Scripture reveals that God created us with a need for weekly rest. We live most fully when we imitate him by setting aside a day each week for rest and refreshment… Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, invites us into the joy of his rest. Sabbath is not so much a requirement as it is a gift.
Psalm 90 reminds us that this kind of deep, lasting satisfaction does not come from the inconsistent, unreliable circumstances of life. Rather, it comes from the experience of being filled with God’s love on a daily basis. It comes as we allow our hearts to be inundated with the implications of the cross of Christ.
For the most part, our daily meditation upon God’s word will have a modest, perhaps even an intangible, impact. We may wonder if it is actually active in our lives. But, over time, the more we reflect on the truth of God, the more we will be changed, becoming more like him.
God’s ways are often mysterious. Sometimes they are gloriously mysterious. Sometimes they are frustratingly mysterious… Yet, the greatest mystery of God’s nature leads us not to exasperation but to exaltation. I’m talking about the wonder of God’s grace, his limitless mercy, his unfathomable love.
Our souls are thirsty for the water that God alone provides. Nothing else will satisfy. The good news is that God invites us to come and drink from his well, and it’s completely free. Through Jesus, the deepest yearnings of our souls are satisfied.
God’s love is more stable and lasting than the mountains and the hills. It will remain forever, never to be eroded away. When God commits himself to us, that commitment will never be broken… What marvelous news… something upon which to base our lives! Something more solid than the mountains. Something more lasting than the hills.
Over the years, I have become more accepting—but not completely comfortable— with the biblical picture of an angry God. I realize that anger is sometimes an appropriate emotion… I know that God is completely just and completely loving. I can begin to understand how anger is not inconsistent with deep, lasting love.
Here is what cannot be denied: We can never earn our own righteousness through our good deeds. We can never make ourselves right enough to have a right relationship with God. Without God’s help we are lost and without hope. But the good news is that we don’t have to do what we cannot do because our righteousness comes through Christ.
How might we respond to what Jesus has done for us as the Suffering Servant of God? Gratitude is the beginning. When we realize that Jesus suffered for our sake, our hearts fill with thanksgiving. Truly, the Christian life is one, long expression of thanks to the Lord for his magnificent mercy.
When we hurt, we find comfort in the fact that Jesus is a man of sorrows. He knows what it’s like to feel as we do. Thus his empathy isn’t theoretical. God the Son knows and shares in our suffering. He is with us, even when we are overcome by grief and despair.