The ability to rest—to be relaxed, confident, and assured—in the midst of our many responsibilities and activities is a key aspect in the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give. Spiritually, we already have God’s rest through the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can rest because the work is done. God’s rest comes into fruition in our lives as we walk upon His Word and claim His promises.
We will look at three principles from God’s Word that we can apply in our daily lives to enjoy the depth of that rest which is spiritually ours: trusting God and His Word, fellowshipping with like-minded believers in the household of God, and doing things decently and in order. These great keys help us to live restfully so that we can go about our daily activities with confidence and composure.
Our first key, the great key to restful living, is to trust God and His Word. As we put our trust in God and walk out on His Word with believing, we lead lives that are conditioned by God’s Word rather than by circumstances.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
Trusting in the Lord, delighting ourselves in Him, and committing our ways unto Him allow us to rest in the Lord. Our thoughts are therefore conditioned by God’s Word, and we dwell in safety and serenity, knowing that God cares for us, protects us, and supplies all our need. “Fret not” in verse 7 could be rendered, “heat not thyself with vexation,” according to The Companion Bible. As we trust in God, we don’t get heated up with worry or irritation when individuals or circumstances come our way to shake us up. They can’t shake our peace because it is built on the firm foundation of trusting God and His Word.
Worry and fear hinder our ability to trust God and His Word, and thus our ability to rest. In the Book of Job, we see that fear had impaired Job’s ability to be at rest.
Job 3:25 and 26:
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
Job didn’t just have a fleeting thought of fear; he “greatly feared.” Job was looking back and realized what his mistake was. Harboring that fear and allowing it to grow brought him to the point that he had no rest or quiet, and trouble came. We all can be tempted with thoughts of doubt, worry, and fear from time to time, but we don’t let them take root. Instead, we remember that God has given us everything we need in His Word to overcome worry and fear and to maintain our rest and quiet.
In the Gospel of John we see Jesus telling his disciples not to be troubled or afraid.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Jesus Christ said to his disciples, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.” As it was nearing the time of his crucifixion, Jesus was looking after the hearts of his disciples. Despite his impending death and the events surrounding it, they were not to become agitated. Through the Word of God that Jesus spoke to them and the assurance of what he would do for them in the future, they could enjoy peace. This peace Jesus Christ left was not the peace the world has to offer, which is dependent upon circumstances. The peace Jesus Christ gave is founded on God’s Word and enables us to not be troubled or afraid, no matter what the circumstances.
When we live in the knowledge of what Christ has accomplished for us, we have no room for anxious thoughts.
Philippians 4:6 and 7:
Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I Peter 5:7:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
When circumstances arise in our lives that tempt us to be anxious, we cast our cares upon God because we know from His Word that He cares for us. As His children, we confidently bring our requests to God in prayer, knowing that the peace of God shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We are thankful, knowing that God will take care of us and help us to see the right direction in which to move. This is the rest and assurance we live in day by day as we trust God and His Word….
This is an excerpt from the July/August 2005 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2005 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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