Be Still, My Soul

bestill3Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

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 blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

Words by Katharina A. von Schlegel, 1752
Music by Jean Sibelius, 1899

 


The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Psalm 118:6

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
Psalm 94:18 – 19

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Revelation 21:4

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6


 

 

Have you ever had so many things on your mind that you just couldn’t go to sleep. I know that I have had those times when I awoke in the middle of the night with a fear about finances or some big event. I was unable to go back to sleep until I got up and worked through everything so I could see it in front of me.

I shouldn’t be surprised. We live in such a busy society, it seems we always have things on our plate and we are always preoccupied with having things just right. It seems we can never shut our minds off. The stress that comes from this is simply not healthy. But we go on worrying, sometimes about superficial things and other times about matters of life and death.

As a result, many people don’t know what to do when they are taken away from everything. Personally, I love these times. Times to get away, separate from everything that seems to keep us so overwhelmed. And we need this, to relieve the stresses and anxiety of our hectic lives. But more importantly, we need the time to see that God is there for us. This is the theme of Katharina A. von Schlegel’s hymn, “Be Still, My Soul.”

It begins with what seems a simple command, “Be Still,My Soul.” Simple? Not as simple as it would seem.  Try it for a minute.  Just sit there, in silence and be still.  It doesn’t come naturally for most of us.  In that minute most of us will find ourselves counting the time, our minds wandering on other items, anything to fill what we perceive as a vacuum.  Now consider the pressures and stress in your life.  Perhaps your boss came down on you today.  Maybe you had an argument with your spouse that is running through your mind. Maybe you find yourself hanging by a thread financially.  All these pressures we feel in our lives,and we are supposed to be able to be still in our soul.  But the next line tells us how we can do this.  It says, “The Lord is on thy side.”  We can still our soul because God is on our side.  This echoes the message of Psalm 118:6 where we read, “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.” No matter what it is that we find ourselves facing, we can find strength in knowing that God is on our side. In this truth we can find a stillness, a peace, for our soul for as Paul tells us in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Yes, God is on the side of those who have put their faith in Him.  And while our situations may change.  The hymn goes on to say, “In every change, He faithful will remain.” Things may for a time be worse and sometimes they may get better, yet through any changes God remains constant.  He does not change.  James tells us in 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” So our souls may rest and find stillness in the truth that God is faithful.

The hymn goes on to say “Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.” Yes God is faithful.  No matter our situation He is faithful. He can soothe our sorrow and our fears. Psalm 94:18 – 19 tells us that “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping, your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” No we need not fear what is to come, for it is in the Lords hands. He can give us comfort in our sorrow and strength to face out fears.

So we look to the day that is to come, for as the hymns states, “the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord.” The hymn then continues with descriptions of that day.  A day that is described in Revelation 21:4 as  when “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Yes, our peace and stillness are found in Christ alone. In Him we can find strength to stand each day. In Him alone we can Hope for the future that is to come.  So let us each and every day, “Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways.”

 

 

Read more about “Be Still, And Know.”

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