Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 9:03 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Believe Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read select vv. (in the ESV) on the subject of “rest.”
Our Rest (Mk. 14:40-42)
And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Rest can be good, and it can be bad. In today’s culture here in America it is believed and propagandized that we need rest, relaxation and recreation whenever our work day has ended. Probably the average American puts in a 40-hour work week, some less and some more. Some people are workaholics and would do well to take time to relax and rest some, while others do as little work as possible and think they are entitled to live in leisure the rest of their lives. A parent of small children usually doesn’t get much rest, unless her/his children are asleep, and even then they are probably doing laundry or dishes, etc. Yet, too many people in our culture are obsessed with relaxation and recreation, and they have this sense that they must continuously be entertained or be entertaining to others.
It is reasonable that we should be able to sleep when we get tired, but we can’t always do that. Sometimes our jobs demand much of us, or our families, or the Lord has work for us to do that might involve losing some sleep here and there. If the Lord has work for us to do, even if it is in the middle of the night, we should do what he has called us to do, even if it means losing a little bit of sleep now and then, for the Lord can sustain us, and he can give us the strength to endure and to persevere even when we are tired. I have seen him do this in my life over and over again. So, sleep, rest, relaxation and recreation should not be our central focus, or our entitlement, but we should submit to our Lord in all that we do, trust him, rest in him, do what he says, and believe him to give us all we need.
No Rest (2 Co. 7:5-6)
For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us…
Sometimes, when serving the Lord, there may be times when we are going through much hardship, persecution, opposition, and affliction, and we won’t get the sleep our bodies require, or that we think we need to keep going. But God knows all that. And, he is quite capable of seeing us through it all. He is still absolutely sovereign (in control) over all things, and he allow what he allows in our lives for his purposes and for his glory in our lives. And, sometimes we may get physical rest, but our minds and hearts will be troubled by what we are having to endure, and they will need rest, as well. So, the Lord comforts us with his love and grace, and with his compassion and mercy, and he encourages our hearts, and he strengthens us with his mighty power. I often pray for him to help me, especially when my body is tired or when my emotions are weak, and he never fails me. Not once!
His Rest (2 Co. 12:8-10; Matt. 11:28-29)
Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Sometimes the enemy’s opposition against us is so strong that we plead with the Lord to remove it from us. Yet, sometimes we need this opposition to make us stronger and more determined to follow our Lord in obedience, and to keep us humble so that we don’t take credit for what God is doing in and through us, as though we somehow did it ourselves. Also, when we go through difficulties, persecutions, and rejections, and we face much opposition, because we are serving the Lord, and doing what he says, it teaches us not to rely on ourselves, but on God. God’s grace is totally sufficient to see us through any and every situation we may encounter. We just have to learn to trust him in it all, and rest in HIM, and in his strength and power, and not in our own resources or strength. And, then we are strengthened in spirit, heart, mind, emotion and in body, too.
God’s rest is not like our rest. God’s rest is inner peace, strength, comfort, joy, and fulfillment even in hard times, difficulties, times of sorrow and pain, and even in sleepless nights, and labor for the Lord and for his gospel, etc. So, in all things, we need to trust him, rest in him, obey him, walk in his love, and let him meet all our needs and comfort us with his love and grace.
Believe Him / An Original Work / July 15, 2013
My heart cries: Lord, won’t You hear me
Seeking You for the answers
To my heartache and questions
I have concerning my life?
Speak, Lord, to me right now.
“Oh, dear one, why don’t you trust Me
With your life’s circumstances?
Give your all on the altar
In submission of your will
To My purpose for you.
“Surrender your life completely
To your Lord and your Savior.
He has all things planned for you
For His glory and honor.
He’ll work all things for good.
“Believe Him. He will fulfill all
Of His promises to you
For your life and your future.
Trust Him. Rest in His love.
He’ll give you peace from above.”