I’ve been in the “quest for rest” classroom a long while. You’re thinking I must not be learning the lesson very well. It’s an on-going curriculum, and I’m in the graduate program. In fact, I’m grasping the principles so well that God continually gives me opportunities to apply them.

When I entered the course, I’d begun praying, “Lord, teach me to rest,” knowing it could involve some “special projects” in which my hands were tied and I could do nothing but rest on the promises of God.

As those situations developed, God gave abundant promises concerning rest. The biggest issue for me was staying convinced God is good. I hadn’t expected that to be an issue because the Bible says God is good, and I believe God is good. Finding myself in circumstances that clearly did not seem good raised doubt.

I don’t remember actually questioning, but there must have been some doubt rumbling around in my thinking because God dealt with it. I felt drawn to a book that had been on my shelf for years, The God of All Comfort by Hannah Whitall Smith. I’d bought it after her book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life dramatically impacted my thinking.

Assuming the comfort book concerned grief, I’d laid it aside. When I opened it and began reading, the chapter “God is Good” settled forever a fact I didn’t realize I’d doubted. God is good. I don’t need to understand (or make sense of) events to know that.

God is good. I don’t need to understand (or make sense of) events to know that. Click To Tweet

God is good. That’s an unchangeable fact. Circumstances or opinion cannot alter fact. Settling that was paramount to my learning to rest.

The Lord began teaching me three truths that lead to rest:

  • God stirs the heart.
  • God acts at his appointed time.
  • God fights for me.

Once I cried out, “Oh, God, this is out of my hands!” He said, “And you’re crying because this is out of your feeble hands and into my almighty hands?”

That perspective transformed my life, freeing me to rest on God’s promises, knowing he was working in my circumstances. His part is to work. My part is to trust and praise.

Doubt asks, “How can God ever get glory from this?” Faith responds, “I can’t wait to see how God gets the glory!”

I don’t rest perfectly every moment, but I long to. Ultimately, I go to God with my unrest. He gently leads me through the maze of questions and brings me to my declaration of faith.

“I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).

And I rest. So that’s what I’m learning. At times the class has been intense. Wish you could see my homework papers (journal notes)! This I know:

  • God has a purpose for everything he allows to touch my life, and he will somehow use it for my good and his awesome reputation.
  • There is no comfort or rest to be found anywhere except in the Lord, not even in the sympathetic understanding of a friend. A friend may tell me, “God is going to work this out,” but I can’t be sure. When God tells me, I can bank on it.
God has a purpose for everything he allows to touch my life, and he will somehow use it for my good and his awesome reputation. Click To Tweet

I know he is a faithful God who does no wrong—even when nothing makes sense to me.

I hope this study on the quest for rest has been helpful. To learn more, begin reading the Bible through, starting in Genesis. Note every Scripture that fits each of these categories.

  • God stirs/turns/moves the heart.
  • God acts at his appointed time.
  • God fights for me.

Highlight the verses in your Bible and also record them in a notebook. After you finish the study, do a faith-check. Expect your confidence in God to explode!

Recently I read again the account of a challenge facing the nation Judah. When the army of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, threatened to capture Jerusalem, King Hezekiah called on God; “…the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew…” (see 2 Kings 19:35).

The God who created us loves us, and he fights for us. Fill your heart with his promises and rest on them.

“The Lord Almighty has sworn, ‘Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand…For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24 & 27).

Would you share a truth that touched your life through this study? And please pass this article on to your friend list!

Scriptures from NIV.

© Dianne Barker 2019

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