Please begin with prayer for an open heart, before you read the passage below. Psalm 62:5-8 - Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[a]; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah
When you think of rest, what comes to your mind first? Sitting on the couch? Sleep? Entertainment? Outdoors on a porch, enjoying a view? I think Scripture talks about all kinds of rest and specifically that on the Sabbath---physical rest for us, physical rest for the animals, physical rest for the land, but the author of the Psalm seems to specify resting the soul. Are we spending too much time resting the wrong thing? (Physical rest is extremely important, but we cannot neglect the soul!)
It is easy to give ideas for someone on how to rest their body---sleep, eat better, maybe even exercise could help us rest due to endorphins, etc. Imagine if someone asked you---how do you rest your soul? It would strike us as an extremely strange question, but this is the goal of the author of this Psalm. The first time the word ‘soul’ is used in the Old Testament is in Genesis 2:7, when God breathes into Adam and he is considered a living being. Living being is the word for soul, which is the same word for soul in the Psalm passage. So, the soul is the life possessing quality that makes us human beings!
We see Jesus talk about finding life in Him and in Him alone---He is the living water and He is the bread of life! God is the only source for true life and rest in this world, yet we allow so many other things to wreak havoc on our souls. Connecting to Him includes worship, prayer and word and various other ways, but I think there is also a strong connection between our soul resting and hope in God in this passage. His promises, His reality, and our identity in Him are constants that still our soul. Verse 8 says to ‘trust in Him at all times’---if our soul is firmly entrenched in the promises of God and we are consistently receiving life from Him, we can have comfort and hope, regardless of what’s going on around us.
So, I think there is tremendous value in spiritual disciplines (prayer, worship, word, fasting, etc.) and the ability of those to bring rest to our soul. Those things can also be empty rituals if we don’t know God and His life-giving message and allow His promises to consume our hearts and souls. We are able to face the trying times, because we trust in God and His promises! Pray that God will still your soul and give you hope through the every day events of life!
How does the idea of your soul resting strike you? What are ways that your soul rests in God? Is it time spent doing something? Is it trust/belief in His promises? How can you be better at capitalizing on ways to help your soul rest?