How to Quiet Your Soul

How to quiet your soul

Has your soul been unquiet lately? The pandemic, civil unrest, the daily news, politics, social media bickering, and a host of other factors can disturb our peace.

We can’t live like ostriches with our heads in the sand. We need to live in but not of the world and minister to others. But what do we do when it all gets to be too much?

We all vary in how much news or social media is good for us. But when it’s too noisy in our souls, here’s how we can quiet them again:

Remember God’s love.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

In my early Christian days, when anything bad happened, my confidence in God’s love was shaken. How could He allow this if He loved me? What did I do wrong?

Though God sometimes uses calamities to discipline us, bad events aren’t always meant to chasten. He has many reasons for allowing trials and suffering. But He assures us of His love all through the Bible. We can rest secure in His love no matter what else is going on in the world.

Hope in God

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:5, NASB)

Other translations say disturbed, restless, or in turmoil in place of disquieted, but they all paint a similar picture. Like Peter on the water, we sink if we look at the storm. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we’ll be fine.

Wait on the Lord

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:24-26)

Just before these verses in Lamentations, Jeremiah writes of his soul being bowed down, yet having hope because “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:20-23). God will take care of us and meet our needs, but we have to wait on His timing.

Trust the Lord

For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling. (Isaiah 30:15)

Instead of sinking under the weight of trials. a quiet trust in God gives us strength to carry on.

The last phrase indicates that returning, rest, trusting, and quietness are related to our will (more on that in a moment). We need to deliberately turn to God and place our faith in Him. (Some good commentary on this verse is here, especially the one by MacLaren).

Quiet our souls

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.(Psalm 131:1-2)

The commentaries and ESV Study Bible notes I consulted all seemed to emphasize the idea of contentment here. A baby would normally clamor to be fed in the way it was used to from its mother, but here an older child is content to “simply [have] its mother’s presence.” “So the faithful worshiper is content with God’s presence, even when there are many things he would like God to explain” (ESV Study Bible notes, p. 1109).

Feed our souls truth

Someone mentioned the other day that we can’t tell people who are struggling, “Just trust the Lord and everything will be okay.” We should be empathetic, and there are times friends just need a listening ear. The psalms are full of laments, crying out to God in the midst of deep pain, betrayal, confusion, or loss. Trite answers don’t help at those times.

Yet the psalmists at some point reminded themselves of God’s truth. In all but one or two of them, the writer ended up in a different frame of mind from where he started. He reminded himself of God’s love, power, wisdom, and other attributes. He reviewed times in the past when God had intervened on his behalf.

The passages mentioned above indicate action on our part. Isaiah 30:15 said the people were unwilling to be quieted. Psalm 131:2 says, “I have calmed and quieted my soul. “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” when he was surrounded by trouble (I Samuel 30:6b). The writer of Psalm 42 prayed, poured out his soul, and then admonished himself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (verse 11).

We cry out to God for peace and rest of heart, and He ministers to us from His Word, His love, His providence. His Holy Spirit will “bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26). Like the psalmists, we look to Him and hope in Him. And we join them is saying:

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:4-8

When I looked up the definitions to one of the Greek words for “quiet” in one of these passages, one of them said that the same word was often translated “rest.” Rest would be another valuable word study, but it brought to mind this hymn: Jesus, I am Resting, Resting. May God give us grace to rest in Him today.

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Senior Salon, Hearth and Soul, Selah, Scripture and a Snapshot, Remember Me Monday, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements, Recharge Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth,
Blogger Voices Network)

37 thoughts on “How to Quiet Your Soul

  1. Barbara, I like these thoughts on how to quiet my soul. I’ve always appreciated the fact that Jeremiah, David, the Psalmists, and others lamented and cried out in anquish to the Lord. Because they give us an example of real life and real hope in God. When a young mom in our church passed away unexpectedly, the Lord used Lamentations 3 to quiet my soul.

  2. Beautiful reminder, Barbara! How do people cope without the Lord’s help in these days? It is so difficult to quiet our souls and I’m certainly not the poster child of waiting! But He is faithful. Have a blessed week.

  3. Really appreciate these verses and thoughts about finding peace for our souls. The world is a very troubled place, but that’s nothing new! God’s mercies ARE new every morning though, and I’m continually learning to find that rest in him alone. The verse from Zephaniah is one of my favorites.

  4. Barbara, hi! I’m choosing to quiet my soul more and more. A conscious choice, rather than hoping things will calm down. Because I’m guessing they won’t.

    Reading Scriptures out loud, keeping the TV off, limiting my access to news, sitting by the fire, doing a puzzle, simply being still and resting.

    These choices help me better hear the Spirit’s call, His comfort, His peace, His gentle whisper.

    • I love that you pointed out that quieting our souls is a conscious choice. We can cry out to Him for peace and rest of heart, but we also need to make the decision of turning away from some things and meditating on His Word.

  5. Pingback: How to Quiet Your Soul — Stray Thoughts – Averagechristiannet

  6. I love your encouragement to feed our souls truth. I think there is a time to be empathetic to friends and family members who are struggling and a time to remind them of God’s love. Maybe the empathy comes first, then the reminder. Reminding someone who is in acute pain of God’s love may seem like we are giving platitudes rather than a sympathetic ear.

    Limiting social media and TV time is a wonderful way to quiet my soul.

    • Yes–I meant to make that point that turning heart and mind to God means turning away from other things. I rarely watch the news any more. I like to turn on the radio news once or twice a day just to get the highlights, and then I’ll look up anything I want more info on. But I just can’t take a steady diet of it.

  7. Yes. It is a constant battle these days to dispel the anxiety I feel about the darkness all around me. That’s one of the reasons my word for the year is trust. Thank you for allowing God to use you to comfort me today.

  8. Since I quit watching the news in January, my life is much more peaceful. The funny thing is I don’t even miss! It’s amazing how eliminating a part of your daily routine can bring clarity. I didn’t realize the negative affect the negativity was having on me until it was no longer a part of my day!

  9. Barbara, I have turned to Psalm 43:5 so many times to read the words, “for I shall YET praise Him”. Those words always speak to me of hope, instructing me to wait on God, reminding me of His faithfulness. Thank you for these encouraging words today!

  10. I remember asking, beseeching, crying out the same request over and over again – and then I realized I only had to ask once. Then I started asking God to stand with me in the storm – and that’s when I learned about the quiet you talk about – and dared to take God’s offer to rest in Him. Our culture wants us tormented with the challenge – that somehow we don’t really care unless we are tormented and whipped into a frazzle – and this scripture alludes to that mindset: “the people were unwilling to be quieted.” That’s not how God wants us to live in the frazzle. Thank you for the scriptures that set up that God wants us to trust and rest in Him. I am so glad our God wants that for us. Shalom, Barbara! ~ Maryleigh

  11. Barbara, what a beautiful post. Peace does feel far away sometimes. But, I’m thankful the Lord is always willing to give it to us. We do need to make choices so that we can accept it, don’t we? The verses you shared for each of your points were spot on. I found myself nodding with your words. Thanks for speaking to my heart today.

  12. So important to quiet our souls. Love these points. I noticed each one involves focusing on God. He is the one who still our soul. The point about David consistently turning his attention off himself and onto God by the end of his Psalms is so good.

  13. I loved this: “Instead of sinking under the weight of trials. a quiet trust in God gives us strength to carry on.”

  14. Barbara, I appreciate your encouragement to intentionally quiet our souls. Resting in Him, trusting in Him and encouraging ourselves in Him remind us of that He is Faithful and True.

  15. I’ve really had to be more intentional the past 12 months if I wanted to quiet my soul. It was often anything but quiet. I’m thankful the Lord has been patient with me and hasn’t left me alone in my unrest.

  16. Pingback: March Reflections | Stray Thoughts

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