In Others’ Words: The Right Time to Quit

striving quote Thomas a Kempis 1.22.14

I have always been intrigued by this particular passage of Scripture:

Cease striving and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10 NASB)

Of course, this isn’t the only passage of Scripture that intrigues me, but it’s the one that’s got my attention right now.

Cease striving.

Aren’t we supposed to work hard? Aren’t we supposed to keep at it? Aren’t we supposed to never quit — ever, ever, ever?

The Hebrew definition of “cease striving” means to sink down, let drop, relax. But don’t think of this “cease striving” as some gentle invitation from God. No, it’s more of a slap-down to the Israelites for trying to handle things on their own, rather than trusting in Him.

Hmmmm. Stop trying to handle things on my own and trust God?

Well, of course I trust God — insert nervous laughter here — but I’d also like to continue handling things on my own, please and thank you.

Ahem. 

And there’s the problem: I can’t trust God and want to control my life. If I choose to trust God, then that demands that I cease striving.

I also have to remember the second part of the verse: I have to remember who I am trusting.

Cease striving. Why? Because God is God. And who have I discovered him to be? Why is he trustworthy? Why can I sink down, let drop, relax?

Here’s a verse that brought me comfort tonight: Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. (2 Thessalonians 3:16 NASB)

Peace in every circumstance. Every one.

Cease striving and know that God will continually grant you peace in every circumstance.

In Your Words: Why can you cease striving? How would you complete this sentence: Cease striving and know ____________________.

When is it the right time to to quit? Click to Tweet

Trusting vs. Striving: What do you know about God? Click to Tweet 

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13 Comments

  1. January 22, 2014, 5:43 am   /  Reply

    Cease striving and trust my book sales to God.
    It took me a while, but a couple of years ago I realized getting the right agent or publisher wasn’t my job. It was God’s. He had it. My job was to write the best book I could and be where He wanted me. It’s made my writing journey so much easier.

  2. January 22, 2014, 6:48 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful & vital, Beth. Just like athletes increase strength by pushing past their best past performance, I find God pushes us to the end of what we can do until we do run out of self-strength and He takes over. My cry? To remember that and let Him take over sooner for less self-effort and more divine accomplishment.

  3. January 22, 2014, 7:12 am   /  Reply

    Interesting thoughts, as always.

    In the context of the Psalm, I see it more as ‘stepping back’ for a moment, and realizing just how powerful God really is – that our effort can’t match (or overcome) His. And then, back to work.

    Coincidence here – this morning I told Barbara that I wish that feeling physically awful would justify sitting back and taking it easy, putting the day in God’s hands.

    I don’t think that’s what God wants. I think He expects me to do my duty, regardless.

  4. January 22, 2014, 7:37 am   /  Reply

    This has been one of my favorite verses for YEARS and YEARS. I pray it each night before I drop off to sleep also. The first version I read of it said: “Be still and know that I am God…..”

    In answer to your question, Cease striving and know that God’s got this” Right now I’d fill in the “this” with my story. And parenting a strong willed boy. And all the things on my to-do list today.

    He’s got it all. I can do my part, and trust Him to accomplish His plans in and through me today.

  5. January 22, 2014, 8:52 am   /  Reply

    LOL that’s the Bible verse I sometimes get annoyed at…especially when people quote it to me during busy seasons. Thing is, I don’t think it necessarily means step back from responsibilities and commitments. Instead, I think it means finding peace in the midst of the craziness. My hands may need to keep “doing,” but my head and heart and mental state can stop “striving.” Because God really is in control and he really means it when he says he’s my helper.

    So that’s my ending to the sentence: Cease striving and know God is doing just what he said he would–helping me. 🙂

    • January 22, 2014, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      You said it well. Maybe the ‘striving’ is referenced to trying to understand God, and we should simply accept that He IS?

  6. January 22, 2014, 11:20 am   /  Reply

    One thing we try to teach our kids is that some days, 4 movies in a row and snacks in front of the TV is a GOOD thing. To just chill. Be still. Enjoy the tranquility of nothing pressing in.

    To read. To play. To let life wander off and get itself lost.

    Cease striving and BE.

    • January 22, 2014, 11:40 am   /  Reply

      Shall I remind you of that when next you edit?

      Will I be safe in far New Mexico if I do?

      Uh, oh…she knows where I live…(cue spooky ‘Jaws’ music)

      • January 22, 2014, 11:50 am   /  Reply

        Oh yeah, I know where you live, sonny!!

        But umm, explain how I’d get through the gauntlet of 4 legged kids???

        And Johnny and I teach the KIDS that, *we’re* flaming hypocrites, cranked to 11.

        • January 22, 2014, 12:17 pm   /  Reply

          Bacon is the secret, Jennifer.

          Dogs can actually be the best embodiment of the Psalmist’s message, actually…cranked to 11 as well.

  7. January 23, 2014, 12:32 am   /  Reply

    Hmmm, this kind of fits … okay, really fits my word for 2014. Cease striving and know contentment, which means this is my year to accept that God really, really, really does know what he’s doing as far as, well, everything including experiences I don’t like and timing I think takes too long.

    Thanks, Beth. Always food for thought.

  8. January 24, 2014, 6:28 am   /  Reply

    Shoot. Yeah. This is right. So right.
    I think if we tried to remember that God is God no mater what, we wouldn’t freak out so much. I need this daily smack-down. Really.
    Thank you.
    🙂

    • January 24, 2014, 10:03 am   /  Reply

      It wasn’t a smack-down … but whatever. 🙂

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