When Strivings Cease
Read Isaiah 30:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
The prophet Isaiah wrote these words to the unrepentant people of Judah. How does it apply to our own hope of salvation?
I read a post the other day about a woman who said she is “striving for heaven” because she wants to see her family again so badly. I shared her sentiment. I also long for heaven and loved ones that have gone on ahead. But the phrase “striving for heaven” made me sad.
How does she ever know when she has done enough to earn her way to heaven? Is she just hoping that at the end of her life, she did enough good works to outweigh her sins? What if, despite her most sincere and earnest efforts, she finds out in eternity that it wasn’t enough? How heartbreaking!
Merriam-Webster defines striving as “devoting serious effort or energy”. If she is putting serious effort and energy into getting to heaven, she is putting her hope in a lost cause. No amount of effort or energy on our parts can get us into heaven. Our works will never be enough.
When this Scripture was written, the leadership of Judah were in a mad scramble to save themselves. They were busy making a defensive alliance with Egypt that would prove a failure. All they really had to do was repent from their sins. If they would turn from their evil ways and turn back to God, He promised to keep them safe.
They wouldn’t need to strive for peace anymore. They would have it. They didn’t need to orchestrate their salvation from their enemies. He would fight their battles, they only needed to be still and trust God. But they didn’t accept that.
Getty and Townend put it this way in their hymn, “In Christ Alone”:
What heights of love
What depths of peace
When fears are stilled
When strivings cease
The heights of God’s love for us were on full display when Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). Now, we can experience depths of peace, both peace with God and the peace of God. We no longer have anything to fear. And we no longer have to strive for our own salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Friends, I am a go-getter. I strive for many things. I devote serious energy and effort in many areas of my life. But my salvation isn’t one of them. I have a blessed assurance of my salvation. That assurance is not in my efforts but in Christ alone. My salvation is found in repentance and rest in Christ’s work on the cross. In quietness and trust, I find His strength.
Jesus, In You alone my hope is found. Thank You for the assurance that I have salvation through You. Amen.