It seems to take me completely by surprise: One moment I’m standing firm in faith, believing all things are possible with God. I’m content and soul-satisfied. Then, in what seems like little more than an instant, I feel knocked down by discouragement. My emotions run rampant and I question if this walk of faith is really possible.
When this happens, I’ve tended to head straight into condemnation: What’s wrong with you? Are you really going here again? I’m convinced other people don’t struggle like this. At its worst, I become frustrated and disappointed with God, like any of it is His fault.
Yet when I take a few minutes to stop the madness, when I quit nursing my run away emotions, I realize — once again — that Jesus not only has the answer, Jesus is the answer. And His way requires less of me than I was starting to think. He calls me to rest.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
We’re movers and shakers, producers and doers. Resting, on the other hand, is an admission that we can’t accomplish and produce what’s needed.
Most of us don’t like to wait and struggle to be still. Resting requires both.
To rest we admit we can’t and believe and wait for God to provide.
The greater our need, the more lavish is God’s provision. Speaking of something from which he desperately wanted to be delivered, the apostle Paul stated:
“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength and power are made perfect and show themselves most effective in your weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the strength and power of Christ may rest (yes, pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV and AMP).
What rested on Paul in the middle of his extreme weakness and distress? It was nothing short of the strength and power of Jesus. Like Paul, we receive the rest of God by humbling ourselves before Him and admitting our need for it. God put it this way in the book of Isaiah:
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and low in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. The man who makes Me his refuge will inherit the land and possess My holy mountain” (Isaiah 57:13b and 15).
As a New Testament believer, your land is freedom in Christ. To possess God’s holy mountain is to be transformed into His holy likeness — to become whole. Rest is a huge part of this process, and God often does this work most greatly in times of great distress.
So I say to myself and I challenge you: Drop the condemnation. Quit trying to do better and come to Jesus. Humble yourself before Him and receive Way #24 of 52 Ways to Glorify God:
Enter into the rest of God.
Do so for His sake, for His glory, for when you are weak in human strength He can then show Himself strong and powerful in you.
“So for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties and distresses, for when I am weak (in human strength), then I am strong (able, powerful in divine strength). “ 2 Corinthians 12:10