Rest: Where do you find it?
David had given us a profound statement of trust here. And it is supported by a hope that is founded on his experience, a deeply personal experience with God. This would be a great psalm for all of us to meditate on every day. How can we develop this kind of trust if we are not in a deeply personal relationship with God? Praying and meditating on the psalms is a rich means for us to develop our understanding of God and to deepen that relationship of trust that we so deeply desire. Only a true relationship can give rise to trust and hope. As Christian believers, we are called to such a relationship. The Psalmist gives us a powerful picture here of the benefits of such a faithful trust in God.
David’s prayer here gives us a short list of the gifts that result from a faithful trust in God. The first comes in our passage for today, “”Yes, my soul, find rest in God alone…”” Do not our souls, our minds and our bodies crave rest from the tyranny of boredom, from the assault of temptations of every kind, from the attacks, the ridicule, and the insults of those who have declared themselves enemies of God, consciously or unconsciously? There is One, and One alone, in whom we can find the rest we so dearly need. Our greatest hope for salvation can come only from the One who made that hope tangible and real for us in the flesh, in Jesus Christ. We have seen it. We have been touched by it. We have been baptized in it. Why do we struggle at times to believe it?
“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
(verse 6) What a powerful statement of trust and faith this is. In reality, in truth, there is no other being in all of creation about which such a thing could be said. If, in faith, we can trust in God to this depth, then truly, we will not be shaken by anything that this world can throw against me. For we trust in one who has not only saved us, but who who has given himself to us as a mighty rock, who offers himself to us as a refuge that cannot be destroyed.
The fact is that we are sinners and weak and this level of trust is not easy for us to obtain. It must be diligently sought after, and, given the fact of our fallen nature, it is often tried and tempered in the crucible of our experiences. In this life, our trust is often tried by troubles and challenges, yet if we can learn, by diligent prayer and practice, to love as Jesus did, those trials and tribulations will be tempered more and more by our forgiveness of one another. On the other hand, God’s love, forgiveness and mercy are always constant, always perfect. In this we can trust, for we have seen the Christ and our salvation. Trust and faith are habits of the mind. They are actions that must be practiced over and over again. This is why we pray, go to church, and make a practice of loving others as Christ loved us.
Lord, help us with your kind and generous gifts of grace to develop the habits of prayer, faith, trust, and service. God, we believe that you are our refuge and our salvation, help our unbelief. We pray this humbly in the name of Jesus. Amen! ”
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