Jesus Is Our Rest

“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7

I don’t know what kind of week y’all have had.  I am sure there have been moments of joy… moments of confusion…and maybe moments of heartbreak.   Let us never forget in the joy and in the grief our Savior is great, gracious and good. That His patience is inexhaustible, His commitment is irrevocable, and His steadfast love is inextinguishable. There is no savior like Him; there is no Savior but Him.

The text above speaks to us, “Return, O my soul, to your rest…”  We work hard…we exercise hard…we play hard…we celebrate hard…we grieve hard…when is there time for rest? All work and no Sabbath rest makes us foolish, shallow, and spiritually weak. We’ll either make intentional time to spend with Him, or we will be spent in mediocrity, the tyranny of the urgent, and the wrong definition of success.

These first words could easily read “Return, again…for we know in whom we will experience the rest that we need…and the rest that is required of us. We’ve been there before…but often it is when we are at our wits end …instead of making this rest in Christ something we attend to everyday, not just on the Lord’s Day, as vital as that is to the Christian’s health and sense of identity.

Interestingly, life in the Garden of Eden is where we first see this concept, BEFORE the command to work and keep the garden and before the Fall… that is, before sin, idolatry, and exhaustion became issues. So, resting in Christ is less about recovery time (taking one day off a week), and more about intimacy time with the LORD (which is to be developed and enjoyed every day of the week, especially as we prepare for the Lord’s Day).

Oh and this “rest” is NOT a cessation of activity…we are to take stock in what the Lord has done and is doing for us. The first 2 verses of Psalm 116 have the psalmist saying, “I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.”  Verses 8 and 9 also give us something to take great stock in, especially when the events of this life seek to waylay us from the rest needed. “For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living. Jesus gives us rest not just to renew us physically but also for us to take stock in the goodness of the LORD which will renew us spiritually.

So to this end, let us live our lives less driven by the moment which ensures weakness and distress and let us experience our rest in Him. Jesus is our rest and He alone can give rest (Matthew 11:28-30). Let us be people who “Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.”  In Christ we can experience this rest every day and on the Lord’s Day we have the rest that is required of us (think prescription for our health)…so we can reflect on God’s bounty and also, with His people, we can praise Him in the assembly.

God Bless y’all.

In His Grip,
Pastor Mike

Picture of Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu is Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Victoria, TX.

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