The hymn, “Be Still, My Soul” is a widely recognized and much loved hymn of comfort and assurance. It is sung in churches all over the world, and it brings a message of the sovereignty and care of Almighty God. It became a popular hymn in England during the dark days of World War II, as the future of the country, and that of the entire continent was in the balance. The lyrics to the song still bring comfort today, and I would like to invite you consider the truths they convey.
“Be still my soul; the Lord is on thy side.” This line is a re-assurance that “if the Lord be on our side, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:31). In context, this verse of scripture is speaking of those whom God has redeemed from the kingdom of darkness, and brought into His family. If God is on their side, there is no one who will be able to successfully come against them, because He is a victorious King!
“Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide.” In our broken world, we will no doubt encounter times of grief, loss, difficulty, stumbling, confusion, and brokenness. When life becomes difficult, resist the temptation to feel as if there is no hope. There is always hope in Jesus Christ, because He gives new life, even in places where there is only death or destruction. Wait upon Him, and in His perfect timing, He will show Himself as a great provider.
“In every change, He faithful will remain.” We can take comfort in the fact that even when we are not faithful to God, in spite of our best intentions, He is faithful to us. “God demonstrated His love for us in that while yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus was faithful to His disciples to the very end. He served Peter, who denied Him; Judas, who betrayed Him; and the rest of the disciples, who ran away from Him in fear when the soldiers came to take Him away to be tried. The love of God never fails.
“Be still my soul; Thy best, thy heavenly Friend, through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.” It is oddly comforting to know that even when the way is thorny and troublesome, Jesus leads His dear children along. The final destination of that journey is a place of joy, a place of, comfort, a place of rest. It is the very presence of God.