By: Kristen Sigmon
“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)
Do you ever find yourself striving constantly for something but never attaining it? Maybe you’re striving to be better at something or to do more or to get ahead. However, the harder you try to accomplish that thing, the worse off the situation seems to get. You get frustrated, angry, and want to quit.
Sometimes we need to just STOP.
To stop. To cease striving, as Psalm 46 says. The dictionary defines striving as this: “to exert oneself vigorously; to make strenuous efforts toward any goal.” The definition itself makes me tired! Striving is like reaching for something but never fully attaining it. We’re not content with what we have so we reach for something else to make us happy.
The problem is when we strive for things that aren’t part of God’s plan for us, we’re never going to be truly happy. When we try harder and harder to accomplish something that it gets further and further away from us. Henry David Thoreau said, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” When we quit striving for happiness and decide to trust in God’s plan, then we find true happiness.
Psalm 46:10 shows us that when we stop striving and remember that God is God, He will be exalted, or honored, in and through our lives. Isn’t that awesome?! People will see God shining through our lives even more when we’re not striving against Him.
Many times in my life I’ve strived for something … perfect grades, a boyfriend, to please others, peace at all costs in relationships. I was really striving for love, acceptance, and worth.
I was striving for these things because I thought they would fill the hole in my heart. However, striving for all these things only caused me stress and anxiety that God did not intend for me to have. God wanted me to know He loved me, He accepted me, and I was worthy in His eyes.
What are you striving for that’s leaving you frustrated, angry, stressed and unfulfilled? God does not intend for you to carry those burdens. Stop striving. Rest in God’s care. Know that He is God; He is in control, He will give you His very best, and you can trust Him completely.
Lord, I'm tired of the frustration and emptiness I feel when I'm striving for something. Help me to trust You and rest in Your care. Help me to stop striving for the things that aren't Your best for me. I want You to be exalted in my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Ponder: Psalm 127:1-2, “Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” (NLT)
Apply: Write down all the things you are working to accomplish in your life. Ask yourself why you want to accomplish these things. Does your reasoning line up with what God thinks and says in His Word?
Read: Jesus Calling: Seeking Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Share: What is something in your life that you want to stop striving for?
© 2010 by Kristen Sigmon. All rights reserved.