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Don't Forget the Rest! - Shepherd of Hope

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” – Proverbs 21:5

America is working! President Trump has delivered on his promises of prosperity. Some initially guffawed at such promises mocking that even if he used a magic wand, the economy wouldn’t improve. But facts are facts. Deregulation, stronger, better, wiser and more patriotic labor and business negotiations with foreign powers are bringing jobs back to America. We are no longer settling for deficit deals with other nations. Wages are on the rise. [1] All of this is making for an energetic economic environment where the work force is gobbling up jobs. But is something missing? Are we forgetting something? Something vitally important?

We’re working like we haven’t worked in years, decades, even a half century. The unemployment rate is at 3.6%, the lowest it’s been since 1969.[2] The economy is hot and heating up even more. Economists say we need not fear recession. [3]We are experiencing an economic boom. Everything is economically rosy. We are the economic envy of the world! [4] But hold your horses. Are we leaving something out that is vital to sustaining such bounty? Are we moving forward at such a frenetic pace that we risk running out of gas? Are we keeping our tanks properly fueled?

Look on the Internet and social media platforms and just about anywhere else and it’s easy to find some incredible figures about our workforce. The unemployment rate for women is the lowest since 1953. The unemployment rate for minority groups are either at or near all time lows. [5] We have a job surplus; that means we have more jobs than people working. [6] If you want to work, there’s a job out there for you. Men and women, old and young, people of all kinds are at work and that’s a good thing.

The Biblical standard is that work is good. Work is a meaningful and prosperity producing part of life. “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men” (Proverbs 22:29). Our effort and diligence in working is frequently God’s means of blessing us. It’s good for us to work (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15). Work is good. When we put in a hard day’s work, we feel good, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Work not only provides a means for us to gain income that we can use to purchase things, it makes us feel good about ourselves. Work gives us a sense of meaning, purpose, accomplishment. Work is indeed, good. God has incorporated work in His economy.

But even something as good as work, can become bad. There doesn’t seem to be time for us to rest. That’s not good. We need rest. I’m not talking about sloth or laziness. “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (Proverbs 18:9). Idle hands are the devil’s work shop. It’s not good for anyone to “eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27; Ecclesiastes 10:18). “The way of a lazy man is like a hedge of thorns” (Proverbs 15:19). Laziness leads to loss. The Bible says, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4).

We need to find a balance. The Bible also says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5). The word “diligent” (Hebrews harus) is a very descriptive word. It paints a picture of hard work. It refers to the effort illustrated by a trench dug, gold that is mined, or a threshing sledge. It’s a word that speaks of eagerness, determined effort. It’s a word that speaks of a decision to make a diligent effort. This is a good thing.

The word “hasty” (Hebrew us) on the other hand, means to be close, hurry, to move with hast. The idea communicated is to act hurriedly without thinking. This is not a good thing. Earlier in Proverbs it states, “And it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet” (Proverbs 19:2). Hast makes waste. Here is the potential for all our good work to go bad. I believe with all of our work that we may be acting in hast. I believe there’s something we may be leaving out. There’s a “knowledge” (Hebrew da’at) an awareness, a skill, a discernment, an understanding, a wisdom, that we may be in danger of leaving out.

Today in this booming blessed economy there are opportunities to advance and work your way up. There are opportunities to improve your financial status. People are giddy with the economy. (And that’s true even in the face of the negative Nellie political and media propagandists who either ignore the encouraging economic facts, downplay them, or try to attribute them to an administration other than the one in place right now.) This economic boom is undeniable.

But I fear we are leaving something out. I fear we are setting ourselves up for exhaustion. We just may be acting imprudently. I’m concerned we are like the person driving the thruway with a gas gauge on empty. They notice the gauge; they see the rest stop and gas station where they could get a fill up. But they press on hastily, ignoring the gauge, passing the station, and doomed to run out of gas and come up short of their destination. In hast we are forgetting to refuel.

Maybe the economic Trumpian boom has not reached you yet. Do you feel like a loser in the race of life? Do you feel bitten in the dog-eat-dog rat race of the world? Do you feel left out? Are you a worldly war casualty? Are you striving for more, but more always seems just beyond your grasp? Do you feel beaten down by the circumstances of life? Do you feel like the weight of the world is bowing out your legs to the breaking point? Are there storms of life that have you shaken and rattled? Do you fear the storm? There’s a danger not only for those hard at work. There’s a danger for those in between jobs. There’s a danger for those running low on hope. There’s a danger for those in despair. There’s something you need just like those who are at work. What is it you need? What do we all need no matter our economic or work status in life?

What we need, what we have been created by God to need, is rest. When God created this world, He punctuated the completion of His creative work with a day of rest. “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2). God, unlike us, didn’t need to rest. But He did rest. He rested to communicate a very important point to His creation. So important a point was this “rest,” that He made sure to put it into His top Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). He specified very clearly and concisely that His people needed to observe a weekly day of rest. Later He would include that for Israel as a nation in a Sabbatical Year (Leviticus 25). Even the Promised Land itself was to observe a time of rest. Rest is important to the Lord. It should be important to us. Its an essential of life.

Now I want to pause a moment to emphasize that when I speak of “rest” and “Sabbath” I’m more concerned with principle than a particular day on which to observe such things. I am also not trying to do any legalistic arm or heart twisting to get people to observe the Sabbath or any other day. Paul said very clearly, “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh” (Colossians 3:23). What I am talking about is the concept of rest and Sabbath in principle. I’m talking about something we human beings need in order to function properly. I’m talking about something our Manufacturer stipulated as necessary for proper maintenance of our human contraption.

The longest anyone has ever gone without sleep is 264 hours or about eleven days. [7] That’s tiring just reading. Physically we need rest. Psychologically we need rest. But we need rest spiritually too. The human being is a trichotomous being of physical body, psychological mind, and spiritual soul. We tend to our bodies and brains readily. Sleep can be a wonderful thing. But sleep now has only temporary benefits. We need rest for our spiritual soul. There is a rest our soul needs, that every soul needs, and that pays eternal dividends.

Before we can learn about rest for our soul, our soul has to be awakened; it needs to be brought to life. Someone once wisely said, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You.” [8] There’s an unsettledness the soul of every person. There’s a vacancy, a missing part and life is spent in search of that part. This quest for wholeness drives us in life. We might not always recognize or understand that, but it’s a reality. There is a part of us that is missing.

The longer we live, the more likely we will become aware of that missing part. We try to fill it up with work and all kinds of things and even people. But no matter how much or how “good” is the stuff we try to fit into that inner restless void, it just doesn’t fit. We don’t measure up. We can’t reach that point of satisfaction or completeness. We sense there’s something missing. We fall short. We come up empty. We remain restless. And eventually, we run out of gas. But the Bible states, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). There is rest for your soul.

When we become aware of that restless empty hole in us, we sometimes try to work our way out of it. That just creates more restlessness. The Bible clearly states that the way out of our restlessness is, “not by works.” Work is good, but not in this regard. You see, the problem or cause of our restlessness is sin. Sin has taken up residence in a place where only God deserves to be.

Sin is the root cause of everything bad in this world. Sin is saying we don’t need God. Sin is rebellious toward God. Sin disobeys God. Sin is living for and relying on self. It is forgetting or disregarding our Creator. And when we live without God, we aren’t operating on all cylinders. Without God we have lungs but no breath, we have a heart without a beat, we have feet, but don’t know where to go. Without God, we’re lost.

God created us to be in relationship with Himself. It wasn’t because He needed us that He created us. It was because He just wanted to express His love for us. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And He loves to expresses His love. Therefore, God created this concept of “eternal life.” Jesus described it like this, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). God expresses His great love by creating us to spend eternity with Him.

But there’s a problem. As I just mentioned there’s the problem of sin. Sin is selfishness and selfishness is antithetical to love. Love, true love is selfless. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). In Eden, our human representatives chose self over God (Genesis 3). They turned their back on God. They chose to believe a lie. They chose to mistrust God and His word. And that opened the door of humanities’ heart to sin. That led to all humanity being infected with this sinful nature that has caused so much pain and suffering historically. But worst of all, sin separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). You see, love, to be love, requires choice. God will not force anyone to spend eternity with Him. God will not allow the sinfully selfish human being to destroy heaven like they did earth. Therefore, sin, and selfishness, must be dealt with now. And it has been dealt with in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle John described God’s loving solution to the sin problem like this:

1 John 4:7–15 (NKJV) – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

These verses tell us that the evidence of being right with God is the love in our lives. Now, such love is not a worldly defined love. Such love is “love” as defined in the truth of God’s word (Ephesians 4:15). Such love is not something we come up with on our own but is something God puts in us (Romans 5:5). Such love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit working in us (Galatians 5).

Such love is defined and demonstrated by God in Christ. In love God satisfied all that was required for the forgiveness of our sins. The consequence and just penalty for sin in God’s book, is death. In love though, Jesus paid our death penalty for us. In love, Jesus offers the benefits of such a sacrifice to us freely. All we need to do is receive Him and what He has done for us by faith (Romans 5:1-8; 6:23). When we receive Jesus as Savior by faith, God then gives life to our soul by indwelling us with the Holy Spirit. This is the second birth or being “born again” (John 3). It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us who assures us that we are right with God. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit who produces God’s love in us. It is the Holy Spirit who removes our restlessness and replaces it with rest in the Lord.

Initially, we might be tempted to think that we have to earn our salvation, or make up for all our sin by working our way out of our predicament and into favor with God. But we can’t compensate for our sinfulness by doing good anymore than that would be acceptable to a judge in an earthly court. (Try it next time you’re in traffic court. “Judge, I know I was going 85 in a 55, but I went to church Sunday.” Not going to work.)

Salvation from our sin is not so much about us, as it is about God. He took the initiative to save us by sending His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin on the cross for us. And what Jesus did on the cross for us, in love, is a benefit God offers us freely as a gift of His grace that we receive by faith in Jesus. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (cf. Titus 3:4-7). It is this salvation by God’s grace received by faith in Jesus, that leads to rest for our soul.

A saving rest. The New Testament “rest” is a rest in the completed work of Jesus Christ. On the cross He cried “It is finished!” (John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12). Our righteousness, legal justification, and forgiveness for sin is complete in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:1f.; Eph. 1:7; Acts 26:18). By faith we rest in His work for our redemption. “Every spiritual blessing” comes in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3). Our victory is secure in Christ (Romans 1 Cor. 15:57; 1 John 5:4). We rest in the fact that our salvation and eternal life is secure in Him. We need not fear eternity. There is eternal rest in Jesus Christ.

You can experience such rest for your soul right now. Such rest is only a prayer away. You might pray something like this for such rest:

Father in heaven, I come to You in Jesus’ name.

I admit my sin to You. I accept that nothing I do can justify Your forgiveness for my sins. But I believe in Jesus as my Savior. I believe and accept that He died on the cross for me; to pay my penalty for sin which is death.

I humbly ask You to forgive my sins because of what Jesus did for me.

I believe that His death on the cross was acceptable to You as a just basis for my forgiveness because He rose from the dead.

I believe Jesus rose from the dead.

I believe that with all my heart.

I accept Jesus as my Savior.

I receive Your forgiveness for my sins by faith.

Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit.

Please give me spiritual life.

Please help me to live for You.

Please help me to rest in You.

Thank You for Your gift of eternal life.

I love You Lord.        

 

I hope you have entered this rest. If you have, now what? This place of rest is like a Promised Land. It is a destination God brings us to in this life. What I mean is, there is a state of being at rest in the Lord. There is an inner rest that we can experience from the Lord even though we are hard at work. There is a sabbath rest mentality we can carry with us throughout our work week.

A rest from work-salvation. Once we enter God’s rest for our soul, we walk with Jesus. When we take Jesus with us throughout our day, even at work, we “find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:29). There is a rest from our works. “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 2:10). This is a rest we experience when we stop trying to work our way to heaven and into favor with God. This initial rest is simply, by grace, through faith, rest in the completely work of Jesus on the cross for our forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

“Don’t forget the rest!” But I want you to recognize something in some verses found in Hebrews 4. In this chapter it says these “people of God” who now have come to know the Lord, they are exhorted on to further rest. It states, “there remains therefore a rest for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). The inspired writer comments just before this, “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8). There is a rest beyond the geographical Land of conquest. There is a rest for God’s children that continues beyond the rest from their dead works. There is a rest, an ongoing sustaining stabilizing rest of the Spirit that we need to buoy us across these rough and busy seas of life. There is a rest beyond the initial rest that comes with salvation.

There is an ongoing state or attitude, a position of faith, a perspective of resting in the Lord. In Hebrews it is described like this:

Hebrews 4:9–16 (NKJV) – There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

It’s a wonderful initial “rest” we enter into when we trust in Jesus as our Savior. He provides us rest for our soul. But then there is life to be lived. We live in a fallen world, with fallen bodies. “We have this treasure” of salvation and the eternal life through the indwelling Holy Spirit “in earthen vessels” (2 Corinthians 3:17; and 4:7). And these earthen vessels are leaky! They break down. They have limited strength. They need ongoing maintenance. They need daily upkeep. They need repair. They need rest. We can lose our sense of rest. And the Lord therefore tells us, “Don’t forget the rest!”

We can be reduced by life, this world, our flesh, and our adversary the devil, to an anxious, restless heap of flesh. And that’s what these words in Hebrews are speaking about. And that, in our heightened energetic economic environment, is what we need to remember and guard against. In effect, what it’s saying in Hebrews is don’t’ forget the rest!

I say, “don’t forget the rest” for a reason. Its’ not merely a matter of not forgetting to rest. That speaks of sleep and relaxation. That’s important, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something far more important. I’m talking about the rest; a particular rest. We need a time and a place where we come to rest in the Lord. We need to spend time with God if we are going to do anything for God. We need a very literal time and place to rest with the Lord.

We need the energy of the Lord to follow through to completion. Our confidence is in the Lord, not in us or any one person on this mere mortal horizontal plain. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Yes, “it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” But it is also us who, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-13). There is a part we play. It is all by grace through faith (1 Corinthians 15:10). But there is a daily restful rest maintain part we play. It isn’t hard. It is simply necessary. It is actually a most blessed part of our new life in Christ.

How do we maintain our state of rest? Let me walk you through these helpful verses in Hebrews 4 to show you how we can maintain our rest in the Lord.

First, understand our tendency is to overlook the need and importance of this rest. In Hebrews it exhorts, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest” (Hebrews 4:11a). The writer of Hebrews wouldn’t have said this at all if people were naturally inclined to stay in this rest of the Lord. When we overlook resting in the Lord, we are exposed as relying on self. When we rely on self rather than the Lord, we rely on a power source vastly inferior to what we could have in the Lord. When we don’t rest in the Lord, we are doomed not only to restlessness, but to inevitable frustration, futility, and failure. We will inevitably exhaust our own meagre resources. We need to rest in the Lord.

Second, understand that disobedience prevents us from entering this rest. It continues, “lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:11). Earlier in Hebrews 4 Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land of Canaan are alluded to as illustrative of the rest we are being called to. Historically, the people floundered and failed when they faithlessly refused to do what God called them to do, i.e. enter the Land (cf. Numbers 13-14). Their failure was due to a lack of faith. Their lack of faith was due to not seeing their life situation from a godly perspective. They were out of touch with God.

Twelve spies were sent out by Moses to check out the Promised Land. Ten came back acknowledging that it was a land of incredible blessing and abundance. But they faltered because they fixed their eyes on the giant inhabitants of the Land. They were overwhelmed by the obstacles before them. They said, “There we saw giants . . .. and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:33). Their “God” wasn’t big enough for the task. But Joshua and Caleb had a different perspective. Their response was, “If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’” (Numbers 14:8). The responses are telling.

May I propose to you that the ten who wilted had shallow, tepid faith in God. That speaks to us of a distant relationship with God. They saw the giants on their own, in their own strength. And because of that they did not measure up. Joshua and Caleb on the other hand were on fire for the Lord. They were close to the Lord and saw these giants as pawns in God’s plan. They were close to the Lord and knew if God had called them to take this Land, He would deliver. The pressure wasn’t on them, it was on Him. And they were close enough to God to believe He would deliver. Distance from God leads to disobedience to God. Closeness to God leads to confidence in God. The former were restless, the later were restful.

Third, we find rest from God’s word. If you want to maintain the rest of your soul, it’s essential to set aside a regular, daily time and place to meet with the Lord. It states, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart: (Hebrews 4:1). There is a principle of rest that we need to practice. We need to start our day (or set aside a segment of our day) to rest with the Lord. We need a time of devotion with the Lord. This should be a precious non-negotiable time for just you and the Lord to communicate. Joshua and Caleb were confident in the Lord because they had spent time with the Lord. They knew the Lord. You know someone by communicating with them. You grow in relationship through communication. Communication requires time. Their confidence in the Lord was evidence that they had spent enough time with the Lord to be confident in Him. They were confident enough in the Lord to rest in His decision.

We need to set aside time with God. This is a time when its just the Lord, His word, you, and a set time and place to spend together. The prophet Amos spoke of a time when there would be a famine of God’s word (Amos 8:11). This would be a time when God’s word was not necessarily scarce, but people were word-famished for lack of being nourished in it. Don’t let your work schedule push you into a state of spiritual malnourishment. We can stop spiritual hunger if we have regular daily meals in God’s word. And when we are nourished in God’s word, we will know Him better. And when we know the Lord better, we will be more inclined to rest in Him.

Fourth, rest in being real with the Lord. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). One of the most rest robbing things in life is living a lie. When we try to be something we’re not, or keep up with the Jones and live by a competitive spirit of envy and covetousness, it saps the rest right out of us. Such a mindset is never satisfied. We need to come into the presence of the Lord and rest in Him. We need to rest honestly in Him. We need to rest in and be satisfied with what He has provided. We need to rest in the fact that every good thing we have is from Him (James 1:17). We need to rest in the fact that what we don’t have from Him is for our own good. And sometimes, we need to rest patiently for Him to provide. But no matter what, we need to rest in the truth that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). That only comes from spending time with the Lord and seeing this world and all its things from His perspective. We will rest secure when we are real in the presence of the Lord.

Fifth, rest in Jesus. Our passage states beautifully, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus understands us. He sympathizes with us and our life circumstances. And by virtue of the blood of Jesus, we can come “boldly,” confidently, (not brashly or irreverently) to the “throne of grace” to find help and grace for our every need.

It’s all about Jesus. You can’t rest without Jesus. He’s the way the truth and life. No one comes to God other than through Him (John 14:6). The closer we come to Jesus, the more at rest we will be. He’s our Good Shepherd. His rod and staff comfort us and give us rest (Psalm 23). With Jesus in control, we can rest and not worry about the predators of this world.

If you want to maintain God’s rest in your life, you have to spend time with Him, you have to spend time with Jesus. We won’t maintain our rest with a passing commercial pause with the Lord. We won’t maintain our rest with squeezing the Lord into our busy schedule for a few minutes. We won’t save our rest if we allow constant interruptions to disrupt our personal time with Jesus. To maintain our rest, we need to spend quality time with Jesus. So, shut off the phone. Shut off the television. Shut down the computer. Maybe get an old-fashioned leather-bound paper Bible and spend some quiet time with Jesus. That’s the only way your going to maintain your state of blessed rest in the Lord in this rest robbing world.

Through all of this maybe you need a clearer picture of what such rest in the Lord looks like. A great picture of such restfulness is given by Alan Redpath who explains:

What kind of rest is it? It is certainly not the rest of exhaustion. . . . His is surely a rest of satisfaction. . . . The rest of the Savior is the rest of calm, the rest of poise, the rest of assurance, the rest of satisfaction, the rest from work that has been completed; all that need be done for the salvation of every soul has been accomplished, and therefore He has sat down. . . .

What is the effect of that rest in the Christian life today? . . . The work of God can never be done effectively until we learn to rest in His strength that He may mold us, until we learn to let the fever, the rush, the worry, and the excitement subside into the rest of Jesus. . .. It is the purpose of God in Jesus Christ to lift us every day of our lives above the grime and fog and conflict of daily living into the clear blue sky of the love of heaven and of the rest of Jesus. . . . .

The restful Christian is he who lives his life above the storm with Jesus. Oh, he is sensitive to sorrow and to the troubles of other people, but he is able always to discern the wisdom of God. He is willing to trust the loving heart of God and therefore is able in the conflict to await the unfolding of God’s plan. He is able to keep silent while he waits on the Word of God. . . . resting in Jesus. He is also the busiest man of all, going at such a speed you wonder that he doesn’t’ break down. The only answer he can give you is that as he has waited on the Lord he has exchanged his puny strength for the almighty energy of the Holy Spirit. The resting Christian – are you like that? I didn’t say the lazy Christian, I said the resting Christian: busy, keen, always at the work of the Master, while deep in his heart is peace that no storm, however unexpected, and no sorrow however miserable and hard to bear, can ever disturb. . . . [It is a] rest of assured forgiveness. . . . He has heard the cry, ‘It is finished!’ He listens to the Word of God – ‘Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?’ (Rom. 8:33). [It is also] the rest of victory. . . . The child of God begins to see that Christ has done everything and to understand that Satan is a conquered foe, he finds rest and victory. He begins to realize that the devil cannot touch the life of the child of God who is resting in Jesus, for his life is hid with Christ in God. . .

There is nothing – no circumstance, no trouble, no testing – that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment; but as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is. That is the rest of victory. . . . The Christian who is resting in the Lord is calm in every situation. . . . because the power of God is there in place of his own puny strength. . . . because he has surrendered his will to the will of God. [9]

Do you have that rest? It comes when we by faith rest in full surrender of our will and circumstance to the Lord. We do our best, but trust Him with the rest. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:8-10). Yes, there’s work to do, and a lot of it! But my goodness, do it in a way that you will be sustained by God’s rest. Don’t be hasty, be holy in God’s rest. Take in this truth of God and live it out. Now do your best and trust Him for the rest. Yes, do work. But don’t forget the rest!

[1] https://www.epi.org/publication/wage-growth-for-low-wage-workers-has-been-strongest-in-states-with-minimum-wage-increases/

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/03/us-economy-added-jobs-april-unemployment-fell-percent-lowest-since/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c6abe66ab78a

[3] https://www.apnews.com/d537a69dd412486592d8b6cc9aab5ff2 ; https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3003212/former-us-federal-reserve-chair-janet-yellen-says-us

[4] https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2019/05/03/08-trump-did-it-the-american-economy-is-the-envy-of-the-world/

[5] https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm ; https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/dont-look-now-but-minority-unemployment-is-at-record-lows-under-trump/

[6] https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-jobs-surplus-is-realeven-in-manufacturing-1486794293

[7] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324799.php

[8] My modern paraphrase of Augustine of Hippo’s “Thou has made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

[9] Alan Redpath, Victorious Christian Living, (Calvary Chapel Pub. Santa Ana, CA 2007) pgs. 144, 145, 146, 147

 

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