Peeling the previous day’s page from my daily calendar I read, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15 NLT).
The words arrested me. Most mornings I barely noted the daily verse, but this one captured my attention. As a wife and mother of school-aged children with commitments in our church and ministry, some days I felt like a rubber band pulled too tight.
Quietness? My kids would say I used volume to get their attention. Rest? When deadlines loomed, I ran faster. Rest and quietness sounded heavenly, but they weren’t part of my DNA. Or were they? Second Corinthians 5:17 says anyone in Christ is a new creature. That means He has given me spiritual genes capable of heeding this wisdom.
But there’s a paradox to resting in Christ. We don’t coast into biblical rest on autopilot. It takes practice. Thankfully, we have help. God has revealed the secrets and supplied the fuel to enter His rest.
Biblical rest gives us the strength to face irritations, disappointments, fears, and challenges with quiet confidence. Our venture into this rest begins with having realistic expectations.
If we know life doesn’t run perfectly, why do long red lights, slow computers, and burnt toast annoy us? I think we forget that problems are normal. God or fate isn’t out to get us; God is for us. He walks with us through the challenges—and uses them.
Are you resting or stressing? Note every trait in each column that you’ve experienced in the past 48 hours.
__ Peaceful __ Agitated
__ Relaxed __ Worried
__ Confident __ Disturbed
__ Trusting __ Fretting
__ Grounded __ Restless
__ Refreshed __ Impatient
__ Contented __ Pressured
Most of us have checks in both columns. In the Western world, we sometimes live under the delusion that life should have no trouble. Adjusting our expectations will help our perspective. What do you learn about the relationship between trouble and life from the following Scriptures?
- “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
- “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22b).
- “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
If someone showed up at my door and said, “I’ve seen your future. Expect some sort of trouble every day,” my natural response would be to worry. “What kind of trouble? How big? How painful?” I would be so focused on trouble I would miss the pleasures of each day. But Jesus warns us in order to protect us from such a response. Did you notice why He warns us about trouble?
Knowing that difficulties and inconveniences are normal and even necessary for our personal and spiritual growth can change how we respond to disappointment. If we forget this, we’ll whine and get frustrated or discouraged when things don’t go our way.
Remember Jesus’ words, “In Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.” Trouble is a given; peace is an option we must choose—over and over again.
Dear Father, I’ve looked for peace in circumstances. I’ve believed that if [I were married or married to a different person, could find a job or had a different job, could see how this situation would turn out or know when it would end] then I could rest. Grant me the grace to let go of my worries and enjoy You today.
(Excerpted from Give Yourself a Break)
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Debbie W. Wilson
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