Rest 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.”