“Cease striving and know that I am God.” Psalm 46.10
Some time ago I had a problem with my eye-glasses. The screw that holds the right lens in place was loose. What I should have done from the beginning was to take my glasses to the eye-care center to be repaired. But instead I used a kitchen knife day after day to ‘fix’ the loose screw. But it kept coming loose (surprise, surprise). So, One day I decided to superglue it in. Resourcefulness, right? Except that the glue dried faster than I anticipated … and I ended up sealing the screw out of the socket instead of into it. Big mistake! Why did I not just take it to the expert to begin with?
The sad truth is, many of us handle life’s problems this way. Instead of going to God, our problem-solving expert and all-wise Father, we strive to fix things in our own ingenuity – super-gluing and duct-taping things together, so to speak – and end up making our problems worse, many times! If only we could all learn to obey Psalm 46.10: “Cease striving and know that I am God” (or, as the King James rendered it famously, “Be still, and know that I am God”). This command is to be applied in day-to-day situations like broken glasses, and aching bodies, and empty bank accounts, and uncertainties of every kind. It is also to be applied in big-time problems like wayward children, dying parents, and broken homes. And it is to be applied when it comes to personal salvation, too. “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
What a theme verse this seems often to have been for the men and women of the Bible! I don’t know if they were thinking of Psalm 46.10, specifically … but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survived the fiery furnace by doing what it says! We might say the same about our Lord Jesus Himself. He had silent confidence under the fiercest accusations and harshest physical punishments because He understood how to “cease striving” and put His hope in God. And when Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for their ministry in the name of Jesus, their response was not moaning or fretting … but singing! Why? Probably because they had learned to be still, and to trust the Lord!
Through the ages, obedience to Psalm 46.10 has brought peace, and hope, and holy character to the church. The persecuted early church maintained a godly testimony under trial by being still and trusting God (1 Peter 2.20-23). Mistreated African Americans endured the cruelty of their oppressors with great hope by singing songs like ‘Be still, be still, God will fight your battles.’ And beat-down believers in places like Sudan and China endure hardship and trial even today … not by taking matters into their own hands, but by waiting on the Lord.
Do you face issues tin which you are tempted to strive in your own strength instead of waiting on the Lord? I pray that you will “cease striving,” and lay your concerns at the Savior’s feet … and be still while God fights your battle!