Cease Striving

Sunday August 1, 2021

Dr. Richard L. Hamm

This psalm is a psalm of trust and thanksgiving that focuses on the God of Eternity, who is the only refuge. It is a song of praise, celebrating deliverance from some great foe. This hymn may have been written when the Assyrian army invaded Judea and surrounded Jerusalem during Hezekiah’s reign (2 Kings 18:13-19:37). The siege around the city produced great fear among the people and there appeared to be no deliverance for them. Defeat seemed imminent. How many times have you said in exasperation, “Will this ever end?” “Will things ever change?” “Is it ever going to be easier?” “I am so tired of the battle.” A spirit of defeat will produce striving and fear in your life. Paul tells you that God has not given you the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, you are not to be fearful about your situation. God has empowered you through the Holy Spirit to live in power, love, and discipline. Striving and just working harder can cause you to try and push your own way forward rather than trusting God to produce His way for you. The “lack of trust” is just as crippling as the “spirit of fear.” The great encouragement from this psalm is for you to cease from warlike activities because of your fears and your lack of trust in God because of your circumstances. In order to live victoriously in your covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, you must acknowledge God’s sovereignty over your life, surrender to Him, and celebrate the presence of God. The threefold confession by the author in verses 1, 7, and 11 presents God in a very personal way to His followers. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God!”