The hardest part the Christian life is resting. You wouldn’t think so. We need rest. We desire rest. In weariness we cry out for rest. The Lord promised us rest.
Yet relaxing in a cushioned recliner or sleeping on a plush quilted mattress, we do not rest.
Rest is an inner work of God.
Jesus said to his disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31 NIV). He extends the same invitation to us. “Come to me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus took a boat to a deserted place by himself. “But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities” (Matthew 14:13) He wasn’t annoyed that the crowd spoiled his plans for solitude. “He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.”
When it was late in the day, the disciples suggested sending the people away to the surrounding villages so they could buy themselves something to eat.
Jesus decided to take care of that need. “How much food do we have?” They found a young boy with five loaves and two fish and using that meager lunch, Jesus fed 5000 men, besides the women and children, with twelve baskets full left over (see Matthew 14:21).
Whatever our need, our Lord is able to meet it. I’m thinking of his conversation with Moses. “Then the Lord said, I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you” (Exodus 34:10 NIV).
Surely we can rest, knowing we are merely a display, showing the people we live among how awesome is the work the Lord will do.Surely we can rest, knowing we are merely a display, showing the people we live among how awesome is the work the Lord will do. Click To Tweet
Knowing Jesus brings us to rest. He said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
We needn’t live in anxiety about the future. We can pray and trust, knowing whatever the Lord allows in our lives he will use for our good and his greater glory. Believing that allows us to rest, even in dark places where we struggle to see his face.
In those dark places, we choose to believe what we found easy to believe in the light—that the Lord is good, he makes no mistakes, and he has a purpose.
“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 NIV).
Confidence in our reliable Father is where we rest. He yearns for us to draw near to him, to depend on him as a little child holding the father’s hand.Confidence in our reliable Father is where we rest. He yearns for us to draw near to him, to depend on him as a little child holding the father’s hand. Click To Tweet
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” (Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV).
“…Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV).
“You whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth, Even to your old age and gray hairs. I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:3b-4) NIV.
Either God keeps his word or he doesn’t.
“Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses His servant” (1 Kings 8:56 KJV).
Do you need rest? Start by getting to know God better. Store his promises in your heart and claim them for your personal life. He has given his word to care for us.
“The Lord of hosts hath sworn saying, surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass. And as I have purposed, so shall it stand…For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” (Isaiah14:24, 27).
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep. For thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).
“The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusted in Him and I am helped. Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, and with my song will I praise Him” (Psalm 28:7).
Rest well, my friend.
Please tell me about a difficult moment when the Lord gave you rest. And I’d be grateful if you’d share this article with your friends.
© Dianne Barker 2021