Monday, September 30, 2013

the benefits of rest



Would you say that you stay pretty busy?  Are you tired much of the time?  Let’s keep going.  Do you worry or deal with stress?  Be honest.  Do stress, fear or worry seem to hang on?

If any of that is true of you, I believe God may have a word for you as he does for me today.  The idea I speak of is rest.  I believe from the core of my being God desires for us to lean on Him all the time.  Do you agree?  I further believe that leaning on and trusting in God will deal in big ways with the worry, the stress and the tiredness of our lives. 

God is the example we are to follow:

So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

God rested, and that reminds us that we need to rest.  The idea of Sabbath began right after God created the universe.  I challenge you to notice no matter where you are today that God is calling for your attention.  Maybe His voice is loud.  Maybe it is low.  But He is calling, and He is saying…  The most important thing is Jesus.  When we find Him, know Him, seek Him and believe Him, we will find awesome rest.  We will find comfort.  We will find boldness.  Listen…

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Leaning on ourselves or not trusting God leads us to have serious issues and being weak.  Thus, trusting God will give us strength.  We have confidence to be who He made us to be and to do what He made us to do.  That grace talked about, I believe, is what comes from the time we spend resting and with God.  Understand that the principal of rest is not about taking a nap or getting sleep.  I believe that you can find rest in your work.  I believe you can be busy and be rested.  That comes as we let God work through us.  Rest is important because God said so.  He made us to need rest.

I said, "Oh, that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.

That is the cry and desire of many people who come to the end of themselves or the proverbial end of the rope or the bottom of the barrel.  We begin to cry out asking God to take us away or out of where we are to somewhere else.  Yet it is in our situations, in the pain, in the stress where God can and will work in our lives and give us rest.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

I don’t have much patience.  That is something that doesn’t come easy.  But I do, as many people do, look around and see lots of people getting ahead or even getting rich who have no connection to God.  We are so worried about the people who are successful and that we are not, but we miss what God is saying.  If we wait … when we are patient, God will show up and bless our lives.

In the middle of it all we find pain and strain.  We are struggling with depression or burdens that we cannot deal with.  But God can.  He can deal with the biggest issues, and God offers us rest.  We can exchange the struggle for rest as we trust God.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

I close today’s devotion by sharing with you the benefits of sleep and rest  (these come from an article found at HEALTH.com.  If we will rest more, these things will be results and benefits for us: improved memory, longer life, better health, more creativity, improved ability, makes you sharper, less stress, fewer accidents, less depression, and closer to God.  Ok.  The last one I added, but I have found it true through my experience and through what I have rest in Scripture. 

May we trust God, find rest in God and allow our lives to point others to Him!

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.  For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

The outcome will be worship!  We will worship God.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

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