The Soul’s Rest
“Truly my soul finds rest in God...Yes, my soul, find rest in God.”--Ps 62:1, 5 (NIV)
On the first page of his Confessions, Augustine memorably wrote, “Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praise; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.” He was merely echoing what David had expressed many centuries before, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him” (Ps 62:1).
Whether it was deliverance from enemies (David) or salvation from an illicit lifestyle (Augustine), both David and Augustine remind us that until and unless we yield in joyful reliance upon the manifold mercies of God our Saviour we cannot have true rest of soul. But once we cast ourselves into the arms of unbounded Love (Eph 3:18) and flee to the High Tower of grace (Prov 18:10) having seen the blood-stained cross and empty tomb (Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 1:18, 23-24, 30), then our souls can rest; rest from our guilty consciences, our shameful pasts, the world’s futile charms, the law’s demands, our enemy’s accusations, and God’s promised wrath. Trusting in Christ we can say with David, “Truly, my soul finds rest in God.”
But, we also have to learn to say with David, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God” (Ps 62:5). This is the strange paradox of life with God in this fallen world. We know what it is to have a sweet and sure rest in God. And, we know what it is to have our rest in God disturbed. Sinful failure (again!), family crises, mental breakdowns, cancer, miscarriages, infertility, divorce, church and pastoral scandals, job loss, financial reversal, and yes, viruses; all of these types of threats and experiences can disrupt the soul’s rest in God.
What are we to do? Like David, we are to counsel our souls and preach to our hearts the greatness of our unchanging God, “...my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge; Trust in him at all times.... pour out your [heart] to him, for God is our refuge... One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: ‘Power belongs to you, God, and with you, Lord, is unfailing love’” (Ps 62: 5b-8, 11-12; italics are mine).
Disturbed and unsettled? By God’s grace and in the light of his greatness command your soul to find its rest in God.
P.S. - with the Bible, Christian hymns (like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9t5_ZNmaw) and Christian biographies that help you to see in living color God’s faithfulness to his people are great ways to help settle your soul in God.
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Chuck Cook is the pastor of Grace Bible Church - Rolla.