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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Grace Beyond Measure: Rest

Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
 Psalm 116:7 

Rest is essential to bread making. Bread dough needs to rest because we add yeast to it which is a living organism that takes time to rise, rest, and rise again to increase in size.

What about our rest?

The beginning of a new year is the time to get back in gear, even overdrive, right? We make lists to overfill our already busy schedules. What about including rest on our lists? Genuine rest—freedom from being driven, striving, and chaos. God desires for us to rest. Guilt-free rest that we tend to resist. Though we may cease from activity, rest eludes us.     

What exactly is rest?     

Vines Expository Dictionary states: “Christ’s rest is not a rest from work, but in work, not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development.” This is in sharp contrast to the burden of rule-keeping by the Pharisees as implied in Matthew 11:29. Jesus says, “Learn from Me...and you will find rest for your souls.”

Selah is a Hebrew word used several times in the Psalms. It signifies a place for us to carefully examine, measure, and value the truth of the Word for personal application. It isn’t meant as a break or a stop in the song. It’s a pause to lift up and weigh what has just been sung. This is the idea of spiritual rest. Jesus offers rest through His boundless grace.

This rest is possible for the Lord has dealt bountifully with us. He loves us with an everlasting love, has chosen us and saved us in Christ. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Him.


Heavenly Father, my heart tends to wander from You. May I return to Your rest today because You have been good to me.

Karen Sims

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