"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(NASB)
What a blessed comfort this verse has been to multitudes of believers in Christ, down through the ages, who have rested on these words of the Psalmist and had their hearts stilled in the presence of the Lord.
What refreshment these simple words have bestowed on many little lambs who have listened to the voice of their Good Shepherd; that Great Shepherd of the sheep Who opens His arms wide to embrace all who will trust in His name.
But in context, we see another component to these words of reassurance. We see a plan to glorify His Name and exult His Person among the nations of the world who rage against the God of heaven and His anointed King. He is our Defence and our Defender against the enemies of our soul, and all who rest in Him find courage and strength. He is our refuge from the storms of life and our shelter in the midst of oppression, and we are called to be still and to know that He is God, for His purposes will never fail and He will be glorified throughout the whole earth.
It is of great encouragement, both to His people Israel and to His children of every age, that men who follow their own atheistic 'will' and construct their own anti-God plans, will finally be brought to nothing, for God alone will be exulted among the heathen and His purposes alone will come to fruition. But we who have trusted Him for salvation are to sit serenely in His presence, in quiet confidence, and in godly trust.
Like the people of Israel in times past, Church-age believers are called to remember the mighty deeds that God has done and to recall the wondrous works that He has performed. We are to rest confidently in the knowledge that He is our faithful God; the supreme Creator of all, and Commander of the armies of heaven Who redeems us by faith in the shed blood of Christ, and will never leave us nor forsake us.
We are to rest peacefully in the truth of His Word and be still in His holy presence. We are to know in our heart, by faith with thanksgiving, that He is the Lord our God Who pardons all our iniquities and heals all our diseases, Who redeems our life from the pit, and Who crowns us with lovingkindness and compassion.
He is our God Who satisfies our years with good things, and renews our youth like the eagle. He performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness. He is our Saviour and Friend. He is our hope and strength and He will be exalted, for it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves, for we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Although the nations rage like the billows of the sea and the people imagine a vain thing against the Lord God Almighty, we are called to be still in the presence of the Lord and to know Him in our heart by faith, with thanksgiving. May we be still in His presence, cease from all our strivings, and be at peace in His company Whom to know is life eternal.
Dear Lord, I praise You that Your Word stands fast forever and ever and that Your precious promises encourage me to rest in Your love and drink deeply from the Rock of my salvation. Draw near to every member of Christ’s Body, and protect Your people, Israel, against the increasing roar of the nations. I pray for Your soon return, when Your name will be exalted throughout all the earth. Then all the nations will know that You are God. In Jesus' name, AMEN.