Tabletalk Subscription
You have {{ remainingArticles }} free {{ counterWords }} remaining.You've accessed all your free articles.
Unlock the Archives for Free

Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.

Try Tabletalk Now

Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?

Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.

{{ error }}Need help?

There is nothing more heart wrenching for me than to watch a sister in Christ wrestling with her identity. Her struggle is often masked by other maladies such as depression, anxiety, fear, and a general sense of lostness. The sheer exhaustion that comes with the fight for her spiritual life is genuine. Rest is all she wants, even though rest is what she already has in her union with Christ.

Many such women find themselves disoriented and feeling as though they have been running in circles on a wild scavenger hunt. They have often succumbed to the pressure of forgetfulness and become entangled in a web of deception spun by the enemy (Col. 2:4). Those intricately woven lies tell us we are not enough to our husbands, families, and friends, increasing the burdens of failing to keep up with our own standards and expectations, and causing us to hold on to the guilt of failures both real and imagined. Just as a spider’s web is difficult to remove from our persons, the enemy’s trap annoyingly clings to our hearts. It takes special care and tenacious discipline to discard it with the truth of Christ’s finished work. Our Savior knew of our heart struggle, which is why He said:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30).

One foot at a time, we must move forward in obedience, with hearts that mirror His and rest in Him. Our daily task of living for righteousness through resting will require us to do as Martin Lloyd-Jones once said: “Stop listening to ourselves and start speaking to ourselves.” We must speak truth to ourselves (John 17:17).

This Jesus, to whom we belong, will not waste anything in our lives.

That begins with speaking this first truth: I belong to God my Father and my faithful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Belonging is powerful in and of itself. But belonging to the Most High God, who is the one true living God and the Creator of all things, gives us peace and assurance that is not of this world. In fact, it is out of this world. Ephesians 1:3–14 speaks to the gifts received by those in Christ as “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and tells us our triune God—Father, Son, and Spirit—has worked together to secure our union with Him. This kinship (Rom. 8:15), which comes with such great benefits, leads us then to that famous heart song, “I am His, and He is mine!” Nothing can take that truth away. This is not a feeling that wanes or a fancy that fades over time. It is a surety that we can solidly rest upon. While we are resting on that truth, we lean in under the yoke of Christ and strive to live for Him with the grace He provides. As we speak the truth of who we are to ourselves, our hearts and lives are transformed. Our hearts become galleries that display living portraits of His gospel of grace “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14).

This may be why the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism embodies this all-important first truth:

What is thy only comfort in life and death? That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ who with his precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from the power of the devil and so preserves me that without the will of my Father, not a hair can fall from my head, yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me sincerely willing and ready henceforth to live unto him.

Did you hear the rewards of knowing you belong to our great triune God? Comfort, justification, deliverance from the evil one and his power, preservation in all things unto the glory of your eternal salvation, and even the disposition through the Holy Spirit to live for Him for now and evermore. These spiritual blessings form the foundation of our identity in Christ.

When our hearts deceive us and try to convince us that hanging onto guilt, which has already been placed on Christ, is even remotely acceptable, we must stand our ground. We must declare these truths to ourselves once again. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1–2). We are free indeed. With grateful, humble hearts, we are free to rest on the yoke of our Savior and all that it means to be His. Our freedom transforms our resting into life-giving service to Him in all our responsibilities: loving our husbands and children, sharpening iron with a friend, being a champion for our disabled child, crying with someone who’s hurting, caring for an aging parent, and yes, leaning harder on Christ when storms rage within our hearts. Rest is ours.

This Jesus, to whom we belong, will not waste anything in our lives as He transforms our hearts into lowly hearts like His, and He is just as faithful to provide all we need for that transformation. Rest in Him.

Confessions and the Mission of the Church

The Importance of Friendship

Keep Reading The Confessing Church

From the June 2021 Issue
Jun 2021 Issue