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PLACE OF REST
Craig Smith
When I am troubled by news that I read
And all my resources seem less than the need
Stress and the trouble carry my peace away
When the path I should take just isn't too clear
And the pictures of failure begin to appear
Comfort will come if I humble myself and pray

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

When the goals and the visions looks so far away,
When the price that's required seems too much to pay,
Doubts rise to weaken the boldness that I once knew.
When the future seems dim
And the things that I heard
I seal my heart with the truth of His Word
Then the enemy's threats weaken and fade from view.

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

He is my Help
He is my Refuge
He is my Strength
When my world's giving in
He is the One Who comes to my rescue
He is my Lord and my Friend, my Friend

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

REPEAT REFRAIN:

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
ON REST

INTRODUCTION - Dear reader on this page you will find what I would refer to as a potpourri of commentary notes, quotes, anecdotes, illustrations, poems, hymns, etc that relate to the concept of REST in the Bible. While many of the comments relate primarily to the concept of REST in Hebrews 3-4 (especially Hebrews 4, the most concentrated teaching on REST in the entire Bible), not all the material relates directly to those two chapters. The avowed purpose of this page is to present a collection of materials that relate to Biblical REST so that you the reader might have a better grasp of this great truth which God has spoken but which seems not to be widely discussed and into which we too often fail to enter.

May God grant each us abundant grace to enter His rest in its full orbed glory in Christ. Amen.

The respected Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser wrote "In 1933 Gerhard Von Rad aptly observed that “Among the many benefits of redemption offered to man by Holy Scripture, that of ‘rest’ has been almost overlooked in biblical theology….” Forty years have not substantially changed that assessment of the situation. In fact, except for the brief and conflicting opinions delivered in commentaries on Hebrews 3 and 4 , only a few major articles in the journals and fewer graduate theses have been devoted to the concept of “God’s Rest” in the last century. Most biblical theologies of the Old Testament and New Testament, biblical encyclopedias, theological wordbooks, Festschriften, and systematic theologies are ominously silent on the topic. (Read the article below - The Promise Theme and the Theology of Rest - Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 130:518, April, 1973)



DEFINITION
OF REST

The following definitions are an amalgamation of descriptions from English dictionaries as well as from various theological sources.

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

Antonyms of rest include - restlessness, strain, toil, drudge, grind

Rest is cessation of work or movement in order to relax or recover strength.

Rest is freedom from anxiety or disturbance.

To rest is to dispose oneself at ease in order to relieve or avoid fatigue (cp spiritual "burnout")

In poetry, a rest describes a short pause of the voice in reading (Can we not apply this truth to our lives?)

In spiritual terms rest means primarily to cease from one's works with the idea of release from anxiety, worry and insecurity. This rest is offered to all and is freely available by grace through personal faith in Jesus Christ (Mt 11:28, 29, 30). Only in Christ is our soul fully and truly at rest. In this context rest means to be done with self-effort as far as salvation is concerned. It means the end of trying to please God by our feeble, fleshly works. In short, God’s unmerited perfect rest is a rest in free grace which can only be entered into or appropriated by faith.

John MacArthur adds that…

Rest also means freedom from whatever worries or disturbs you. Some people cannot rest mentally and emotionally because they are so easily annoyed. Every little nuisance upsets them and they always feel hassled. Rest does not mean freedom from all nuisances and hassles; it means freedom from being so easily bothered by them (Ed: It means freedom in the face of whatever would disturb your rest!). Rest means to be inwardly quiet, composed, peaceful. To enter God’s rest means to be at peace with God (Ro 5:1-note), to possess the perfect peace He gives (Is 26:3). It means to be free from guilt and even unnecessary feelings of guilt. It means freedom from worry about sin, because sin is forgiven. God’s rest is the end of legalistic works and the experience of peace in the total forgiveness of God.


Rest can mean to lie down, be settled, fixed, secure. There is no more shifting about in frustration from one thing to another, no more running in circles. In God’s rest we are forever established in Christ. We are freed from running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, from life-style to life-style (Jn 8:36). We are freed from being tossed about by every doctrinal wind, every idea or fad, that blows our way. In Christ, we are established, rooted, grounded, unmoveable (Col 2:7-note). That is the Christian’s rest.


Rest involves remaining confident, keeping trust. In other words, to rest in something or someone means to maintain our confidence in it or him. To enter God’s rest, therefore, means to enjoy the perfect, unshakeable confidence of salvation in our Lord. We have no more reason to fear. We have absolute trust and confidence in God’s power and care.


Rest also means to lean on (Ed: Play Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). To enter into God’s rest means that for the remainder of our lives and for all eternity we can lean on God. We can be sure that He will never fail to support us. In the new relationship with God, we can depend on Him for everything and in everything-for support, for health, for strength, for all we need. It is a relationship in which we are confident and secure that we have committed our life to God and that He holds it in perfect, eternal love. It is a relationship that involves being settled and fixed. No more floating around. We know whom we have believed and we stand in Him. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)

Know Christ and you will know rest.
No Christ and there will be no rest!
… In this life or the one to come!


Relation of rest to refreshment: Rest was built into the natural rhythms of life by the Creator, Who Himself rested on the seventh day of creation (Ge 2:1, 2, 3). The rest of God includes the crucial element of refreshment. Exodus 31:17 tells us that God not only rested on the seventh day but also “was refreshed” (Hebrew = napas = renewal of energy of mind and body, Lxx = katapauo = to put to an end, give rest to) (Cp "refresh" in Ex 23:12, Pr 25:13, Ro 15:30, 31, 32-note, [Do others find refreshing rest in your company beloved? cp 1Co 16:17, 18, 2Co 7:13, 2Ti 1:16-note, Philemon 7, 20] Acts 3:19, 20 [Where {Who} does true refreshment come from? What must we do to enter the times of refreshing?], Je 31:25NIV, Pr 3:7, 8 [fear of the LORD causes us to turn from evil and brings refreshment to our bones! Beloved, if you are reading this and sensing a deep "inner gnawing", perhaps God is calling you to an attitude of reverential fear which might prompt you to turn away from evil and experience His refreshing!] 1Sa 16:14, 23 = "evil spirit", ponder the power of God glorifying, Christ exalting, Word centered spiritual music to refresh! Does your time in worship yield such "times of refreshing"? Why not?).
 
Active
PLACE OF REST
Craig Smith
When I am troubled by news that I read
And all my resources seem less than the need
Stress and the trouble carry my peace away
When the path I should take just isn't too clear
And the pictures of failure begin to appear
Comfort will come if I humble myself and pray

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

When the goals and the visions looks so far away,
When the price that's required seems too much to pay,
Doubts rise to weaken the boldness that I once knew.
When the future seems dim
And the things that I heard
I seal my heart with the truth of His Word
Then the enemy's threats weaken and fade from view.

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

He is my Help
He is my Refuge
He is my Strength
When my world's giving in
He is the One Who comes to my rescue
He is my Lord and my Friend, my Friend

REFRAIN:
There is a place of rest
During the long hard test
No need to worry
If I'll abide in Him.

There is a place of peace
Where all my fear will cease
If I'll abide, walk side by side with Him

REPEAT REFRAIN:

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
ON REST

INTRODUCTION - Dear reader on this page you will find what I would refer to as a potpourri of commentary notes, quotes, anecdotes, illustrations, poems, hymns, etc that relate to the concept of REST in the Bible. While many of the comments relate primarily to the concept of REST in Hebrews 3-4 (especially Hebrews 4, the most concentrated teaching on REST in the entire Bible), not all the material relates directly to those two chapters. The avowed purpose of this page is to present a collection of materials that relate to Biblical REST so that you the reader might have a better grasp of this great truth which God has spoken but which seems not to be widely discussed and into which we too often fail to enter.

May God grant each us abundant grace to enter His rest in its full orbed glory in Christ. Amen.

The respected Old Testament scholar Walter Kaiser wrote "In 1933 Gerhard Von Rad aptly observed that “Among the many benefits of redemption offered to man by Holy Scripture, that of ‘rest’ has been almost overlooked in biblical theology….” Forty years have not substantially changed that assessment of the situation. In fact, except for the brief and conflicting opinions delivered in commentaries on Hebrews 3 and 4 , only a few major articles in the journals and fewer graduate theses have been devoted to the concept of “God’s Rest” in the last century. Most biblical theologies of the Old Testament and New Testament, biblical encyclopedias, theological wordbooks, Festschriften, and systematic theologies are ominously silent on the topic. (Read the article below - The Promise Theme and the Theology of Rest - Bibliotheca Sacra Volume 130:518, April, 1973)



DEFINITION
OF REST

The following definitions are an amalgamation of descriptions from English dictionaries as well as from various theological sources.

Rest is freedom from work, toil, strain or activity. Rest is the cessation of motion or action of any kind, and applicable to any body or being, as rest from labor, rest from mental exertion or rest of body or mind. A body is at rest, when it ceases to move. The mind is at rest, when it ceases to be disturbed or agitated. The sea is never at rest! (And many believers live their lives more like the sea than their Savior!)

Antonyms of rest include - restlessness, strain, toil, drudge, grind

Rest is cessation of work or movement in order to relax or recover strength.

Rest is freedom from anxiety or disturbance.

To rest is to dispose oneself at ease in order to relieve or avoid fatigue (cp spiritual "burnout")

In poetry, a rest describes a short pause of the voice in reading (Can we not apply this truth to our lives?)

In spiritual terms rest means primarily to cease from one's works with the idea of release from anxiety, worry and insecurity. This rest is offered to all and is freely available by grace through personal faith in Jesus Christ (Mt 11:28, 29, 30). Only in Christ is our soul fully and truly at rest. In this context rest means to be done with self-effort as far as salvation is concerned. It means the end of trying to please God by our feeble, fleshly works. In short, God’s unmerited perfect rest is a rest in free grace which can only be entered into or appropriated by faith.

John MacArthur adds that…

Rest also means freedom from whatever worries or disturbs you. Some people cannot rest mentally and emotionally because they are so easily annoyed. Every little nuisance upsets them and they always feel hassled. Rest does not mean freedom from all nuisances and hassles; it means freedom from being so easily bothered by them (Ed: It means freedom in the face of whatever would disturb your rest!). Rest means to be inwardly quiet, composed, peaceful. To enter God’s rest means to be at peace with God (Ro 5:1-note), to possess the perfect peace He gives (Is 26:3). It means to be free from guilt and even unnecessary feelings of guilt. It means freedom from worry about sin, because sin is forgiven. God’s rest is the end of legalistic works and the experience of peace in the total forgiveness of God.


Rest can mean to lie down, be settled, fixed, secure. There is no more shifting about in frustration from one thing to another, no more running in circles. In God’s rest we are forever established in Christ. We are freed from running from philosophy to philosophy, from religion to religion, from life-style to life-style (Jn 8:36). We are freed from being tossed about by every doctrinal wind, every idea or fad, that blows our way. In Christ, we are established, rooted, grounded, unmoveable (Col 2:7-note). That is the Christian’s rest.


Rest involves remaining confident, keeping trust. In other words, to rest in something or someone means to maintain our confidence in it or him. To enter God’s rest, therefore, means to enjoy the perfect, unshakeable confidence of salvation in our Lord. We have no more reason to fear. We have absolute trust and confidence in God’s power and care.


Rest also means to lean on (Ed: Play Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). To enter into God’s rest means that for the remainder of our lives and for all eternity we can lean on God. We can be sure that He will never fail to support us. In the new relationship with God, we can depend on Him for everything and in everything-for support, for health, for strength, for all we need. It is a relationship in which we are confident and secure that we have committed our life to God and that He holds it in perfect, eternal love. It is a relationship that involves being settled and fixed. No more floating around. We know whom we have believed and we stand in Him. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)

Know Christ and you will know rest.
No Christ and there will be no rest!
… In this life or the one to come!


Relation of rest to refreshment: Rest was built into the natural rhythms of life by the Creator, Who Himself rested on the seventh day of creation (Ge 2:1, 2, 3). The rest of God includes the crucial element of refreshment. Exodus 31:17 tells us that God not only rested on the seventh day but also “was refreshed” (Hebrew = napas = renewal of energy of mind and body, Lxx = katapauo = to put to an end, give rest to) (Cp "refresh" in Ex 23:12, Pr 25:13, Ro 15:30, 31, 32-note, [Do others find refreshing rest in your company beloved? cp 1Co 16:17, 18, 2Co 7:13, 2Ti 1:16-note, Philemon 7, 20] Acts 3:19, 20 [Where {Who} does true refreshment come from? What must we do to enter the times of refreshing?], Je 31:25NIV, Pr 3:7, 8 [fear of the LORD causes us to turn from evil and brings refreshment to our bones! Beloved, if you are reading this and sensing a deep "inner gnawing", perhaps God is calling you to an attitude of reverential fear which might prompt you to turn away from evil and experience His refreshing!] 1Sa 16:14, 23 = "evil spirit", ponder the power of God glorifying, Christ exalting, Word centered spiritual music to refresh! Does your time in worship yield such "times of refreshing"? Why not?).

Very nice!

I would like to add that to Hebrew thinkers, the concept of "Rest" = Shabbat. In Christ, we are taught that He IS our Shabbat. And the Hebrew word Shabbat (though reserved in Judaism for the 7th day rest) is expanded by our entering into Him and He in us, So He tells us "come all of you who are heavy laden...and I will give you shabbat". Just as physical rest is essential to our physical health and well being, spiritual rest is essential to our spiritual health and well being. So Hebrews 3 and 4 gives us an important insight we should all seek to understand. Shalom (in the Shem of Messiah)
 
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