Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

There is Rest and Then there is Rest!


Psalms 116:7  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.


Rest, What is it?

Most of us probably think of a good night’s sleep when we think of resting.  Resting in this passage could mean a number of things but it seems to be primarily a ceasing from worry and anxiety.  This Psalmist may have had a physical ailment from which the Lord delivered him.  However, it is easy to apply this psalm to our spiritual condition.  I notice that the Psalmist must have been at peace and then became anxious and then returned to a state of peace.  I suspect that the last condition was much better than the first.  Often when we are at peace it is because we are ignorant of our real condition.  For example, we may feel that we are healthy when we are not.  Then the doctor finds something wrong and we go into a panic.  We are anxious.  Then if we find the cure, we relax again. 


It is much the same way when we are considering our relationship with God.  Most people do not know that they are sick as far as God is concerned.  Sin has caused the sickness and even though we know that ultimately we are going to die, we don’t worry about it because we are sure that we are healthy right now.  Death seems to be a distant problem.  We are at ease even though we shouldn’t be.  Then when we hear the Gospel and find out that sinners will be judged for their sin unless it is forgiven, we get anxious.  We wonder how we can get right with God.  We call this being awakened to our condition.  It causes us to be troubled which is why the Psalmist says he found trouble and sorrow.  Then when we hear and understand and believe the good news that Christ died for sinners, we get peace or rest again.  But this rest is real.  This rest is based on the cure for sin.  This rest is found in Christ.  This rest is so sweet because it doesn’t depend on our “doing.” It is obtained by trusting in what Christ has done for us.


Rest, Why do we Need it?

No one can be truly healthy unless they get the rest that they need.  Sleep and rest allows our bodies to heal.  It also allows our minds to “unwind.”  Many of people have sleep apnea that keeps them from reaching what is called “rem” sleep where our minds seem to deprogram and where we feel rested in the morning.


Recently I talked to a friend who thought he was losing his ability to remember.  He was anxious and was researching his condition on the internet, and I think he had also talked to doctors.  I found out that he was not sleeping well.  I suggested that his memory problems and anxiety would likely go away if he could figure out how to get a good night’s sleep.  I haven’t talked to him recently to see how he is doing; but even if that is not his whole problem, he will never be really healthy until he starts getting a good night’s sleep.  We know that this is a problem for a lot of people because of all the sleep aids that we see in the drug stores.  Tylenol PM might not be a bad thing if it really does help a person sleep.


Rest, How do we Get it?

Medications, good dietary habits, and proper exercise may all help in getting a good night’s sleep so that we feel rested.  Some vacations also help us recharge.  Of course some of us come back from our vacations so tired that we need a vacation from our vacations.  Nevertheless, there is nothing quite like feeling relaxed and rested.


Spiritually we can fool ourselves into believing we are at peace with God and with our consciences.  That is the rest that needs to be disturbed.  When we hear the Gospel and find out that there is only One God and One mediator between God and man; when we find out that there is only One way to heaven; when we find out that we are lost and useless to God without the faith that saves because of our sin; then we become anxious.  The Bible calls this conviction.  John 16:7-11 tells us about the work of the Holy Spirit in this regard, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I (the Lord Jesus) go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (the Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”


Then as we hear the Gospel which tells us that Christ died for sinners, when we hear that the work that saves was finished on the cross, when we hear that trusting the Word of God and thus trusting Christ saves, a burden rolls away.  It is the burden of sin.  And we find true rest and peace.  Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  Notice it is those who have been convicted (who labor and are heavy laden) who are invited to come and who get this rest.



We could well ask ourselves, are we at peace because we are ignorant and in unbelief?  Or have we been awakened, and have we found true peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ?


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of August 14, 2016


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>