orleans. I, like everyone, was forced out and, like many, lost everything I own (save a bit of laundry, a few books, and my computer). I was not able to say goodbye to my friends. The pictures of my apartment and church are devastating, to say the least.

Now, I live in an efficiency apartment in Ft. Worth. Don't get me wrong, I have everything I need but, as they say, "Life ain't what it used to be." I don't go to bed until about 2 or 3 AM every night and then I don't get up until 10 or 11 AM. In addition, I usually take one or two naps each day (totally around 1-2 hours total). I have all the resources I need for study, being as I'm only 2 blocks from SWBTS's library. I just can't get motivated. I laid in bed for over an hour last night just thinking about how things have turned out and, on some level, how I might have been able to change some things.

This morning, though, in my time of Bible reading, I chose to read Psalm 46, said to be Luther's favorite psalm (but that's another story). The text is as follows:

1. God is our refuge and strength,
a very present (or, well proved) help in trouble.
2. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3. though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7. The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8. Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10. "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 of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Time does not permit me, this morning, to make comments about every verse. However, I would be remiss if I said nothing about how this passage works to assuage my fears and concerns. First, there seems to be an overwhelming idea that, where God is present, there is no need to fear (v 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 11). Despite circumstances, whether the mountains do or do not shake, whether in war or in peace, God is in control. Second, nothing goes unnoticed with God. It's not as if he has TiVo, so he can rewind time and catch up on all the stuff he missed while he was at work. There is nothing that happens without his knowledge. Third, he is a shelter for those who need protection (v 1, 7, 11). As an evacuee from New Orleans, I know all about needing someone to provide a shelter and refuge. The difference, though, is that I don't have to drive across the state, or across many states for that matter, to seek refuge with him. According to v 1, he is a 'very present help' when we face trouble. An alternate reading is that he is a 'well proved help'. Either way, we know God is trustworthy during times of trouble. Even in times of distress, He is worthy of our devotion.

In the end, I am reminded of Ps 27.14 "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" May God be your stronghold today, in the face of diversity.

In Christ,

posted by Jason Sampler at 5:53 AM


Blogger cks said...


I'm glad you've found some comfort. Your post did me good as well.

Call me later on tonight. I'm going to see Narnia this afternoon. By myself, of course.


12:29 PM, December 10, 2005  

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The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (Revised Edition) by Wayne Grudem

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The views presented on this blog do not represent the opinions or positions of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the SBC, any local, or state Baptist association, or of Edgewater Baptist Church. The views represented here are solely the personal views of the author. Also, it should be made public that I am a rabid University of Oklahoma sports fan . . . BOOMER SOONER!


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