Resting in God (May 13th)

by Elyse Fitzpatrick
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart. … The LORD has taken away the judgments against you.
Zephaniah 3:14–15

The more you trust the gospel, the more rest there will be in your soul. Oh my, we live such frenetic lives, trying and trying and trying to prove things to ourselves (and others): I’m not like my mom; I’m not like my parents; I’m better than you; I’ve got my act together; I’m winning the world for Christ. This whole frenetic, stressed out, grumpy approach to life has got to go. We just need some rest.
I love this passage from Zephaniah 3. “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel!” You know why we don’t shout and sing? We don’t rejoice because we’re usually working so hard and becoming so terribly miserable. But listen to these words:
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zeph. 3:15–17)
This passage doesn’t say He will mourn over you with disappointment because you’re such losers. Listen, God is not disappointed in you. And I can say that, because disappointment is always a by-product of unmet expectations. God has no unmet expectations when it comes to you. All His expectations for righteousness have been completely fulfilled and all His expectations for your debt—they’ve been fulfilled too. He’s not disappointed. He says, “I will quiet you by My love; I will exult over you with loud singing.”
I’m very sure taking on more guilt about what you’re failing to do won’t result in more obedience. That hasn’t worked very well so far, has it? So have a nice afternoon. Have a nice life. Better yet, have a nice eternity. You can relax now and stop pretending. You can rest because the work of salvation is accomplished by Christ and God delights in you!

Thought to Remember for Today

The Lord has taken away the judgments against you! He is rejoicing over you with gladness. The Lord has promised to bless and keep you. His face is smiling on you now, and He will be gracious to you today and forever! He sees you, He’s watching over you, and He’s rejoicing.

Fitzpatrick, E. (2016). Grace untamed: a 60-day devotional. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.