“Their strength is to sit still.” (Isaiah 30:7b)
In affliction and trial, our first response is often to seek for a way out. We have a sense that we must do something to fix the trouble. To us, action seems the best thing. But God bids us to “sit still.” In Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Worry and fretting do not solve any problems. They only cause us to dwell on them. Dwelling on problems leads to depression. Fretting is of no use because, no matter how much effort we may put into it, we cannot make one hair black or white (Matthew 5:36), or add height to our stature (Matthew 6:27), or control the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30). How then could we expect to control our circumstances?
The apostle Peter encourages, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7) And Psalm 37:7 tells us, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.”
Peter also urges, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8)
If we fret instead of resting in the Lord and casting our care upon Him; if we try to fix things ourselves rather than being still, this gives more chance for the devil to tempt. He plants seeds of worry in our hearts. These seeds sprout and grow and crowd out contentment and devour our peace.
God wants us to cast our care on Him and be still. This is one way to guard against the attacks of the devil. Peter continues, “Whom resist stedfast in the faith…” Why? “…knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (I Peter 5:9)
No affliction is unique to us. Our brothers and sisters throughout the world suffer in the same way. Therefore we must be strong. And our strength is found in sitting still.
Also, our affliction has a purpose. Peter goes on to explain God’s purpose for suffering, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (I Peter 5:10)
The end result of affliction and suffering is spiritual maturity. Resting in and waiting on God in time of trial allows God to make us perfect and strong and firmly established in the faith.
“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15a)
Peter concludes his thoughts by saying, “To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 5:11)