Tag Archives: rest

Psalms 62-68; Real Rest

I love the psalms that talk about resting in God. These same psalms may be describing hardship, grief, confusion, frustration, but in the midst of turmoil we are reminded there is a place of rest in the arms of our Father. Listen to some of the verses from these psalms today:

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (62:1)

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (62:5)

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. (63:8)

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; (64:10a)

I wonder how often I ignore this rest while I lie awake at night with worry? Or when I replay that incident where someone treated me unfairly, over and over in my mind? Or when I get too busy to read God’s Word and pray? How often do I ignore that rest when I pursue my own agenda without giving God a thought?

One of the great joys of my life has been in being an aunt, and now a great-aunt. Is there anything more precious than when that little one climbs up into your lap, the smell of summer sunshine on his or her skin, and closes their eyes? Their breathing slows, their muscles relax, and soon you are holding that little person you would die for, while the cares of this word drift away?

Sometimes I just want to crawl up in my Father’s lap, lay my head on His shoulder, and just breathe. I can do that by opening my Bible, by shutting out the rest of the world, and talking to the One who loves me more than I can even imagine.

I am reminded my Heavenly Father receives as much joy from my times wrapped up in His arms as I do. Why would I not want to crawl up there every single day?

Leviticus 24-25; A Sabbath Year

I wonder what it would be like if every seven years, the world went on vacation. No one worked. Not even soldiers in war zones. CEO’s would make no deals. Lawyers would argue no cases. Shops would close. Even policemen would stay home because thieves would take a break, too. For 365 days, everyone would stay home, love on their families, put the cares of the world aside.

Ain’t gonna happen.

But what if it did?

We would learn about the way God provides. We’d learn to give up a bit of control, trust more, worry less.

I wonder what it would be like if every seven days, the world went on vacation. Just 24 hours to worship God, to relax, to love on our families, to play. We are so busy, aren’t we? We fill up our days with good things, or we waste time on useless things. Even our thoughts race at 100 MPH much of the time.

God instructed His children to regularly take time off. Not to “find themselves.” But to find Him without the busyness of life.

I wonder what it would be like if just for one hour each day, the world would take that time off. Mini vacations spent with the Lord, basking in His light, loved on by the Savior, spending time with the God of Creation.

I wonder.

March 25 – A Rest From War

Joshua 9-11

These chapters tell of Israel’s taking of the Promised Land. It involved wars, and fire, and hangings, and destruction. Then in 11:23 we see that finally the land had rest from war. But it hadn’t been easy. And it didn’t happen over night.

11:18 says, “Joshua waged war a long time with all the kings.” God had promised the land. But the land needed some serious cleansing. They had to purge the evil before the Jews could live there.

My spiritual Promised Land is mine for the taking, too. It’s there God promises to never leave or forsake me, to live in my heart, to bless and keep me. But, just as with the Jews, there is some purging I must do.

I need to repent of sin, flee youthful lusts, love God with all my heart and soul, cleanse my hands and purify my heart, fight the good fight, put on the whole armor of God. And, just like with the Jews, God is going to fight for me.

God will help me rid my life of sin that so easily entangles me. When I allow God to come in and stand with me against our enemy, there is victory. Then I, too, can live in this world resting from the spiritual war Satan has declared on my soul.

With God I can be more than a conqueror. With God I can know the peace and rest that comes from abiding in Him, living in the Promised Land.

August 24

Jeremiah 43:1-44:30; Psalms 71, 116

Psalm 116 is a psalm of hope and filled with praise. The writer reminds us that “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion” (vs 5). It goes on to say God protects and gives rest, that he answers prayers and gets us through tough times. 

And how can we repay God for all he does for us? Verses 12-14 tell us God wants us to obey him, to live lives that honor him.

But then in verse 15 the psalmist throws in a verse that seems kind of random to me. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” It’s really the only verse in this psalm that talks about death.

I know this verse has been used at funerals and is a comfort to those of us who grieve over the home-going of a believer. But because it seems so out of place here I wonder if the psalmist isn’t talking about another kind of death.

Jesus used the example of a seed that dies before it can grow. Paul said he was crucified with Christ, yet he lives. Dying to self is a theme repeated often in the New Testament. And I wonder if this isn’t what the psalmist is talking about, too.

He goes on to say, “O Lord, truly I am your servant”. 

Just a thought. And a reminder that this life isn’t about me. It’s about God. May I give up control, die to self,  and allow God to have his way in my life. Then I can say with the psalmist:

“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (vs 7)

June 13

I Kings 14:29-51, 15:1-15, 25-31, 14:19-20; 2 Chronicles 12:15-16, 13:1-15:19

Rehoboam’s grandson Asa became king of Judah after Rehoboam’s son Abijah died. Abijah’s heart was not devoted to the Lord and he only reigned three years. Asa, however, did have a heart for the Lord.

Asa took down the altars of the false gods and once again the sons of David worshiped the one true God. In fact, anyone who refused to seek the Lord was put to death.

But in 2 Chronicles 15:15 it says all Judah rejoiced about the oath because they swore to follow David’s God wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly and God blessed them with rest and peace on every side.

Once again I am reminded that rest and peace come from seeking God.

Oh, restless spirit, look to the Lord. If you think happiness and fulfillment lies in wealth or popularity or a spouse or children or success you are looking in the wrong places. Seek God. Love God. Trust him. Submit to him wholeheartedly and you will find rest for your soul.

It’s a promise demonstrated in the life of Asa and Judah during his reign. And we worship the same God they did way back then. He has not changed. He still brings rest to those who seek him.

Let’s be seekers of God today.