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Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.—Psalm 37:7
What exactly does it mean to “rest in Jesus”? It means trusting that once you have asked Jesus to provide solutions to your problems or to help you with the work at hand, He will take charge and do just that. It means trusting that He will show you what you can do to help the situation, that He will empower you to do your part, and that He will do the rest, whatever you can’t do. It means stepping back from your problems or work, shutting out the world around you, and letting your spirit be strengthened through communion with Him.
In short, resting in Jesus means turning matters over to Him and then trusting Him for the outcome. That way, you’re not under such pressure, because He is carrying the weight, not you. You’re still busy‚ but your most important work is the spiritual part, the praying, believing, and trusting. When you focus on that, you set wheels in motion in the spiritual realm that have the potential to bring about far greater results in the physical realm.—Maria Fontaine
In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.—Isaiah 30:15
God does not stand afar off as I struggle to speak. He cares enough to listen with more than casual attention. He translates my scrubby words and hears what is truly inside. He hears my sighs and uncertain gropings as fine prose.—Timothy Jones
My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.—Exodus 33:14
My little boy came in one day and stuck his little head into the doorway of my study. Now he knew he was not supposed to disturb me during working hours. And his conscience troubled him a little on account of this. But he looked at me nevertheless with his kind, round baby eyes and said, “Daddy, I will sit still all the time if you will only let me be here with you!” That he received permission when he approached my father-heart in that way, every father will know.
That little experience gave me a great deal to think about. Is not that just the way we often feel with regard to our Heavenly Father? We do so love to be with Him, just to be in His presence! Moreover, we never disturb Him, no matter when we come nor how often we come!—Ole Hallesby1
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee.—Psalm 55:22
Peace comes not from the absence of trouble, but from the presence of God.—Unknown
Our daily lives can easily become filled with stress, pressure, and confusion. But we can stop at any moment and slip away into the presence of God’s Spirit through prayer and meditation, and there find peace and refreshing.—Maria Fontaine
Dear restless heart, be still, for peace is God’s own smile,
His love can every wrong and sorrow reconcile;
Just love, and love, and love, and calmly wait awhile.
—Edith Willis Linn
What shall the believer do in times of darkness? Sit still and listen. Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. Let him just sit still, as the Scripture says—be still and listen. The first thing to do is to do nothing, to stand still. That goes against human nature, but that’s the wise thing to do. There’s a saying, “When you’re rattled, don’t rush.” In other words, when you aren’t sure you know what to do next, don’t rush blindly into anything, hoping for the best.
Be still and see what God will do. It is when we are quiet and trusting in God that He can work. Worry often prevents Him from doing all that He can. If our minds are distracted and our hearts are stressed, we’re not in a position where He can do much for us. The peace of God must quiet our minds and bring rest to our hearts.
Put your hand into the hand of God, and let Him lead you out into the bright sunshine of His love. Be still. Let Him do the work for you. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving”—by getting still before God—“let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”2—Virginia Brandt Berg
There remaineth … a rest to the people of God. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest.—Hebrews 4:9, 11
Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … And ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.—Matthew 11:28–30
Oh, how divinely sweet it is to come into the secret of His presence, and abide in His pavilion!—David Brainerd (1718–1747)
There is no place where the mind can be as fully renewed as in the secret place of prayer, alone with God. When we come aside from the temporal things that distract and harass us, and there in the presence of God we put our mind on the things of God, the transforming power of God then begins to work in us, and we are changed, renewed.—Virginia Brandt Berg
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength … they shall run and not be weary.—Isaiah 40:31
Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.—1 Peter 5:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:7
Learn to know Jesus so well that we feel safe when we have left our difficulties with Him. To know Jesus in this way is a prerequisite of all true prayer. This, therefore, is what the spirit of prayer tries to teach us.
As in this way we learn to know Jesus better and better, our prayers become quiet, confidential, and blessed conversations with Him, our best Friend, about the things that are on our minds, whether it be our own needs or the needs of others. We experience wonderful peace and security by leaving our difficulties, both great and small, with Him, who is not only solicitous for our welfare but who also understands what is best for us.
And especially will our prayer life become restful when it really dawns upon us that we have done all we are supposed to do when we have spoken to Him about it. From that moment we have left it with Him. It is His responsibility then…
‘A little while with Jesus—
oh, how it soothes the soul,
and gathers all the threads of life
into a perfect whole.’—Ole Hallesby (1879–1961)
You are going to get more done if you will spend more time in “the closet,”3 alone with God. Unless you get quiet and try to seek the Lord, how are you ever going to get anything from the Lord? I am fully convinced that I’ve gotten more from the Lord alone and quiet than any other way, because He can talk to you alone, and you can give Him your full attention and the reverence due Him, and you’re listening.
Even Jesus had to get up at the break of day before His disciples, and walk out across the hills or up in the mountain to get alone with God and get His orders from His Father.4 If Jesus Himself had to do it, how much more we need to do it!
You’re going to have to get quiet by yourself—somewhere, somehow, sometime—if you’re going to hear from the Lord. You’ve got to know you can’t do it, and be desperate for God’s answer, and stop everything else, and listen!
(Prayer:) So help us, Jesus, to remember that we can’t go on without the heavenly vision You give. We all need more quiet time alone with You, to rest and nestle in Your arms and partake of You, to just have You alone to think about and pray about, and to get close to You without all the other distractions. Thank You, Jesus.—David Brandt Berg
“STAND STILL,” my soul, for so thy Lord commands:
E’en when thy way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands;
His arm is mighty to divide the wave.
“Stand still,” my soul, “stand still” and thou shalt see
How God can work the “impossible” for thee,
For with a great deliverance He doth save.
Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,
Even when compassed ’round on every hand,
In ways thy spirit does not comprehend.
God cannot clear thy way till thou art still,
That He may work in thee His blessed will,
And all thy heart and will to Him do bend.
“BE STILL,” my soul, for just as thou art still,
Can God reveal Himself to thee; until
Through thee His love and light and life can freely flow:
In stillness God can work through thee and reach
The souls around thee. He then through thee can teach
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.
“BE STILL”—A deeper step in faith and rest.
“Be still and know” thy Father knoweth best
The way to lead His child to that fair land,
A “summer” land, where quiet waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and “know
Their God,” and praise for all that He has planned.
—Selected by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, author unknown
Published on Anchor February 2014. Read by Simon Peterson.
Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Ole Hallesby (1879–1961) was a Norwegian Christian teacher who spent two years in a concentration camp during the Second World War. These selections are taken from his book Prayer, translated into English by C. J. Carlsen and published in 1948.
2 Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV.
3 Matthew 6:6.
4 Mark 1:35.
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