Missions as Rest in God

Experiencing other cultures opens our eyes to see that we live in a frighteningly restless world.

“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.” (Ps. 62:5-8 CSB)

One of the most noticeable aspects I’ve seen while observing another culture has been the stunning lack of “rest in God alone.”

This realization has allowed me to turn back and view my own culture so that my eyes are now opened to seeing how people in North America also do not rest in God alone. Finally, after being critical of others, I recognized the lack of resting in God in my own life. I certainly wish I had learned those lessons in the opposite order.

I’ve found that it’s not too difficult to occasionally rest in God. Nor is it hard to rest in a combination of both God and my own wisdom. But I find myself constantly failing to rest in God alone. It seems as though the David also struggled with obeying this command, because he addresses himself and encourages himself to obey it. We must follow his example in regularly exhorting ourselves to rest in God alone.

When the David says, “I will not be shaken,” he doesn’t say it because he is trusting in his own strength to hold him steady. He is trusting alone is God as his rock. There have been many times when I have felt shaken and unsteady while preparing to serve on the mission field and while I serve on the field. I must continue to remind myself, as David does here, that my steadiness does not come from my own strength, but from the strength of the one true God.

David continues to hammer his exhortation home by staying, “trust in him at all times.” This is a lesson that God has been repeatedly teaching me at many times and in many ways. I must not have learned the lesson yet because I continue to be stunned by his faithfulness.

Finally, we must “pour out your hearts before him.” We don’t have to hold back; he can take it. Furthermore, he wants to hear our hearts’ pleas. He wants us to cast our cares on him (1 Peter 5:7).

Don’t hold on to your cares, worries, concerns; they aren’t yours to keep. Don’t meditate on your own needs, meditate on his faithfulness by trusting in him at all times and resting in him alone.

Editor’s Note: This article is fifth in a series journeying through the psalms. Read the previous installment here.