“Victors in Jesus, more than conquerors, bold, virtuous, wise, patient” — all these are among qualities Christians are able to have in their lives. Would you agree that exercising those qualities would make a person appreciate all the more two other qualities — rest and peace in the Lord? For almost a century and a half people have enjoyed “The Haven Of Rest”, a lovely song about just that — rest and peace in the Lord. Please give it a sing-along listen, and come back for a chat on some Bible ideas carried in the lyrics.
“♫♪ My soul in sad exile was … ♫♪”
We start by singing the dreary words “my soul in sad exile” but can immediately begin cheering up with the amazing good-news word “was” — which grammatically is past tense. Before Jesus came into our lives, we would have sung the present tense “is“.
Ephesians Chapter Two does a magnificent job telling that “past-but-now” story. Here’s some of it, but please treat yourself to reading the rest of that chapter. (Then read the rest of Ephesians. Then go back and read ALL of Ephesians every day for a month. Really!)
[Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-7, 12-13a NASB]
(1)And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
(4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
(12) … remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
(13) But now in Christ Jesus ….”
I’m pausing here. A cliff hanger, I know. Please do go grab a Bible and read more!
God does not want His people missing out on how good they have it. So He gave us things to read — like Ephesians — to be in the know about His abundance toward us through Christ. (Songs like this one help point us in that direction, too.)
“♫♪ I’ve anchored my soul … ♫♪”
Our song has us singing that we anchor our souls in “The Haven of Rest” — and explains that this haven is the Lord. Hebrews chapter six gives us a wonderfully helpful way to think about “anchoring my soul”.
[Hebrews 6:19 AMP]
This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells]
When we embrace Ephesian’s description of our blessed, rich relationship with God through Christ Jesus and add the confidence we enjoy in the Lord’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises today and always, we find the tempests of life cannot take us out. We have the hope of things to come as an anchor of the soul. The Lord says — and has made it available — that we do not need to fear the present or the future.
“♫♪ In faith taking hold of the word … ♫♪”
Our song is a testimony, sung from the perspective of a person who knows he was lost, who heard the good news, who accepted Jesus as Lord and who is inviting the listener to do the same. It is easy to believe the song writer was familiar with Psalm 107.
[Psalm 107:28-31 AMP]
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distresses.
He hushed the storm to a gentle whisper,
So that the waves of the sea were still.
Then they were glad because of the calm,
And He guided them to their desired haven (harbor).
Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonderful acts to the children of men!
It is not hard to picture this song’s writer sitting quietly with a troubled seeker and telling how confessing Jesus as Lord and believing God raised Jesus from the dead could bring that seeker to the haven of rest.
God bless you lots!
LYRICS – The Haven of Rest
Text: H. L. (Henry Lake) Gilmour (1885)
Tune: George D. Moore
1 My soul in sad exile was out on life’s sea,
So burdened with sin and distressed,
Till I heard a sweet voice, saying, “Make Me your choice”;
And I entered the “Haven of Rest”!
I’ve anchored my soul in the “Haven of Rest,”
No longer adrift far from shore.
Though the tempest may sweep o’r the wild stormy deep,
In Jesus I’m safe evermore.
2 I yielded myself to His tender embrace,
In faith taking hold of the Word.
My fetters fell off, and I anchored my soul;
The “Haven of Rest” is my Lord.
3 The song of my soul, since the Lord made me whole,
Has been the old story so blessed
Of Jesus, who’ll save whosoever will have
A home in the “Haven of Rest.”
4 How precious the thought that we all may recline,
Like John, the beloved so blessed
On Jesus’ strong arm, where no tempest can harm,
Secure in the “Haven of Rest.”
5 O come to the Savior, He patiently waits
To save by His power and love.
Come, anchor your soul in the “Haven of Rest”
And be filled with His peace from above.
Let’s stay in touch
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