After being busy teaching on rest, I decided to rest this weekend. So I’m sharing with you a handout I gave out last week when I spoke on The Recipe for Rest.
My key verse came from Hebrews 4:2 (NIV), which says “For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.” In other words, good news without faith is useless. The Israelites missed the Promised Land of rest because of lack of faith, not for lack of God’s good news or good will. We can learn from their failure: Good News + Faith = Rest.
When we lack rest, we either don’t know or have forgotten God’s promises, or we don’t believe they apply to us in our situation. Faith activates God’s promises. This handout lists some good news that has meant a lot to me. Click to download it: Good News-Faith-Rest handout
I closed my talk with a story about Max, my standard poodle who has Addison’s disease. What I didn’t tell the group is that he had been struggling that week. Neither did I mention the botched blood test he’d had the same week. By the time I learned the vet couldn’t get a clear reading from his blood sample and needed another sample, I’d already given him his monthly injection of percorten. Since I’d already given him his shot, we have to wait another month to retest him.
He hardly moved the next two days. Not a good sign. Whenever he suffers it takes me back to the three times he’s almost died in the first three years of his life. You can read some back story on Max here and here.
That night I shared how Max cannot comprehend the connection between being pierced with needles at the vet’s office and being able to run and play at home. He doesn’t have to. I understand, and I take care of him. All he has to know is I love him.
So often I think that if I can understand why I’m going through something or how it will benefit me, then I will have peace. But understanding is not the key to rest. Faith is.
Jesus said, “Come to Me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NASB).
The better we know Jesus, the more we trust Him. And the more we trust Him, the better we rest in Him.
All the promises of God are wrapped up in Jesus. I don’t have to understand how my current challenge will work for my eternal good. I don’t have to figure out how to make it happen. I only need to know Jesus loves me and will be who He says He is. Trusting Jesus is the source of soul rest.
Approximately 650,000 fighting aged men left Egypt with Moses. All of them heard God’s promise to give them rest in Canaan. But only two believed. Those two, Joshua and Caleb, were the only ones of that generation that received God’s rest.
God gave me rest in my heart the night I had to speak, in spite of my concern for Max. An hour after we came home, Max bounced back with youthful vigor. Maybe all he’d needed was a few days of rest!
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Debbie W. Wilson
Linking to #Livefree Thursday.