Winning the battle for rest

May 31st, 2010 · by Tom Stuart · Life Balance

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16  (NKJV)

Rest, it is easy to talk about, but sometimes hard to find.  The scripture above is the concluding advice of a twenty-four verse discourse on rest beginning in Hebrews 3:12. 

Rest is a state of mind.  It is not guaranteed by restful surroundings nor conducive circumstances.  Sitting on the deck in the warm sun, sipping an iced tea and overlooking a beautiful vista like the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior does not necessarily produce it. Your body may be taking its ease, but your mind can be preoccupied with worry. 

Sleeping in a bed adjusted perfectly to your sleep number does not guarantee it.  Your body may be comfortable but your mind can be tossing and turning you about with anxiety.  “Dis” is a terrible bed fellow.  You know “dis”.   “Dis” is a prefix that undoes, negates or has a reverse effect upon something.  He’s the culprit that robs us of rest with his disease, discomfort and ultimately disbelief.

Chapter four of Hebrews tells us plainly that the only way to kick “dis” out of bed is by faith.  It is only then that we can genuinely experience God’s rest in body and soul.  “For only we who believe can enter His place of rest.” (Hebrews 4:3)  To believe here means “to entrust a thing to one who is faithful.”  And so this act of believing is rooted in an implicit trust in God’s faithfulness.  That is why we can come boldly to Him asking for grace and mercy when we are overwhelmed with need.

Sometimes that is a battle.  We all know how tenacious anxiety and worry can be;  and how insidious their hold on us.  That is why the writer of the Hebrews exhorts us to be diligent to strive, make haste, and exert every effort to enter that rest. (Hebrews 4:11)

The Greek word for rest, used throughout this passage literally means “calming the winds.”  Picture in your mind Jesus with His disciples, on the stormy Sea of Galilee.  Can’t you just see Him taking authority over the winds and waves?  (Mark 4:39)  The winds of worry and anxiety may be blowing us about, but like Jesus, we must also stand up in our storm-tossed boat and rebuke the wind and say to the sea “Peace, be still.”

Often that takes mustering up every ounce of faith and trust we have.  It means being quick and diligent to address the “dis’s” that come to rob us of our rest.  It is then we must pray with boldness in coming to His throne of grace.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I come to you to find grace to help me in my time of need.  I rebuke this anxiety and worry in the mighty name of Jesus!  I speak to my soul and to my mind and say, ‘Peace, be still!’ My faith and my trust are in You!  Through Your Word You have promised rest to those who believe in you.  I receive it now.  Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer, and causing me to enter into your rest!”

If you’re trying to find a place of rest for your soul try this prayer.  It works!

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