Do you need rest? If someone were to ask, could you honestly say you are at rest and at peace with your life? Or do you feel worn out and loaded down with burdens — especially in your Christian experience? Have you worked to the point of exhaustion?
If your answer is a resigned admission that you are bone weary from the challenges of life, you’re probably not alone in that condition. Hopefully this letter will bring some encouragement and rest to you in the midst of your exhaustion.
“He Will Rest in His Love”
Every once in a while, a song gets stuck in my brain. Invariably, when it sticks there, I catch myself singing it over and over again — sometimes for days on end — until it gets “unstuck.” How? By being replaced with another song which then sticks in my mind for days on end.
This happened only a few weeks ago. I found myself stuck on a lesser known chorus from the 1970s (in King James, no less) with lyrics drawn from Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy, with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing; the LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty, is mighty, is mighty.” You may never have heard this tune, but actually it’s a fine little chorus from a great passage of the Bible.
Early in the repetition stage, I began asking myself a question: “That phrase: ‘He will rest in His love.’ What exactly does that mean?” As I dug into various Scripture versions for answers, I found a variety of translations of that phrase. NKJV: “He will quiet you with His love”; NIV: “In His love he will no longer rebuke you”; NASB: “He will be quiet in His love”; RSV: “He will renew you in His love”; and (the most expansive of all) AMPLIFIED: “He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them].” An uncommon array of meanings and nuances!
Jesus Gives True Rest
The whole process of exploration was extremely rewarding. Somehow, this one phrase held thoughts of God Himself resting; of you and I resting in Him; of you and I being renewed, forgiven, restored, quieted, and confirmed by this Resting One who gives us rest.
The sheer variety of meanings for this one verse brought to mind many other “rest” concepts from Scripture. The promise in Hebrews 4 of a God-appointed rest for His people, yet the fearful prospect of somehow missing it. The picture in Psalm 131:2 of the quieted soul as a contented, weaned child. Martha and Mary from Luke 10, with Mary choosing the better part—resting at Jesus’ feet, simply listening to Him.
Finally, under the NKJV heading, “Jesus Gives True Rest,” the profound invitation of the Lord of the Sabbath in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden [in some margin notes, this is ‘you who have worked to the point of exhaustion’], and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Rest from Jesus? Finding rest for our souls? Is that even possible? Oh, how we need it! And oh, how we yearn for it! “He will rest in His love.” Or maybe more accurately, according to what Jesus promises to us, “We will rest in His love.”
“Come Unto Me”
Let’s ask the question again: Am I at rest? Have I found a place of rest in Jesus Christ? If my answer is “no,” then how do I get there?
In one of my favorite messages by Derek Prince called “Father God,” Derek focuses on this teaching from Jesus on how we can find rest:
Jesus continues, and I love these words. They are familiar and famous to many people: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Oh, those words in Greek are so vivid! All you who are carrying burdens; who are struggling; who find it hard going; who sometimes wonder if you will ever make it through. Jesus says, “Come to Me. And I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
What was His yoke and His burden? To do the Father’s will. It was His relationship with the Father.
He said, “If you’re struggling, if you’re perplexed, if you’re anxious, if you’re frustrated, if you’re not satisfied with the way your life is going, come to Me. I can reveal the Father to you and that will be a life-changing revelation. It will give you a new sense of belonging. It will bring you into true rest.”
How many of you are really enjoying rest? There’s not much rest in our contemporary culture. You can look there for it in vain.
Do you know what rest is? Do you know what it is to relax? There’s only one place you can find rest — in the bosom of the Father. Jesus will reveal Him to you. I can’t do it. I can tell you about it. I can pray for you. But only Jesus can do it.
Here is the bottom line. What Derek has said here and what we see in the Scriptures about rest leads to a few basic conclusions:
1) You and I need rest.
2) In our society, rest is not easily found.
3) In relationship with our Father God, there is rest we can receive.
4) Jesus promises this rest if we will follow three steps: Come, take and learn.
How about you? Are you ready to receive the rest Jesus promises? Are you ready to let go of your constant agitation and inner turmoil, and come to the One who can bestow true rest upon us? To the Rested One who alone can give us rest? Would you be willing to pause for a moment, take a breath, and then pray the following prayer with me?
Lord Jesus, You know how far I am from anything resembling a rested condition. I fall squarely into the category You Yourself described: I am one who is weary and heavily loaded down. I have worked to the point of exhaustion.
You have promised to give me rest. I want it, and I need it. So now, dear Lord, I come to You. I take Your yoke upon me. It fits well — for You are the one who designed it for me. I open my heart and my mind to learn from You — the gentle, lowly, meek and humble One whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.
You alone have promised that I will find rest for my soul. No one else — and certainly nothing in this world — can fulfill that promise other than You. I take You at Your word. I declare by an act of belief and faith that I am right now receiving the rest I need — the rest You have promised I will find for my very soul.
Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Let the Rest Come
Now, as an affirmation of your faith, just drink in the rest you have just prayed for. This soul-refreshing, revitalizing restoration comes to you courtesy of the Son of God, who is eager and happy to dispense it to you — for you are precious to Him. In fact, our Lord is in the rest-giving, life-changing business… and that is what has just happened to you.
Don’t be surprised if, as the result of your prayer, you find your breathing easier and less constricted. Don’t be surprised if you no longer have that constant tightness in your chest. Don’t be surprised if that strength-sapping weariness you dragged around with you gives way to a lift in your step. Don’t be surprised if you feel a peace that passes all human explanation — a restful peace that stands guard over your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
That’s what you just prayed for. Why wouldn’t Jesus grant it to you? He is the one who said, “Not as the world gives do I give to you” (see John 14:27). Why would He not bestow upon you the very peace and rest you just requested of Him?
We are so happy for the step you have just taken, and we feel very much a part of it. To reinforce what you have prayed for, may we offer some additional foundational materials by Derek Prince?
One teaching that will help in the matter of rest is the one carrying the excerpt by Derek. His “Father God” message will provide inspiration to affirm the process you have begun in your life through the prayer above. Simply download it by clicking here.
As always, it is our great privilege to provide this material — especially for those who are hungry for it. You and other faithful contributors make it possible for us to provide Derek’s excellent materials — not only here in the United States, but all around the world. Through your generosity and the kindness of so many, Derek’s life-changing teaching is being placed in the hands of people whose hearts are longing for these truths.
Resting in Him
Now it is time for you to enjoy the newfound sense of rest that is yours. Isn’t it refreshing to know that wherever you are, the Lord is right there in your midst, resting in His love, singing and exulting over you with joy? You can rest securely in that truth.
What should be your focus as you move forward in the Lord’s will for you? Your primary pursuit for the immediate future can be expressed in the four simple words that have been the theme of this letter: Rest in His Love!
All the best,
P.S. Thank you so much for your generous participation with Derek Prince Ministries. Through your gifts, we are able to place Derek’s foundational teaching in the hands of so many disciples who are hungry to receive and grow in God’s Word. You make it possible for us to meet that great need! Thanks again. Please take us up on our offer for a free MP3 download of Derek’s message “FATHER GOD.”
Materials used by kind permission of Derek Prince Ministries.