Several people have asked me how I rest when faced with difficult circumstances so today I spent time reflecting on this topic. The verb, rest, means to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength. When I look into Scripture, I find that rest is the sense of security and peace that flows from a right relation with God through obedience to his Son, Jesus Christ.
Before I can experience God’s rest I need to examine what causes unrest in my soul. When I was first told on June 10, 2020, that I had breast cancer, I was devastated, distraught, and filled with unrest. I didn’t want cancer in my life. I hated how it was going to change my life. I feared for what it would do to my loved ones. What I didn’t know or expect then was that God was going to teach me how to enter into His rest.
Day after day, I found myself moving deeper into prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to take those tear-filled supplications to the throne of God. As time passed, help arrived in ways I can’t explain except that it was Devine intervention. Each was an answer to my heart’s pleading. My faith and trust in God grew and exploded, resulting in a sense of peace, knowing I was safely being cared for. I spent countless hours in God’s Word and Joy filled my soul. I had found God’s rest even though I still had cancer, still had horrible side effects from treatment, and was unsure of the future. I rested on days I had no strength, was in pain, and couldn’t eat. I praised God for those days of rest because it helped me regain my strength, both physically and spiritually. In the midst of my cancer I knew The Lord was there with me. I could allow Him to carry me. I kept that image in my mind and it allowed me to truly rest.
Today I am cancer-free, praise God. I still enter into His rest to maintain my strength for the next challenge that will surely come. Satan doesn’t like victory stories so I expect to be tested. He can’t have my soul because I belong to Jesus, but Satan can try to destroy my testimony by wreaking havoc in my life. It’s important to rest in The Lord in preparation for whatever may come. It can be health challenges, financial trouble, relationship problems, fear over world situations, or loss of loved ones. But we can still rest and rejoice in the Lord. We can be a testimony of God’s love, power and strength.
As Habakkuk 3:18 says, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Rest and rejoicing begins with:
Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior.
It comes by prayer.
It grows by trust.