Finding rest in hope

It’s 4:30 a.m. I cannot sleep.

I feel a burden deep in my soul and it is so heavy sometimes I feel like it’s crushing me from the inside and I can’t breathe, my stomach hurts, my heart aches and all I can do is let the pain leak out through my eyes.

There is so much hurt and pain all around me. Friends with broken marriages, broken hearts, broken bodies, broken dreams. Those mourning the ones they love the most and trying to find a new normal. Others who have seen or experienced unspeakable evil. And I feel it. I feel all of their pain. I carry it with me…and I cry out to God, why?! How?!

Why is there so much hurt and loss and suffering and pain and struggle?

How do I help or comfort or ease or carry those things that are crushing the ones I love?

And I do the only thing I can do, because I know sleep will not come and tears will not wash away this burden: I seek His word. Over 1,100 pages in my bible, but I ask God to direct my eyes to the right spot and I find Psalm 16.

I read verses 5-7: “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” – Psalm 16:5-7

I won’t lie, at first these words give me no comfort. They trouble me because while they ring true, I cannot come to terms with the thought that my “lot is secure” and the boundary lines have “fallen for me in pleasant places” when I see so much suffering around me. Why is this the scripture He led me to in the wee hours of this sleepless morning? And yet I know there is more. So I read Matthew Henry’s commentary of this Psalm:

“In this world sorrow is our lot, but in heaven there is joy, a fullness of joy; our pleasures here are for a moment, but those at God’s right hand are pleasures for evermore. Through this thy beloved Son, and our dear Savior, thou wilt show us, O Lord, the path of life; thou wilt justify our souls now, and raise our bodies by thy power at the last day; when earthly sorrow shall end in heavenly joy, pain in everlasting happiness…..Heaven is an inheritance; we must take that for our home, our rest, our everlasting good, and look upon this world to be no more ours, than the country through which is our road to our Father’s house….Those that have God for their portion, have a goodly heritage. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and look no further. Gracious persons, though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God.” – Matthew Henry

Henry’s words remind me that this world is temporary. The declaration of verses 5-7 aren’t referring to my lot here on earth or an earthly inheritance. The “boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places” because my inheritance is heaven. The sorrow and hurt and pain that I see and feel around me will end. There will be joy and everlasting happiness. It is His promise to us.

I go on to read verses 8-11:

‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. – Psalm 16:8-11

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Even when the world around me seems desperately broken and hurting, God remains next to me, my source of strength.

My body will rest in hope. I have hope because God’s promise is TRUTH. Heaven is our inheritance. The pain here in this world is only temporary, our suffering short. We do not own this heartache, this road to our Father’s house. And this hope gives me peace and lets me rest.

And while I still pray for my friends, asking God to heal their pain, and lift their sorrows, I take to heart Henry’s words: I covet more from God, but I shall not covet more than God.

4 thoughts on “Finding rest in hope”

  1. I am so glad I subscribe to this! Its like hearing a sermon that speaks right to you, God knows the people on this list and what they need to hear. Most of us go through the same things, so it is good to hear thoughts of others. Today when I was driving to work i feel sorrow and panic start to settle in, but I remembered I have been strong this long, why let it come now? Opposite of you I avoid facing the sorrows and burdens… I fear one day it will all just fall on me… or maybe I am just making it through okay since I have God with me, I am not sure. But reflecting on the thought that we are here temporary is comforting. As I sit in a room with kids taking finals I realize our time on earth is like taking a test, we study for it and try to do our best…. but the test will be over one day and relief will come, weather we think we passed or not because God says he loves us and forgives us weather we pass or not and we will make it to heaven if only we believe.

    1. Thanks, Melissa. It’s funny to say out loud that knowing life on earth is temporary is a comfort, when it would seem the opposite. But when you follow Christ, it is the greatest comfort to know there is an eternity without pain or sorrow that awaits us.

  2. In reading this I couldn’t help but think of the chapter from Romans where you get your blog title from. Romans chapter 8.I think this chapter as much as any other in Scripture spells out a believers point of view towards the things of this life. Especially starting in verse18. We who believe shall find comfort in the hope of life eternal after the pains of this life are cast aside. In the mean time we have each other for support to see the Father in each tragedy in life and know he is truly in charge and every thing is unfolding according to his plan.

  3. Thank you Jelise for blessing me with your article. So good. I think of John 4:10 NLT, where it says, “if you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me…” Not only after you kiss this life goodbye but, here on this earth and now in this season. If only you knew, your heart would be swept up in audacious love that nothing could keep you from the life you were born to live. (Audacious by Beth Moore). Take heart, He wants us to behold Him and then we can handle the yuck we see around us because He gives us grace to help but not be over burdened.

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