What does it mean to rest in God?
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that this year, particularly while I wrote the manuscript for A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God, which Reformation Heritage Books may release in November.
The immense irony, during the very time I was writing the meditations, was that I struggled intensely with finding rest. One certainty is the reality of spiritual warfare. Any time you are doing something that may be of benefit in Christ’s kingdom, you can expect attack. But the devil’s schemes often backfire. The struggle transformed what might have been a mere academic exercise into a powerful authentic experience.
The more I wrestled with rest, the more I discovered about what it means to rest in God. Resting in God is a lesson I’m still learning, and I’d like to share some of what I’m learning with you.
We all long for rest. In his Confessions, St. Augustine of Hippo famously wrote:
Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee (Book 1, Chap. 1. 1.).
We all need rest, but it is almost a foreign concept in our world. Even though we yearly gain days of paid vacation, we fizzle in job burnout. Demands and distractions agitate our spirits. Disasters trigger anxiety. Diseases generate pain. Despair numbs our hearts. These influences displace our peace and pull us from resting in God.
But God wants, even commands, us to rest: “Rest in the Lord” (Psalm 37:7, KJV). How do we do that?
We rest when we truly trust our sovereign and triune God; obeying him as our heavenly Father, loving him as the Word and our Savior the Son, and living in him as the Holy Spirit.
The Lord willing, we’ll explore more in later posts about what it means to rest in God.