Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting

This hymn has become a great delight for me as I have meditated upon it. I count it among my favorites. Though you may know it well, I encourage you to read it again–only think this time. Concentrate on the rich text that urges you to gaze on Christ, to find delight in Him, to rest in Him, to be satisfied in Him alone. I publish it here (along with a few of my reflections) to point your thoughts Christ-ward.

Interestingly, this hymn recaptured my attention due to a new setting that is sung by the Pettit Evangelistic Team on this recording. You can hear a sample of it here. It’s become a favorite of mine among my recorded music. I prefer the older tune, especially for corporate worship (and we’ve been singing often lately), but the new one is beautiful as well and (more importantly) has caused me to reconsider a text which I had taken for granted. I’m grateful.

Here’s the text (along with a few of my reflections). I hope it will point your thoughts Christ-ward.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

A few reflections:

  • The first verse captures the heartbeat of II Corinthians 3:18 as well as any hymn I know: gazing on Christ brings transformation to His likeness, thus making us “whole”–essentially a reversal of the fall! What a beautiful, life-changing truth!
  • The second rejoices in God’s vast, unsearchable perfections, especially those which are displayed in His kindness to undeserving sinners like us.
  • The third is another gorgeous description of (a) gazing on Christ and (b) finding sweet satisfaction in Him alone. Beautiful. Would that the lost would comprehend–would that we would comprehend–the fact that Christ alone can “satisfy our deepest longings” and “supply our heart’s every need.” Again, this is life-changing truth. Think on it.
  • The fourth verse magnifies Christ’s deity: He is the “brightness of my Father’s glory.” It concludes with a request that our enjoyment, dependence and satisfaction in God alone would yet increase.

I trust that my comments haven’t detracted from a hymn which really needs no explanation. However, it’s a joy to describe why it’s a blessing to me rather than just saying “it is.” I urge you to “think on these things,” friends, and have a wonderful time gazing on Christ with your local church tomorrow!

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19 Responses

  1. FWIW, this post is a lot more edifying than the one getting the last several comments! :)

  2. Thanks for posting this! I love this hymn, both for its own sake and because it recalls to my mind a story from the life of Hudson Taylor. At one point during the early years of the China Inland Mission, a young missionary came to Mr. Taylor with frantic news of riots around several mission stations. The missionary was quite indignant when Mr. Taylor not only remained calm, but began to whistle this very hymn, “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art.” Taylor’s calm reply to the indignant missionary was said to be long remembered–he pointed out to the young man that his being anxious and troubled would not help those in danger, and could well incapacitate and hinder him from seeking God’s direction in the crisis. The Lord has often brought this story to my mind when, in the midst of a trial, I have been sorely tempted to “stew” rather than look to Him for guidance and deliverance.

  3. Lyn,

    I was recently told by someone else that this was a favorite hymn of Hudson Taylor’s.

    It is rich, and I regret “missing it” for many years. Makes me wonder how many other hymns and even Scriptures I’ve just mindlessly browsed.

  4. Hi Chris!

    You won’t know me. My name’s George Parsons I’m a worship co-ordinator from Sheffield UK. I came across your blog whilst searching the web for a new tune that I’ve heard for ‘Jesus, I am resting’. I was excited to see that you mention both the hymn (it’s one of my favourites) and the new tune. I tried your link to the CD you mention, but alas it doesn’t work – can you look into it?
    Maybe you could help me – I’m trying to track down the new tune; maybe you could let me know who wrote it if you know?

    Thanks!

  5. Hi, George.

    Isn’t the internet amazing? :)

    The link should be fixed, but it won’t offer much help. I have the CD, but not here at my office. I’ll try to get the info for the song from the cover later, if you want to check back. If anyone else has the CD handy and can supply the info, I’d appreciate it. If all else fails, you can contact spea.org at a “contact us” link and I’m sure they could tell you.

    Now, I did find the same tune (kind of) in a songbook by Lifeway. The book is here, and the sample is here.

    I’m hoping it’s offered elsewhere as an octavo. I’ll see what I can find out.

  6. Thanks, Chris. the link works great – I like it. It is a good couple of years since I first heard the new tune, and I found on listening again that I had misremembered it – but that’s OK. I’ll see about ordering the book.

    You’re right – the Internet is great! Thanks for your help.

    God bless!

  7. Glad to help, George.

    The Pettit CD cover says the music was written by David Hampton. (c) 1998 New Spring Publishing, Inc., ASCAP (A division of Brentwood Benson Music Publishing Inc.)

    I believe you can find the arrangement in SATB here.

  8. Can you tell me where I can find the sheet music to this touching song?

    Thanks!
    Debbie Ton

  9. I believe you can find the arrangement in SATB here.

  10. Thanks for posting this. I am trying to memorize it. Sometime I catch myself saying, “Jesus, I am restless, restless” instead of “Jesus, I am resting, resting” May He open our eyes to rest in Him.

    Quick note from Oswald Chambers:

    “Paul’s secret joy was that God took him, a – ed rebel against Jesus Christ, and made him a captive, and now that is all he is here for. Paul’s joy was to be a captive of the Lord, he had no other interest in heaven or on earth. … The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him. ‘For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.'” (October 24)

  11. Glad it encouraged you, Steve. We’ve been singing this often in the church I pastor—the old, more familiar arrangement of the tune. It’s become a favorite of our entire body.

    What a great text.

  12. We sang this (with the new tune) in church today. The words, combined with the music, brought tears to my eyes. When I got home, I, like George, googled to try and find the tune again and came across your blog (although I was already familiar with it from SharperIron).

    Thanks so much for posting this; it was a blessing and re-encouragement to my soul!

  13. Thank you…I know I’m late on this post but I just found this posting and I’m teaching this hymn to my children next week in our homeschool. I was looking for info to share and became encouraged myself!

  14. the new tune was written by david hampton. you can find it on the Christ Community Church re: awakening albums which i believe you can purchase on the church’s website.

    if you have any questions let me know

  15. [...] My Two Cents: “Concentrate on the rich text that urges you to gaze on Christ, to find delight in Him, to rest in Him, to be satisfied in Him alone.” [...]

  16. Thanks for your devotional thoughts on Jean Pigott’s beautiful hymn. Clearly, from comments posted, others have appreciated them too.

    Just an added idea: The key to resting is trust, and the key to trust is knowledge. The old illustration of sitting on a chair is helpful to me. We see the chair, and have learned certain things about its construction and, having come to trust it’s ability to support us, we sit down and “rest.”

    In Jean Pigott’s hymn, this is captured with her description of resting in “what Thou art.” The more we learn about the Lord, through His Word–His nature, and character, and His promises–the more we are ready to trust ourselves to Him and rest in Him.

    God bless.

  17. Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words on my music to the standard hymn text. You can obtain sheet music with piano accompaniment at communityworship.com. Also, greatworshipsongs.com has it available I believe. I believe there are octavo arrangements as well if you contact Brentwood/Benson music in Nashville, TN. Not to try to use your blog to “plug” the song but since there were some inquiries I thought I’d let you know.

    I appreciate the encouraging words.

    David

  18. I love Shelly Moore’s recording of this hymn:

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