“…Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…” Psalm 37:7
In the ministry of Jesus, we find often that He calls the individual to “Come unto Me” (Him). Many are the benefits of responding to this call. One of them is a “rest” that He gives. He calls it: “…rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:29) What does He mean by this “rest?” In the context of this passage, the rest that He gives is associated with “yokes” and “burdens.” It is as we are willing to trust Him, and submit to Him, yoked with Him, that He is willing to take our burdens. He takes first the weight of the guilt of sin from our hearts. He then gives us the capacity to entrust, or commit, to Him all that pertains to our existence on this earth. We take His light yoke and He takes our heavy burdens…having taken the responsibility and care of the life into His hands, and upon His heart.
In the book of Hebrews, we read: “For he that is entered into His rest (God’s rest), He also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:10) The “rest” here that God gives, and which the soul enters into, is that state of mind and heart, where the peace of God rules. This rest is the result of relinquishing all pursuit to justify oneself before God. This is realized by simply turning wholly, and unconditioningly to Christ, as our justification and peace. It is when we come God’s way, the way of faith and obedience, that we begin to KNOW this rest of soul, and heart, in an ever-increasing manner. God rested from His works on the Sabbath, and we are called to rest (cease) from our vain “ways and means” in order to embrace God’s way. Therein is peace and rest.
Lastly, the Psalmist tells us to “Rest in the Lord…and wait patiently for Him.” What does He mean? We know that the Christian life is one of spiritual conflict. The “Fight of Faith” is a very real experience. But there is also, “the Rest of Faith.” When we stop and take stock of spiritual reality, we see that Christ is indeed present by His Spirit. He is sufficient to meet every need. We recognize that He is our Keeper and Sustainer in life. He is faithful to provide, and to be, “…a very present help in time of need.” He ever keeps us in this blessed union with Himself, never to be broken, severed, or disolved. J.S. Pigott wrote: “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art. I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart. Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul. For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.”
Dear Father, in this great conflict in which we find ourselves, give us to know this rest of soul, this peace that passes understanding, as we rest “in the joy of what Thou art.” Give us to see the overwhelming reality of our union with Thee, Lord Jesus…complete in Thee, and Thee sufficient in us for every need, by the Spirit. May the beauty of Thy blessed peace be upon and in us all this day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.