In a world where everyone wants to give you a piece of their mind, I know One who wants to give you peace of mind.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.”
Ever been so stressed that you toss and turn at night? Even in sleep, you can’t rest and your body outwardly expresses in unsatisfied movement the turmoil that you feel in your soul. Your soul consists of your mind (thoughts), your will and your emotions. When your soul isn’t restful, neither can your body rest. We have all been there, when you wake up tired in the morning because your body didn’t sleep peacefully but struggled to get rest during the night.
Personally, I’ve never lived in a time that is more unrestful than now. We are constantly told to be vigilant against something we cannot see and we are bombarded with images intended to place pressure on the world population.To add further stress, we are made to feel personally responsible for all that is wrong in the world.
Sound familiar? So when we cannot rest at work, rest at school, rest in our daily routine (which is constantly changing) or rest at home, where do we go for true rest? Many would turn to their regular means of coping with the circumstance around them. Let’s think about this for a moment. If your habitual way of finding rest is to eat (comfort food), or to drink (alcohol), or to escape through drugs (whether illicit or pharmaceutical), these things are harmful for you when done habitually and will cause you greater stress and anxiety. Even exercise, reading, playing a game, or working a puzzle, will only be a temporary reprieve because while you are ‘actively’ engaging in these things, you are not at rest.
I’ll ask you again, where do we go for true rest?
Do you know that the Bible deals with this exact question? God knew that the fall of mankind and subsequent separation from Him would rob us of peace because perfect peace is only found in Him. The book of Proverbs (3:5,6) in the Bible gives us instructions for how to have peace.
It says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart (all that you are). Don’t lean on your own understanding (of what is happening) but in every thing, look to and acknowledge Him (God, you know what I don’t know) and He will direct your path (show you what to do).” (Emphasis is mine.)
When we follow this instruction, it immediately gets our focus off of what is negative and our thoughts, will and emotions lift because we don’t have to sort through the plethora of information being thrown at us. Instead, we look to the One who KNOWS what is happening and we lean on Him, not on our own ability, strength or understanding.
Then what? Understanding this principle helps us get in a place of peace but we cannot maintain it for long by ourselves. Let’s look at another passage from the Bible. Philippians 4:6,7 gives us the second half of this spiritual principle of trusting God and finding perfect peace in Him. It tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Why Jesus Christ? Because it is through Him that we are reconciled and put back into relationship with God rather than being separated from Him. The confidence in the perfect peace we receive from God is that Jesus has overcome and through Him, we can, too. When your assurance is in Him, nothing the world can throw at you will get you out of that peace. It will guard your heart and mind from the harsh brokenness of the world, so that you can rest.
We maintain this rest by maintaining our connection to Jesus Christ. How? Through prayer. When we pray, we are simply talking to God. There is no formula or rules that apply. You talk to others about your concerns all the time. You even talk to yourself about what concerns you. Yet people think it is crazy to talk to God even though He invites us in His Word to come to Him with our worries and cares. The Amplified Bible puts it this way in 1 Peter 5:7; “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” Wow! Do you hear this language? It’s personal. He cares for YOU.
My friend, there is nothing like the confidence and assurance you get in having a relationship with God. You may not know Him, but He knows you. You may not love Him, but He loves you. Talk to Him and you will find He is with you. You don’t have to be consumed with anxiety. If you allow Him, He will keep you in perfect peace as you set your attention on Him. (Isaiah 26:3) This has proved out in my own life.
Until next time, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I pray these thoughts encourage and inspire you.