Joyful Rest in a Frantic World
The great majority of humans are striving after wind. We chase all sorts of things to satisfy our souls but keep ending up empty-handed. We wonder, “Who will show us some good?” Put differently, “Where can I find joy, meaning, and hope in the frenetic pace and frustrating pursuits of this life?”
Thankfully, the psalmist does not leave us to wonder about what we need most: “Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD.” The great need of David’s day—and our day, thousands of years later—is to embrace and be embraced by the living God. So David points out just how the greatest pleasures pale in comparison to finding the one true, living God. Abounding in life’s good gifts, be they grain or wine or anything else, is certainly no bad thing. But knowing God is infinitely, gloriously better.
How many people today live in the hope that the experience of tomorrow will bring the joy they seem to lack today? “Just a little more money; then I can be happy. Just a little more of this or that, and then I will be satisfied.” But it’s not the promise of a nicer car, a bigger house, a perfect spouse, or a better job that truly gives us lasting peace and rest. There is only one way to be able to lie down and sleep in peace, content and secure. What makes such rest possible? “You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Only when we find all we need in knowing the Lord and know that He is smiling at us will we be able to lie down without anxiety or regret.
As you lie on your bed at night and reflect on the day, or as all of tomorrow’s to-dos race through your mind, how will you hold it together? What will give you the stability and security that every human being in the world longs for? In the end, it won’t be the money in your account. It won’t be the home-security system. It won’t be enjoying admiration from your community. It is the Lord alone who leads His beloved children to true peace, rest, and security. In the arms of the Good Shepherd, you can dwell in safety and rest in peace. Be sure, when you lie down tonight or when worries rear their heads today, to remember that the Lord loves you and is looking after you. That is where rest and peace are truly and eternally to be found.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
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