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Singing Psalm 96 to rest your heart

Singing Psalm 96 you consider where you can rest your heart

What do you count on staying the same on which you can rest your heart?

What do you consider always being as it has been or is now?

Some things on which you might rest your heart and plan on staying the same:

  • The love of a grandparent, parent, spouse, child, other relative, or friend and your love for them 

  • The place where you live and the people you live with

  • The place where you work and the people you work with

  • What you do for work and play

  • The place where you learn

  • What you are learning

  • The place where you worship and the people you worship with

  • The people around you who basically look, dress, think, speak, and behave the way you do

  • How you eat, drink, exercise, relax, sleep

  • Your mental, physical, or financial health

  • The things you have around you or hope to, that you see, smell, drive, touch, taste, and hear

  • The weather and air quality

  • The sun by day

  • The moon by night

What can you rest your heart on more than a parent’s love?

““Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” ~ Isaiah 49:15

It seemed at one time when everything in life was so transient that looking at the moon at night as a fixed and stable point of reference was comforting. What is more stable than the moon’s presence at night?

“And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” ~ Revelation 21:23

“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” ~ Revelation 22:5

Will you rest your heart with feet planted firmly on the rock or sinking in the sand?

Through many gyrations and changes of plans, disappointments, and setbacks, you wander restless, looking for a place to land where you can finally rest your heart.

Singing Psalm 96 there are no substitutes on whom you can rest your heart

The Lord you made you to rest your heart in your relationship with him. No superstition, medallion, statue, candle, rosary, touching an image, or any other rote, superficial, religious-seeming activity can take the place of that relationship. Nothing and no one can rightly supplant the adoration and affection you hold for the one who made you.

Headstrong, you pursue a direction you think will bring you satisfaction, or you acquiesce when someone puts these substitution ideas before you, but either way, you find that you are tossed by the wind, waves, and storms. 

Any plan to rely on a golden calf that tries to be an image of the God who leads his people out of bondage is doomed. Any attempt to rest your heart in these things as a substitute for God will fail. You will be restless. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.

Singing Psalm 96 helps you resist the lure of conventional wisdom to be independent from God. You hold on inside with the tightest grip and rest your heart on the only solid rock of refuge that is being freely offered to you.

You can assess your list for where you tend to rest your heart and wean yourself off of whatever or whoever supersedes your love for God, one-by-one, so that he truly is your all in all. The Holy Spirit makes it so this is not hard work but your heart’s desire and delight.

“Sing to the LORD and bless His name…proclaim this good news constantly…so greatly should He be adored…for Gentile gods mere idols are. Not so the LORD! He heaven made…Ascribe unto the LORD His most glorious worth…” ~ Psalm 96:2-7

You will not regret hiding in Jesus when the changing and tormenting winds threaten to sweep you away into everlasting regret where you can rest your heart no more — where you would wish for death to free you from your torturing thoughts, but it cannot.

“And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.” ~ Revelation 9:6

Jesus set his face like flint toward Jerusalem to accomplish salvation for his people. When they are lukewarm, neither hot, nor cold, refusing to take a stand, it is distasteful to him.

He came to seek and save sinners. Sinners ought seek him right back, be saved, and praise him in return. Those who seek him with all their heart will find him.

Singing Psalm 96 you rest your heart on what cannot be moved

Singing Psalm 96 you sing an everlasting new song. Never outdated, you and all the earth are called to sing and rest your heart on a steady and firm foundation. 

You know for certain what does not change, does not fluctuate with moods, what is not movable, what is not wavering, what is not fickle, who is sure and faithful to all his promises, whose love is steadfast, and whose kindness is everlasting. 

You get to set your mind and rest your heart on following Jesus. You get to take every thought captive and make each one obey him.

You worship the one who cannot lie.

You worship the one who will not and cannot forget you.

You worship him freely and without reservation.

You worship him with joy and gladness.

You worship him in song with the angels, sea, and all the earth. Even the rocks and trees will sing his praises.

You hold on tightly inside to him who is permanent as he brings you through many changes. 

The Lord your God is all you need to be unmoved.

He is making you along with the rest of his people, his church, worthy to reign with him under his perfect rule for ever and ever.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-11

You rest your heart in him. As you entrust yourself to him, he is making you into one whom he can entrust the things he has prepared in advance for you to do. 

“ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” ~ Matthew 25:23

“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” ~ Luke 12:48

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” ~ 1 Peter 2:23

“ I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Timothy 1:12-17

“…But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:12

You are at peace, safe and secure in his arms. 

Wherever he carries you, you are at home with him.

“To the nations speak this word:‘The LORD reigns over all!’The world unmoved will be,It firm remains;He’ll nations rule And judge with equity.

“O let the skies be glad,And let the earth rejoice.Let seas and all that they contain Lift up their roaring voice.Let every beast exult,Let fields with gladness sing;The joyful singing of the make the forests ring.

“They’ll sing before the LORD,For he is drawing near To be the judge of all the earth;He surely will appear.Then he will rule the world In perfect righteousness,And govern all the nations in His truth and faithfulness.” ~ Psalm 96:10-14

December 17-23, 2022


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