My Faith Has Found A Resting Place

After a couple of crazy months, I finally have the time and motivation to post again! One of the things that kept me busy was planning and leading worship at my church a couple of weeks when our regular worship leader was out of town.

On the day we started a new series from the book of Jude on contending for the faith, I had the congregation say the Nicene creed (see this post) followed immediately by this hymn. At first glance that combination may seem odd, considering the first two lines of the hymn say “My faith has found a resting place, Not in device or creed.” But here’s what I told the congregation:

I grew up in a church that said the Nicene Creed probably every other week, and I think I saw it as a part of a ritual I was relying on to make me right with God. After I came to trust Christ to give me a right relationship with God through His death on the cross, I had a really negative opinion of religious ritual. But since then I’ve learned some things about the Nicene Creed that have made me appreciate it more. It is a statement of faith hammered out by the early church during a time of heresy, and now I see it as a way to publicly declare my faith in the one true God.

Even though this hymn was written many centuries later, and in a more emotional style, it too is a public declaration of faith in the one true God.

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

Refrain:
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Enough for me that Jesus saves,
This ends my fear and doubt;
A sinful soul I come to Him,
He’ll never cast me out.
(Refrain)

My heart is leaning on the Word,
The living Word of God,
Salvation by my Savior’s Name,
Salvation through His blood.
(Refrain)

My great Physician heals the sick,
The lost He came to save;
For me His precious blood He shed,
For me His life He gave.
(Refrain)

– Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920), under the pseudonym of Lidie H. Edmunds

Confessing vs. Professing Christ

I’ll be honest with you: I’m a people-pleaser. I find it very difficult to speak up if I know that it might make others unhappy with me.  But I’m also a teacher and coach, responsible to communicate truth to my students.  That’s probably why I find this quote so challenging:

If I profess with loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is merely flight and disgrace if he flinches at THAT point.

– Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

This makes me ask myself: Do I ever shy away from speaking or teaching the truth because I want to avoid interpersonal conflict? Do I ever keep silent because I place the opinions and feelings of others above God’s? Sadly, I must admit that at times I do. But I also know God’s antidote for my fear, and it’s found in His word:

Fear of man will prove to be a snare,
but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
– Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
– Psalm 56:4 (NIV)

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
– Matthew 10:28 (NIV)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
-Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)

Understanding and Belief

I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this also I believe, that unless I believe, I will not understand.

– Anselm of Canterbury (1033 – 1109)

Anselm was a medieval archbishop of Canterbury, and a brilliant scholar, philosopher and theologian. Among other things, he is famous for devising a logical proof for the existence of God called “the ontological argument.” Yet this highly intelligent man realized that spiritual truth cannot be grasped by reason alone. Only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to see and enable our hearts to understand the things of God. Anselm here reminds me to yield my intellect to God, for only then will I be able to use it to its fullest capacity, as He intended it to be used.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

– 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 (NIV)

Scroll to top