One of the easiest things to do when you’re in the middle of a trial is panic. We stress about the circumstances, the what-ifs, and unknowns. They say that 80% of the things we worry about never even happen. I am so thankful for the Bible, especially in difficulties. God says He understands and cares, and He asks us to rest in Him.
It isn’t always easy.
We often begin to try to rest, but our minds instead want to wallow in self pity, self doubt, and even in our own suffering. Like some kind of a morbid game, we “enjoy” thinking about our yucky circumstances instead of training our minds to think on the Lord and praising Him.
My faithful blog readers know that I have found Philippians 4:8 to be life changing. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We need to focus our thoughts to the good stuff. Look for it. Meditate on it. Have a life habit of praise—even when everything around us (and maybe inside us) is falling apart.
The next verse describes the result of obedience and thought control. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:9).
Resting in the Lord is a concept that Hudson Taylor, missionary to China, finally learned. The book that describes his struggles, Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, is one I would recommend to every Christian.
Who can rest in God’s care? Those who belong to Him. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand (John 10:29). There’s great security in knowing we are God’s children. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12). Have you received Jesus?
Resting in Jesus means we acknowledge His willingness to help us.
- The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (Deuteronomy 33:27a).
- Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever (Psalm 23:4-6).
- Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).
- Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls (Mark 11:28-29).
- Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Peter 5:7).
- There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment (1 John 4:18a).
Heaven is the ultimate rest. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his (Hebrews 4:9-10).
When our focus is on God’s Word and how the Lord desires to be our refuge, we cannot fear and be anxious. When we learn to rest in Him, we are at rest in our souls.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones (Proverbs 3:5-8).
Rest in Him.