Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Relax!

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth”

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 from the KJV and NASB versions of the Bible.


If we are to be honest with ourselves, there have been times when we seemed to get tossed through stormy periods in our lives like a helpless fishing boat on a raging sea. I’ve written about before, we will go through tough times of trial and testing. Why do we have to go through such times? I believe that God uses such “furnaces” in our lives to purify us, to get rid of everything that is unlike him, and to cause us to grow in faith. It was James who exhorted us to, “count it all joy when you go through various trials, knowing the trying of your faith produces endurance and steadfastness” (my paraphrase of James 1:2-3). Friends, one thing I’ve come to realize is that God most certainly has a purpose for you trial, whatever it is.

The Psalmist here in the 46th Psalm is writing about a trying period in Israel’s history. They seemed to have been under the threat of foreign countries, and were obviously distraught over it. The Psalmist has a refrain that he can’t seem to get away from: the LORD is our refuge. Think about that. What is a refuge? It’s a place of safety and shelter. He was reminded his countrymen that God would take care of them, even if the outcome would seem to be hugely against them! How encouraging this must have been for these weary and frightened people, to know that God is on their side!

Yet, I know that my nature is one of problem-solving. I think that most of us guys are like this. These people must have been trying to figure out how they could come against these foreign kings and their armies, and fretting over it. I’ve heard it said that there are two kinds of Christians-microscope Christians and telescope Christians. These people were looking at a problem, and, like a microscope taking something very small and magnifying it to look much bigger than it is, so they made the problem bigger, even bigger than God. They should have, and the writer tried to encourage them, to look at God and realize that he is big enough to handle the problem. Like a telescope that helps us to see planets and the moon as the really are, huge! God was big enough to handle their storm. The writer spends nine verses proclaiming that God is able to help them, but then, it is almost as I God tells him to step aside so he can personally deliver a message. The speaker changes to God, as he himself tells us that we need to “Be still”! I love the meaning of the Hebrew word here. It means, as the NASB translated it, “Cease striving”. It means to relax. God personally assured his people that they can relax, because he is going to handle the problem!

Friends, whatever trial you are enduring right now, let the Word of God encourage you. Relax! Stop trying to do what only God can do. The mountain is to high, the storm is too strong, but God is bigger! So, I will close out today with the NASB version of the verse:

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

God bless!

2 comments:

ruthrap said...

how right you are! we waste a lot of time and energy "striving", when it would be so much easier to leave it to the Lord! i'm beginning to learn this lesson, and it sure makes life easier...thanx for your reminder!

michigan preacher said...

I have learned that it's much easier to write about it than living it! But, I too am a work in progress, and God is getting me there.

~Jeff