Posted by: rcottrill | April 20, 2012

Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting

Words: Jean Sophia Pigott (b. Sept. 8, 1845; d. Oct. 12, 1882)
Music: Tranquility, by James Mountain (b. July 16, 1844; d. June 27, 1933)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Jean Pigott was born in Ireland. In her short life (of 37 years) she created two of our most beautiful hymns. In this post, we’ll discuss Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting. But Miss Pigott wrote another wonderful hymn that, as far as I can tell, is all but unknown. Found in the Cyber Hymnal, it is Lord Jesus, Thou Dost Keep Thy Child. I urge you to check it out. Maybe you could teach it to you congregation. The hymn begins:

Lord Jesus, Thou dost keep Thy child
Through sunshine or through tempests wild;
Jesus, I trust in Thee:
Thine is such wondrous pow’r to save;
Thine is the mighty love that gave
Its all on Calvary.

The hymn we’ll look at in this post was a favourite of missionary Hudson Taylor, during the Boxer Rebellion in China. Word came to him of one after another of his missionaries being brutally slain. Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting, became a great comfort to him and the missionaries around him. They sang it often. Jean Pigott’s own brother Thomas, a missionary to China, was killed in the rebellion.

Some form of the word “rest” is found over 500 times in our English Bibles. Often, it means simply the remainder (as in “the rest of the grain offering,” Lev. 2:3). Sometimes it refers to the physical rest of sleep. But, as it is used in Hebrews, it has to do particularly with the rest of faith–that is, the rest of soul that trust in God brings.

When the nation of Israel disobeyed, refusing to believe that God could enable them to conquer the Promised Land, He said they would not be allowed to enter into the “rest” He had promised (Heb. 3:11, 18). Notice that both unbelief and disobedience led to this divine chastisement. The Israelites “did not obey” (vs. 18). And why? “Because of unbelief” (vs. 19).

A spiritual application of this “rest” is made in the verses that follow. “We who have believed do enter that rest” (Heb. 4:1-3). It is not the bounty of the land of Canaan the writer speaks of, but rather the abundant spiritual life of the believer (cf. Jn. 10:10). Our faith is compared, in Hebrews 4:10 to the rest of God, on the seventh day of the creation week. Just as God was fully satisfied with what had been done, so we must be fully satisfied (resting) in the work of God on our behalf.

Friend and Bible teacher J. P. Vold, now with the Lord, wrote:

“[To rest] is to stop one’s own work because of satisfaction with God’s work….It is that joyous acceptance of what God has done which causes us to stop trying to achieve by our own works [i.e. trying to earn acceptance with God by our own efforts].”

When it comes to the rest of the saints, in daily experience, several aspects or qualities can be discerned that I believe are reflected in Jean Pigott’s great hymn:

¤ trusting fully in the Lord
¤ experiencing peace and tranquility in Him
¤ enjoying contentment and satisfaction with Him

Consider the words of the hymn with these three aspects in mind.

CH-1) 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.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

CH-3) 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!

1) What are the opposites of the three qualities of spiritual rest described above?

2) What are the causes of these negative qualities of spiritual “unrest”? And what are the remedies?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


  1. Thanks so much for the comment on my blog. I’ve been so blessed by that hymn! I don’t think we’ll find out half the greatness of His Loving Heart this side of Heaven, but it is so wonderful to be able to gaze upon Him and let His beauty fill our soul! Truly He is the only One who totally satisfies!
    Thanks again and God Bless you!
    Esther H


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