“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him,” Psalm 37:17 tells us.
It sounds good in theory, but I have deadlines to meet! And work stacked up at the office! And interminable family and financial pressures! And an unpredictable business climate that could turn sour without warning! And daily association with unprincipled people who are ready to scalp me if I stumble or miss a cue!
So, how do I “rest in the Lord” ?
Perhaps this story will prove helpful: Herod, that egomaniacal Roman political puppet who oversaw Israel, executes James, the brother of John. (Mark 6:16-29)
Learning that his murderous act gained the approval of Jewish leaders, he throws Peter into jail, for “trial” — and certain execution. The night before his trial, we find Peter chained between two guards, asleep. Asleep! Or perhaps more descriptively, “Resting in the Lord.” (Acts 12:1-11)
Now if I were in Peter’s place, I would be lying awake pondering some fairly weighty questions:
Has the executioner had previous experience at his job, or am I his first try at it?
How is his eye-hand coordination?
What is going to happen to my family?
But not Peter! He’s asleep! “Resting in the Lord“!
My guess is that Peter, after innumerable false starts and failures, had learned a few lessons along the way about entrusting his life into the hands of his Sovereign God.
QUESTIONS: What circumstances are you facing today that call upon you to “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him“? (Psalm 37:7) Could they be any more extreme than Peter’s?
And when you get right down to it, isn’t “resting in the Lord” fundamentally a decision of the will to trust Him with our circumstances?… With our life? And isn’t our refusal to “rest in the Lord” an indication of our stubborn determination not to acknowledge Him as the Sovereign King of kings and the Lord of lords? (Revelation 19:16)
Are you, in your heart of hearts electing to believe God sovereignly has your situation well in hand? If so, then you, like Peter are experiencing evidence of that rest by an inner peace, the absence of anxiety, and a certain calm anticipation of the future.