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The Ever Elusive REST…Want It? By God’s Grace I Have It! :)

August 17, 2011

130240447_2c939befb4_m2Rest is the God-given capacity to have peace, even when the circumstance that would burden your heart is not resolved.  Okay, this one will be brief, because I believe its power is in its simplicity.

Psalm 37:3-7, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness . . . Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.”

Psalm 37 is the 8th-longest Psalm in Scripture. Unusually, for one of David’s psalms, it is directed not to God, but to His people. It follows no logical progression, as it was originally 44 verses—two for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In other words, it is an acrostic poem.

The theme is trusting God during a season of perceived injustice. Next to almost every verse you could write one of three words: trust, wait, or rest. Rest is best understood as “peace without resolution,” and I am not ashamed to admit I have experienced way too little of that in my life. For that reason I have been poring over Psalm 37, praying for understanding as to how that promised rest (Matthew 11:28-30) is experienced. My study and meditation on Psalm 37 has yielded this single insight which has been incredibly impacting for me.

Trust without Waiting = Striving. I have done too much of that. Proverbs 20:3, “It is good that a man should stop striving.”

Waiting without Trusting = Worrying. I have done too much of that. Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life.”

Trusting + Waiting = Rest. I trust that God will work for my good. I have done what I know to do, and now I must wait for Him. I am at rest! I have peace without resolution, and it is a wonderful experience for which I thank the Lord.

Psalm 37:25-26, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken… his descendants will become a blessing.”

 

Read comments:

  • oliverAug.17.2011

    Pastor James, thank you for this post. I am confused about your point on: Trust without Waiting = Striving. I have done too much of that. Proverbs 20:3, “It is good that a man should stop striving.”

    Proverbs 20:3 seems to be talking about resisting the temptation of arguing with others. Would you please help me understand what you mean? Thank you.

  • AndyAug.18.2011

    Nice piece Pastor James. I also think that in finding and knowing rest that God is leading us to the pasture He wants us to go in – Him.

    I’ve found that the rest He wants us to be in also leads to those times/moments of undone, on your knees, thankfulness for His grace.

  • MitraAug.21.2011

    Dear Pastor James
    I liked your heartily sermons in Harvest California. You explained the concept of forgiveness very good. When you want to put your foot in the way you have to take out your look at behind…just look at the light in front and go ahead.

    Blessing …Mitra

  • One Bondservant's Diary · The Ever Elusive REST…Want It? By God’s Grace I Have It! :)Sep.01.2011

    […] Sharing a post from Dr. James Macdonald’s blog. […]

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