Rest in Prospect
by James Smith, 1861
Time is thickly sown with the seeds of trouble, and the soil appears most prolific. Every day, almost, brings something new to try us, and our trials are not often single, they come in troops. When we are most prosperous — we are often nearest some great trial.
Poor Job found it so. His troubles came unexpectedly, nevertheless he received them as from God, and blessed the Lord's name. But he was flesh as well as spirit, and when in addition to poverty and reproach, he was filled with pain — his heart failed him, and he cursed his day of his birth. He gave up all hope of comfort in this life, and looked forward to the grave, not only with hope — but with a longing desire. How pathetic, how touching are his words, as he looked to the tomb, or the place of graves. "There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary are at rest." Job 3:17.
The Lord's People Are Often a Weary People.They weary — for they have but little strength, either physical, mental, or spiritual — they have a rough up-hill road to travel — and they have a heavy burden to carry.
They are weary of SIN, which is a constant plague and cause of discomfort.
They are weary of SELF, from which they cannot by any means be freed in the present world.
They are weary of the WORLD, to which they are crucified.
They are weary of SATAN, who is incessantly trying to disgrace, distress, and perplex them.
They are weary of the vain PROFESSORS of religion; whose inconsistencies grieve and wound them.
They are weary of OLD MAN, the body of death, the law in the members, which they have constantly to carry about with them, and which often presses them down to the earth.
Weary! O how weary is the believer often — in body and in mind — of almost everything within, and everything without! How is he ready to wish for the wings of a dove, that he may flee away and be at rest; or for his Lord's messenger of death to come, and set him eternally free. Weary one, look up — there is a hope laid up for you in Heaven; and look forward — there is a good, a glorious time coming!
There is a place and time — when the Lord's wearied ones will be at rest.The poor body — wearied and worn out with pain and labor, will find rest in the silent tomb. The soul — wearied with conflicts and disappointments, will find rest in the presence of Christ, with the spirits of God's elect. The body and soul at the resurrection, will find rest in eternal blessedness. The whole church, comprising all God's wearied ones, will find perfect rest in ultimate glory, when the Son shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and God shall be all in all.
Rest! Sweet word. Rest! Delightful prospect!
We shall rest from the voice of an accusing conscience, which often causes pain.
We shall rest from all our doubts and fears, which often becloud the mind.
We shall rest from all the temptations, used by Satan to lead us astray — or arising from our inbred lusts, turning us aside from the right way — or employed by the world to allure or alarm, in order to divert us from the right path.
We shall rest from persecution, arising from the malice and hatred of men.
We shall rest from all our toils and labors.
We shall rest from the evil designs of professors of religion.
We shall rest from all our pains and sufferings.
We shall rest in full and holy satisfaction, possessing all we can wish for in the presence of Jesus, the highest object of our desire.
We shall rest in the most delightful employment, for the honor and glory of God.
We shall rest in the sweetest composure of spirit, forever freed from all fear of a change.
We shall rest in the full enjoyment of perfect and perpetual fellowship with God.
We shall rest in the most complete state of perfection, to which such beings can be raised.
Reader, are you one of God's weary ones? Are you weary of earth, of yourself, and especially of sin? Are you looking forward to the rest of the grave, for the poor body; and to the rest of Heavenly paradise, for the emancipated soul? Are you in the midst of your exhausting troubles and trials, taking encouragement from the prospect of the rest that remains for the people of God? If so, cheer up, "There is rest, there is rest!" And you will soon reach it, and that rest shall be glorious.
Weary sinner, there is rest for you in Jesus — but no where else. Unless you find rest in Jesus now, you will find no rest at the end of life — but yours will be a restless spirit to all eternity. There is no peace, no rest, says my God, to the wicked!
When I can read my title clear
To mansions in the skies,
I bid farewell to every fear,
And wipe my weeping eyes!
Should earth against my soul engage,
And Hellish darts be hurled,
Then I can smile at Satan's rage,
And face a frowning world.
Let cares like a wild deluge come,
And storms of sorrow fall,
May I but safely reach my home,
My God, my Heaven, my all.
There shall I bathe my weary soul
In seas of Heavenly rest,
And not a wave of trouble roll
Across my peaceful breast!