Spiritual Rest For The Weary Soul

Read: Psalm 131

The difference between anxiety and fear is probably only a matter of degrees.  They are sisters often working together within the confines of our daily thoughts.  Behind every anxious feeling is the delusional idea that we are in charge of our own fate. We live as though we have to take charge and make things happen. And if we don’t, life will be intolerable—at least that is what we have come to think!

Will it surprise you if I tell you that I have been “anxious” about Psalm 131?  It’s true!  It is the twelfth of fifteen psalms designated as a psalm of ascent. It was one of the pilgrim songs sung by Hebrew worshipers as they made their way to Jerusalem for one of the annual feasts. We have no background as to what prompted the writing of this song.  All we know is that King David was the original author. And David was writing these words “after-the-fact.” According to verse 2 he had learned an important lesson about contentment.  In fact, he had learned that contentment was the best cure for an anxious life.

The centerpiece of Psalm 131 is the metaphor David uses in verse 2. He likens himself to a “weaned child.” The picture seems to be a contrast between a crying infant (who wants to be fed immediately) and a child who has learned to wait. There may be delays and interruptions, but the “weaned child” knows that the mother will certainly meet the needs at hand. Therein lies a truth that every anxious heart needs to embrace:

Instead of being anxious about life, learn to rest in the supremacy of God.

Two questions come to mind as we ponder what David is saying...

What is the supremacy of God?  

God’s supremacy is related to His providential working in every single detail of life. His supremacy refers to the reality that everything was created by God, exists for God, and relates to His good purposes (cf. REV 4:11). Therefore, the wise Christ-follower will surrender to the supremacy of God with delight, knowing that whatever He allows to come into our lives is ultimately for our good.

How do we come to rest in God’s supremacy?

Psalm 131 “hints” at three things we can do.

  1. Rest in God’s supreme knowledge. Notice in verse 1 that David says, “LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty.” For some reason he came to realize that he had no right to look down on others. He had no basis for assuming that he was the master of his own fate. David was not saying that he had given up any pursuit of the intellectual dimensions of life. When he says, “I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me,” he realizes that his most intricate knowledge pales in comparison to knowing God. He took delight in the knowledge of God, and we must do the same!
  2. Rest in God’s supreme love. Once again the metaphor of verse 2 implies an intimate understanding of the caregiver. Just as a child learns over time to trust the mother’s love, so too had David learned to take delight in God’s love. The Heavenly Father had protected him, guided him, rescued him, and eventually guided him to be King of Israel. And God’s love will guide and protect you as well! So rest in His supreme love. 
  3. Rest in God’s perfect plan. Notice in verse 3 that David says, “Israel, put your hope in the LORD, both now and forever.” The word “hope” does not refer to wishful thinking. In biblical terminology “hope” has to do with an inward confidence that what God says He will do is true. We may not see it at this point in time, but we can trust God’s perfect plan.

Rest in God’s perfect and good plan for you, whether it makes sense right now or not!

Trouble might be biting at your heals even as you read this post. But don’t focus on the trouble that may or may not hang around for long. Instead, set your mind on the supremacy of God.

He knows all about you. 
He loves you beyond what you will ever fully know.
His plan for you is right on schedule.

So trust Him! Trust Him today and forever!

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