Standing Vs. Resting by Gary Ellis

The gospel song, “Standing On The Promises” was a favorite as I grew up.  Knowing and embracing the promises that God has made us is a great stabilizer in the days we are living in. 

“When all other ground is sinking sand, on Christ the solid rock I stand.”

Hannah Whitall Smith, a Quaker lay speaker and author of the last century,  made another discovery.  She put it this way in her writings:

“Once I knew what it was to rest upon the rock of God’s promises, and it was indeed a precious resting place, but now I rest in His grace. He is teaching me that the bosom of His love is a far sweeter resting-place than even the rock of His promises.”


Now I rest in His grace…

It’s not that we no longer consider His promises.  Those are always precious and always ours.  However, “standing” can be a very laborious activity that can easily slip into a kind of “works.”  Standing subtly slides into focusing on what I’m doing.  Instead, resting focuses on what He’s done for us. 

Grace is so much more than the concept of getting something we didn’t deserve.  Of course it can be described as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.  But, that’s a single facet on a multi-faceted diamond.

Grace in it’s purest Hebraic understanding is the image of a family encampment at an oasis in the desert.  It’s idea includes that of beauty.  It’s a resting place safe from the wiles of the desert.  It’s a place of food, family, fellowship, peace, joy, love.  It’s the resting place of home after a hard days labor.

Grace is a name for God’s home.   His dwelling place.  His land of plenty.  It’s the original Graceland.  Grace is a location and quality of dwelling.  It’s not simply a doctrinal description.

Therefore, resting in His Grace Place is superior to struggling to stand on our intellectual understandings of promises.

Knowing the promises of God helps get us to the rest found in Graceland.  The promises of God are important to discover and embrace.  But they are signposts to the place of Grace where resting begins.




  • This is sooo good. Timely and Timeless. Thanks!