Finding Rest

Psalm 16:8-10

 

8          I keep my eyes always on the LORD.

                        With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9          Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

                        my body also will rest secure,

10        because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,

                        nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

 

            This summer, I am looking forward to taking my family on a journey to a place where my family often vacationed when I was a child during the warm Michigan summers. One of my favorite places in the world is Lake Michigan. If you’ve never been there, I can only give you my greatest encouragement to make that a summer trip for you and your family or friends one day before you die.

            There is nothing like disappearing from daily life and joyfully swimming through the crystal clear waters of the Lake and feeling the warm white beach sand squash down under your feet. The gentle Lake breeze and the smell of barbecues are inviting for you after you enjoy a full day’s activity at the lake– including swimming, boating, hikes along the sand dunes, bike trails, wind surfing and more.

            Whether you are looking to find rest miles away at a lake this summer, or whether you will simply enjoy an Eastern Colorado sunrise on your porch in the morning, I want to encourage you to take a journey that leads to rest for you this summer.

            King David describes the kind of rest that God desires for His people to have throughout their life and not just for a summer trip. We can drive hundreds of miles, fly across an ocean, and spend thousands of dollars but still not find rest if we are not careful. The kind of rest God desires you to have cannot be entered into your GPS. Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa will not help you find it either.

            The rest that God desires you to have this summer can only be found in Christ. King David describes the focus of his eyes. They are fastened on the Lord. He says that he will not be shaken nor will he eternally suffer, no matter what his days would bring. The road to rest that David is describing produces confidence in the presence and hope in the future.

            The Hebrew word for rest in this passage is Shakhan, which means to settle down, to abide, or to dwell. What David found is that there is a road to rest when we relinquish ourselves to the loving leadership of Jesus Christ in our life. It is a place where we can be at home with ourselves and with God. When we lead a life without rest, we are actually demonstrating that God is not good and that he is not trustworthy to lead our lives.

            Since Samantha and I moved to Holyoke, we have observed what a hardworking group of people this community is. It is quite impressive. Surprisingly, this culture is similar to the bustling city we left, a city that never slept. Just like how the deadlines of corporate jobs kept Dallasites hustling all year long, so also does the mercy of nature produce a hustle in this agrarian culture. If you are not careful, you will either work yourself to death or work yourself until death– neither of which are God’s desire for you.

             God desires for you to have rest this summer and all year long. The greatest activity you can do for yourself, your family and this church is to take advantage of opportunities to rest in Jesus– whether that is on your back patio, on the seat of a tractor watching the sun rise or set, or after you tell your loved ones goodnight. Take regular opportunities to remind yourself that your value, significance and worth is not found in your prestige, position or possessions. It is found only through a relationship with God by trusting in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

            Wherever your journeys take you this summer, be sure to make one of your regular destinations that of rest with Jesus. Wherever you are, find yourself at home with Jesus. May your summer be full of joy and fun, and may your hearts overflow with the love of Christ in you.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Jeremiah


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