In previous posts for this series, we have explored rest in relation to trusting God, imaging God, and obeying God. In this final post, we consider what it looks like to rest in the midst of difficulties because as Christians, we are able to have a satisfied spirit while resting in Jesus.
How do we find rest in all times?
Resting in God’s character does not mean we stand still or deny life’s circumstances. We have a part to play in our ability to rest and it includes dwelling in Christ and the Word which he has given. With our hearts and minds strengthened by God’s unbending truth, we are to rest in our Savior’s love and even grow in the midst of adversity. A satisfied spirit is one that recognizes the difficulties of this world but can nevertheless rest in our glorious God in the midst of them. When we settle in our minds the issue that God is good and wise, we can truly rest in Him at all times.
How do we glorify God and enjoy him during the days that bring us trouble?
By saying that we are to glorify God, we are not saying we are to make God “glorious”. God is already glorious just by the fact of who He is. We can’t add anything to the worth of God. Instead we need to see glorifying God as “reflecting” God’s glory rather than adding to it. The normal rhythms of the Christian life are how we best glorify God. Scripture call us to faith, worship, and service (2 Cor.1; Rom. 4).
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. - Rom. 4:20-21
John Murray’s commentary on Rom. 4:20 says, “Giving glory to God’ and ‘being fully persuaded that what he has promised he is able also to perform’ are coordinate and describe the exercises or states of mind which were involved in Abraham’s faith. To give glory to God is to reckon God to be what he is and to rely upon his power and faithfulness.” In the 1 Peter 4 context, all of life flows forth from us unto God’s glory.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. - Col. 3:1-4
We have a hope and future.
A closer look would tell us that earlier in Colossians, Paul affirmed that the Colossians have been raised to new life in Christ and in chapter three, he is presenting the implications of that life. Christians can not only imagine a future that transcends the current problems in this world but that we have died with Christ who is life himself.
A satisfied spirit is one that rests in a sovereign God, a spirit in union with Christ Jesus. In him alone can we have a satisfied spirit. There is no continual strain or effort on our part to be “kept” in His abiding love. Christ did the work on the cross so this security might be ours. It is what becomes our natural resting place – Our confidence that rests solely in our Savior. Jesus is not simply the person around the fringes of our lives when things are going smoothly. Jesus is life.