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A few years ago, I asked the Lord to teach me about what it means to “rest in the Lord.” I had always considered it to mean being patient or taking time to relax. In Exodus 34:21, we read, “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest” (NKJV), which speaks about physical rest. Resting both physically and mentally is not only important to reduce stress and renew ourselves but also has the benefit of increasing productivity. France is known for its emphasis on taking a break from work, whether it is the two-hour lunch break or the six weeks of holiday time per year. Whereas, here in the States, we are known for long work hours and eating our lunch at our desks. However, research has proven that taking a break actually makes workers more productive not less. Thus, the Lord, who created us understood that we need physical rest. But rest in the Scriptures means more than just a physical break from work, waiting, or being patient.

Isaiah 30:15 reads, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (NIV). Rest in the Scriptures means to trust the Lord. Other translations read “in returning and rest…” The word repent was a Roman military term meaning “to make a 180-degree direction change.” In the original Greek, repent meant to “shift or to change one’s mind.” Both translations, repentance or returning, instruct us to turn our mindset back on the Lord. We become stressed and anxious when our thoughts are on our problems but when we return our thoughts to the Lord, our perspective changes. Thus, to rest in the Lord means to trust the Lord. When we completely trust that the Lord’s got us, no matter what things look like, we can be at rest physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. 

How do we get to that place of trust where we are truly resting in the Lord? The second part of Isaiah gives us a key: trust is your strength. So how do we strengthen our trust? We remember. We remember what He has done for us in the past. In Psalms 42:6:

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You …

and then in verse 11:

 Why are you cast down, O my soul?

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God;

For I shall yet praise Him,

The help of my countenance and my God.

This Psalm gives two key actions in which we repent in order to rest and trust in the Lord: remember and praise. When we start declaring and praising the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness in our lives our mind begins to shift. We stop seeing our problems as mountains and start seeing the Lord as the King of Glory who reigns over all things. This is how we repent. Even if you don’t have a long history with the Lord, you can start by praising Him for the work He did on the cross and who He is. 

The book of Psalms is a great tool for learning how to strengthen our trust in the Lord. David, who wrote many of the psalms, was often in a battle for his life. As an innocent man running from the king who was trying to kill him, he was often discouraged and afraid. However, we read how he would cast his cares upon the Lord (or really complain at times); but then, as we continue to read, we see how he turns his focus to the Lord and begins to praise the Lord for who He is and remembers how the Lord has delivered in the past; and then we read how his words change reflecting a place of peace and trust in the Lord.

The Lord is not looking for us to muster up fake emotions. He understands we are flesh and are experiencing some very real issues in our lives. But Jesus died on the cross so we could come into a relationship with the Father and any healthy relationship requires honesty and authenticity. The Psalms provide a tool for us to express our authentic emotions in times of trouble and how to cast our cares before Him and then how to repent, turn around. When we remember His goodness and praise Him for who He is, we are returning to Him and in exchange, we enter His rest. 

Praying the Psalms helps by giving us a word map to take us from the place of anxiety to resting in the Lord. The Psalms provide words to help us articulate both our emotions and how to praise the Lord. Find your favorite Psalms and start praying them every day. Memorize them so that when you are in a place of trouble you can recall them in times of need. These will become like arrows to the enemy who seeks to attack you with worry and fear. Remember, Jesus is the Word and when you are praying the Scriptures, you are declaring what has already been declared in Heaven, you are aligning yourself with the Holy Spirit. There is power in praying the Scriptures. The Psalms are a good place to start but also consider praying other Scriptures that help you remember how mighty the Lord is and how much He loves you and cares for your every need.

We can rest in the Lord because we can trust Him. The Lord is faithful. His love for us goes beyond our comprehension. John 3:16-17 explains:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

As Christians, we know His extraordinary, amazing act of love. Why then do we think we are on our own in times of trouble? I would purpose because we have turned our eyes to ourselves instead of Him Therefore, as Isaiah 30:15 not only instructs us but also promises us that rest comes when we repent and trust in the Lord.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”

Image by 🍀💜Anna💜🍀 from Pixabay

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One Comment

  1. Suzy Araghi Suzy Araghi

    Thank you Rebecca. This is a great reminder. Im so.happy you are blogging . This is awsome! And what a wonderful reminder to all of us to trust and rest in him . I hear to lean into him , trust in him and I have been trying to do that to ,to truly wrap my head around it and deeply understand how to do that when things are at there worst. Im so sorry you had emergency medical in July. Prayers for your healing and praise God got you through it!

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