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  • Baptist Beacon

Recite or rest: the promises of God

by David Thompson

NASHVILLE, TN – A man took a shortcut home through a lightless cemetery tripping carelessly into a freshly dug grave. After multiple attempts he gave up clawing his way out, he sat down. Soon another unsuspecting gentleman also fell in and attempted to be free of the dirt sarcophagus. About that time he heard a voice from the other side. “You can’t get out.” Oh! But he did. Fear can be a persuasive motivator— it can sadly be a great immobilizer.

A winemaker in a pit crushing grapes named Gideon was absolutely the least likely candidate for God to use—and he let God know. “Oh Lord, I’m the least of my family,” he said. Gideon needed a lesson, not in humility, but a lesson in courage.

Gideon needed to do what, possibly you need to do, get out of your “de facto” P I T! What is a de facto pit? It's a grave with both ends knocked out.

Do not be afraid dear friend to rise up out of your de facto pit, and stand brave by faith in a risen Lord! When “fear” knocks—“faith” answers! These are not naïve cliches—this is hard core truth and dogmatic scriptural principles. 365 times we are told not to fear.

Legendary Coach Lou Holtz is fearless. He has been disavowed for speaking his heart. Just recently he proclaimed, “we have got to stop being silent and start standing up for the truth!”

I’ve often wondered why some get it and some don’t. It’s my belief that there is a clear difference between those who are “reciting” and those who are “resting”. Some are reciting the promises of God, and some are resting in the promises of God.

Once there was a contest to determine the master orator, where the best deliverer of words would stand alone as the grandest of all: a polished and sophisticated gentleman waxed eloquently quoting the 23rd Psalm from memory. With incredible diction he drove every syllable home to the anxious hearers. The crowd gave a standing ovation.

Next, a frail and weak old man who could have easily been a centenarian barely made it to the podium—he also quoted each and every word from the same famous psalm, ”The Lord is (MY) Shepherd.” But that man spoke with amazing passion and pathos, and incredible intimacy as if had lived every word of David’s hymn. As if he personally knew—that Shepherd. He ended. It was silent, not a clap or ovation. Instead, the entire audience sat in tears and wept in the presence of a fearless child of the King—one who could truly say and mean—“I will fear no evil“!

It is one thing to recite the promises of God, it is completely another to be resting in the promises of God. Resting in God’s promises does not mean you are idle, or silent, or passive necessarily.

Proverbs states—“The wicked flee when no one pursues but the righteous are bold as a lion”! Resting means leaving it at the feet of Jesus and at the foot of the cross, and trusting God completely with all your heart.

Let faith answer next time fear knocks. Dare to let God be God in your life and all you cling to—trusting only Jesus and no one else. He has never let you down and He never will. Fear Not—Have Faith—and REST!



Dr. David L. Thompson holds an undergraduate degree from Belmont University in Psychology and Religion, a graduate degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Education, and a doctorate in Counseling and Pastoral Psychology. He has served as a chairman of the Church Planting Group and Executive Committee Chair at the North American Mission Board for 10 years. He has been a Police Chaplain since 1991 and served as a Corporate Chaplain to the Coca Cola Bottling Company in Nashville, Tennessee where he resides with his wife. He has six children and five grandsons.


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