“Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you” (Psalm 116:7).
In this life, it’s easy to become unsettled. Bad things happen. Dangers may assail us. Death itself is ever lurking. In the middle of distress, it can be hard to trust God. Where is He while all this is happening? Why is He letting all of these hard things happen to us, His faithful people? Psalm 116 indirectly asks this question, providing a beautiful outlook on how God is acting even in the midst of grief.
The opening of the psalm establishes God’s goodness. The psalmist wants to ensure his readers are never in doubt as to that. “I love the LORD,” he proclaims, “because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (vv. 1-2). The psalmist relates how he was ensnared by death, certain he would soon see the end of his life. Instead of giving into despair, however, he called upon God. He cried to Him for help; and as he did, he experienced the grace and mercy of God. He was delivered from this certain death. God was good to him, saving him from this hardship.
Even before God delivered him, though, the psalmist was still resting in his confidence of God’s goodness. He writes, “I believed, even when I spoke, ‘I am greatly afflicted’; I said in my alarm, ‘All mankind are liars’” (vv. 10-11). Despite everything going on around him, he continues to believe in God’s promises. Nothing can shake him from resting in his LORD. Not even death itself can snatch him from God, for as the psalm goes on to state, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (v. 15).
God is in control, no matter what. He sees when His people are in trouble, and He is able to deliver them from it. Even death itself cowers at the presence of the God Who died and rose to life again. He is able to rescue us from every danger, in one way or another. And so we can continue to rest in Him. He has dealt bountifully with us; in Him is all the rest for our souls. Rest in God, for He is good.