For many of us, there is no such thing as a slow time of the year, and the holiday season is no exception to that. Everything that we are involved in seems to move at a rapid pace. There are timelines and deadlines, ever-present breaking news events, instant communication through emails and social media, and ever-increasing expectations to do more with less, even when we aren’t at work.
As busy as we can be, our moments of leisure, such as a vacation, or even a day off from work, are very precious to us. These are the times when we can rest our bodies, take a deep breath, and enjoy the change of scenery or surroundings, or even get a nap or two in when we need it most. If only those moments wouldn’t go by so quickly!
Our time of rest is indeed precious to us. God knows that this time is special. While it is good for all of us to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and remain busy in service for Him, it is still a necessity that we make time for some down time. In our time of rest, we are to use it to our benefit. We need to regularly refresh and recharge our batteries, for it helps each of us to see life in a way where we can appreciate what we have instead of what we don’t have. It is a time to focus on the peace of the moment and on where God is in your life.
The best opportunities of reflecting upon God come when we are less busy—it’s very difficult to do when we are very busy. While we are to never put Him to the side while we are at work, we are best able to learn about Him during our moments of rest. What you will find is that the moments of rest are His preferred time for each of us to rest in Him and in His Word. The more that we see His best during our rest, the more we will see His presence at all times during our life.
God uses the time we spend in Him to communicate with us, and to give us a reassurance of His presence. He gives us what we need, and when we need it most.
Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands.
I have not turned from Your judgments,
for You Yourself have instructed me.
103 How sweet Your word is to my taste—
[sweeter] than honey to my mouth.
104 I gain understanding from Your precepts;
therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.
In the same way that we need rest after a very long and busy day, we need God’s promises to bolster us and gives us encouragement through these moments, and even through those times when things are not going very well. If we are being oppressed, falsely accused, or even persecuted, we are not going through those experiences alone. God is aware of everything that we go through, sees it all, and provides encouragement that helps us to endure it.
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. The LORD is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He will support you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
13 I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
be courageous and let your heart be strong.
Wait for the LORD.
When we slow down from a busy life pace, we can best hear God speaking to us. Our time of rest should also be a time of recovery, and a time of healing.
28 “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Jesus Christ encourages the state of being at rest, because, in His wisdom, He relates to us that He is the true source of our rest. We readily need rest from our hectic life, our troubles, and our difficulties, and He encourages us to seek Him for that rest. One area of that rest in Christ is communication with Him through prayer:
6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
28 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and He brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a murmur,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet.
Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for —believe that you have received them, and you will have them.
13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
In addition to prayer, your rest in the Lord is fulfilled when you have faith that God is responsive to your prayers and that you exercise complete trust…your trust and faith in the Lord is when you realize the true rest that Christ provides. It is rest with confidence in Christ’s ability.
1 John 5:14-15
14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.
Another aspect of rest in the Lord is that He communicates with us in response to our prayers and provides insight to His will with guidance and direction.
I will instruct you and show you the way to go;
with My eye on you, I will give counsel.
1 My son, don’t forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commands;
2 for they will bring you
many days, a full life, and well-being.
3 Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
Tie them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will find favor and high regard
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.
Resting in the Lord is more than just a state of mind and mere relaxation. It is actually our best opportunity to slow our life pace down to recognize His true goodness. He gives us much more than just rest. He gives us a time of reflection through His word. We are assured of:
- His very presence
- His encouragement through His Word
- His communication with us through prayer
With these things, we have a confidence that He responds to us and that He will guide us through each and every situation and circumstance. Our true rest in the Lord is our complete faith and trust in Him.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines. All rights reserved.