Glory to thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath thine own almighty wings.
Forgive me, Lord, for thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done;
That with the world, myself and thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
If in the night I sleepless lie,
My soul with heavenly thoughts supply;
Let no ill dreams disturb my rest,
No powers of darkness me molest.
O may my soul on thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.
Written by: Thomas Ken (1637-1711)
A Day of Rest
Do you remember, back in the day, when on Saturdays you didn’t have to go to work or school.
It was a day to do anything you wanted!
Then came Sunday. The stores were closed, which of course meant, if you needed anything you had to get it on Saturday. But Sunday was also a day to go to church, and really be still, quiet and to rest.
Of course times have changed, and so do routines. Stores are open on Sunday. We work 24/7. There is no rest! Actually there is double the anxiety, stress and depression. The small daily aggravations of life can intensify until we feel like the proverbial last straw has been placed on the camel’s back.
We all need better methods of coping. We all need better rest. When God made the 7th day for rest, Genesis 2:2-3, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”, He meant it for good.
Jesus emphasized that rest was essential Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me….I will give you rest…and you will find rest for your souls…for My yolk is easy and My burden is light.” God didn’t want us to be slaving all the time and be busy all the time. Being busy is the devil’s idea, to keep us from doing what God wants for us. Exodus 20:8-10, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.” Exodus 23:12a, “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work.”
Now resting gives us peace. The Garden of Eden began as a place of peace, the ideal state of peace in a relationship with God. However, between Satan, Eve and Adam and their disobedience, that peace was broken. Satan got in and attacked the honesty of God and broke the peace between us and God, even to this day. The choice given to us to determine what is right and wrong, also determines whether we have peace or turmoil. For years thereafter history has shown us peace is something the human race has to strive for, all over the world.
When you think of peace, what comes to mind?
Solitude, being alone. Reading a book. Staring out a window. Listening to music.
Reading your Bible.
Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
As much as we long for peace in this world, God also longs for peace between us and Him. Without this relationship with God and His Son Jesus, peace will evade us. Peace may mean many things, but if the definition isn’t rooted in God’s Word, then the peace we long for is only a shadow of the peace God longs to give us. Jesus said:
The nearer we move to Him, the more of His peace we can experience. Thankfully, the Bible provides us specific guidance about how to be closer to Him. When we grow in our knowledge of the wisdom and prosperity of God’s love for us, our minds and spirits develop a restful faith of His power and grace. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
You know when you have a guilty conscience you have no peace.
Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.
Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.
Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.
It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
and Jesus call to heaven’s perfect peace.
Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1906)
If you don’t have that peace in your life that you would like, you can find it with Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus, you can start with a prayer of accepting Him as your Saviour.
And when you lay your head down for the night remember:
Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”