“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” ~ Psalm 16:8-9
To live in this fallen world is to live in unrest. We are constantly bombarded by distractions and temptations that draw us to focus on ourselves and our immediate needs. Temptation too is a restlessness; a furtive burning that needles at you mercilessly. In the midst of the struggle, it is easy to succumb to the lie, “I will have no peace until I give in to this sin.” The choice is made, the relief immediate – but in the release there is an increase in uneasiness as your heart spins that much further out of line of God’s perfect way. The act of sin feeds the need to sin in an endless cycle, until suddenly you find yourself lost on a stormy sea, crying out for help (Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25; Matthew 8:23-27).
The beauty of our God is that He always hears us and always responds. He never holds us at arm’s distance and says, “You got yourself into this mess, you get yourself out.” He knows our frame, that we are dust (Psalm 103:14); He always responds with mercy and love to a heart that cries out in need to the Saviour. He greatly desires that we would stay on His perfect path so that we don’t find ourselves in needless trouble; but He knows too that we are fallible and fallen creatures, and will not leave His children to suffer the fate of destruction to which we were born.
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” ~ Psalm 37:25
To help us stay on the road of righteousness, God not only promises us a way out of every temptation (I Corinthians 10:13), He also offers us rest. Not just for our souls, and not someday in the future – but now and for our very flesh, even that part of us that constantly fights Him: “My flesh also shall rest in hope.” This is a great truth in our lives, because there is so little in this world that offers rest. All of this world rushes on and on, never pausing, never relaxing for a moment, and we are too often swept up in the pace. It is the “rest” of sin that is so fleeting and unsatisfactory; the “rest” of a creation separated from its Creator. We cannot have rest or peace or victory over sin unless our eyes are firmly focused on the Saviour.
“And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace” ~ Helen Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
Peace is never found in sin. But peace is found in the hope of salvation, in Jesus Christ Himself, Who offers us rest for both body and soul – even when our actions remind us that we are undeserving of such wondrous love. Let us not fall under the influence of the Accuser (satan), who throws our failures in our faces to shame us away from the Saviour. God’s grace and patience towards us is a great and awesome mystery; let us have faith in His promises and call the devil the Liar that he is.
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” ~ James 1:12