"God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.
The holy dwelling places of the most High.
God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.
'Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold."
I love this Psalm. It paints such a powerful picture of God, explaining His works, and His sovereign activity in the earth. He has "wrought desolations", ended wars, and His voice melted the earth.
And this one statement that He makes, telling us to "cease striving" (or "be still" in other versions) is like a reassurance from Him. As though He is saying, "don't worry, I am God Almighty. Be assured of this, there is no other, there is none like Me. I do all these things and more, and every nation in the earth will come to acknowledge Me."
I have to say that the more I learn of Him, both in His word and in personal experience of Him, the more I am feeling like this little girl (my grand daughter) in the picture. She sleeps so sweetly, oblivious to all the activity around her. Not a worry or a care, she trusts me enough and knows me enough to settle on my lap and let sleep overtake her. She knows I am much bigger, older and stronger than she is. She depends on me for all kinds of things, and believes I will give her all the protection and care that she needs. This is not unlike my trust in God.
There is one difference, however. As she grows and matures, my grand daughter will come to realize that I have limitations. She will see me make mistakes, be afraid, and disappoint her. Not so with our Father. The longer we know Him, the more we will see His power and perfections. He is limitless in all His attritubtes, so far above our way of thinking and comprehension. We never have to worry that one day we will realize He has abandoned us, or lied to us, or forgotten a promise.
In my Bible (NASV), in the sidebar is written "let go, relax" as an alternate translation for "cease striving". Be still. Don't worry about anything, just know and trust that I am Who I say I am. I will do all that I have said I will do.
If we are His, we have the greatest refuge, the deepest comfort, the sweetest rest. Though all powerful and all sovereign, He cares for us with the attention of a loving father. I hope you will rest in Him today!