Summary: What areas in which we can rest in the Lord
RESTING IN THE LORD
Introduction: At the pastor’s fellowship the other day, one of the preachers made the point that sometimes we get more out of the messages when the Lord gave us a thought. Then He mentioned in his message about resting in the Lord. That sparked me to reread this Psalm again. Then I was reading some other material and the Lord spoke to my heart with these thoughts that I want to share with you today and the next few Sunday mornings.
The main emphasis for this message today is found in verse seven. This psalm is contrast of the wicked and the righteous. There are "Four F’s" that should be found in the Christian’s life. They are: Fear not, Fret not, Faint not, and Forget not. Some of those are found in this Psalm.
The words that can describe the world today are frazzled, frantic and frustrated. Sadly they can also describe the Christians today.
We have forgotten what our Lord promised in Isaiah 26:3. "Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in thee"
The Hebrew word "rest" means to be silent, be still, wait, be dumb, and grow dumb. Many times we are frazzled, fighting and frustrated instead of resting in the Lord. We seem to prefer to keep the antacid companies in business than rest in our Lord.
This Psalm has a lot of links in the chain of God’s greatness. Someone has said that a chain is as strong as the weakest link. This chain has no weak links. What are the links in this chain?
1. Trust in the Lord. Vs. 3
2. Delight thyself in the Lord. Vs. 4
3. Commit thy way unto the Lord. Vs. 5
4. Rest in the Lord. Vs. 7
5. Wait on the Lord. Vs. 34
Charles Spurgeon wrote a book on the Book of Psalms. It is called the Treasury of David. Here are some of the introductory comments he made on this Psalm. “The subject of this Psalm is the great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many. It is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and questions are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common questions of his people, and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded.”
It contains eight great precepts. Precepts can be viewed like great lessons. They are similar to the links in our chain that I mentioned earlier. I was reading this Psalm and some of the comments of Brother Spurgeon and I was rejoicing in my heart the great precepts our Lord has so greatly laid out before us. I want to give those eight precepts quickly before moving onto my message. The great precepts are:
1. "Fret not thyself because of evildoers". To fret is to worry. To worry over ones that can only destroy the body is sinful and useless while we serve one who can destroy both body and soul. But He is also able build up our bodies and souls and the world can never really do that.
2. "Trust in the Lord and do good". Trust is one of the Old Testament words for faith. Faith cures fretting. Doing good is a perfect remedy for fretting.
3. "Delight thyself in the Lord". This means make our Lord our joy and rejoicing of our spirits.
4. "Commit thy way unto the Lord". This means placing that burden of life on the One whom is able to sufficiently to bear it. Aren’t you glad there is One that is bigger than you and I to handle our problems instead of fretting over them.
5. "Rest in the Lord". This is to hush our spirit even in those times when all is trying to overwhelm us. Today we will be looking at that this verse of this Psalm.
6. "Cease from anger and forsake wrath". This requires a work upon the part of the Lord on our behalf to train us to follow this precept. Anger and wrath do not work the righteousness of God. They are sin. They are included in the burden of sin that Jesus died and carried upon Himself on our behalf. Anger and wrath shuts out our prayers. Anger is only one letter away from danger.
7. "Depart from evil and do good". We should depart from evil doers’ example. We should avoid even the very appearance of sin. We must set ourselves in the path of doing what God would have us to do.
8. "Wait on the Lord". We are to tarry at the Lord’s leisure. He is never in a hurry but He is never late. We wait in obedience to this precept as a servant. We wait in hope as an heir, yea joint heir with Christ. We wait in the expectation of our Lord as a believer. That little word "wait’ is easy to say but hard to carry out, faith must do it. But the wait is worth the time. It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.