Be Content in Rest
In a world that is continuously on the spin cycle, and the whirl of busyness keeps pulling us every which way, we are conscious that rest is an intrinsic part of our humanity and we need to step off the fast-paced motorways of life and enter the place of rest. Rest is central to who we are and we long to reclaim it to reset our souls. Just the mention of the word rest is like gold dust falling on our time-poor souls, causing us to feel instantly rich.
Rest is a theme threaded throughout the Biblical drama. As we look inside the gates of the original Garden of Eden, we see a creational home that was a place of perfection where rest and contentment were features of human existence. There was no struggle to find rest and no need to work at being content. Rest and contentment were and are bound together. Both suffered a catastrophic blow as a result of humans seeking to define life on their own terms and without God. Independence from God meant “everything that made for authentic human existence has been lost.” This was true for authentic rest and contentment. Being exiled from our Edenic temple home meant life was distorted and humans had to seek rest and develop contentment by learning to be at home with God outside the place of ultimate rest. This is the hope of the Gospel and the sheer grace of God; that He enables us to once again be content in rest.
Seeking to be at home with God and finding rest and contentment in a state of exile first means we must enter our redemptive rest through Jesus. As we relate to Jesus, rediscovering rest and contentment becomes part of the outworking of our salvation. We learn to rest, and we become content in the Biblical sense as we deeply engage in life the way God originally intended it; in intimate relationship with Him.
God designed us for connection with Him and rest is the space that opens the gateway to greater intimacy with our God. As we sit with Him around His heavenly campfire and He tells us His stories and His prescriptive response to our broken pieces, we can relate to Him as the all-sufficient God who is the same today as He was yesterday. Our understanding of who He is will grow deeper. We can tell Him our stories, enjoy His presence, and find strength in His perfect character. Proverbs 19:23 affirms that it is “the fear of the Lord that leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble”. The true place of rest and contentment lies in the reality that God is God, and He is on the throne as our sovereign Lord and Saviour, faithfully acting on our behalf. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, we can rest content.
In this space of rest, there is an exchange that takes place. Jesus takes our insecurities and frailties and exchanges them for a contentment that is sustained by the reality and realisation that He is all we need. We are transformed in the glow of His love and faithfulness. Contentment is found by dwelling in God’s presence through rest. We rest content.
Friends, to rest content is to have confidence in Jesus and to place our faith in Him as the One who is and will be all-sufficient in every circumstance. Entering the place of rest with Him enables us to find Christian contentment accompanied by hope. We can echo the words of Paul that we are learning to be content in all things because we are sure that we can do all things in God. And so, we rest content.
 Graeme Goldsworthy, Homeward Bound: Sabbath Rest for the People of God, (Bletchley, UK: Authentic Media, 2019), 37.