Rest For The Righteous Weary

January 31, 2010

Many are so weary… for the treadmill has no mercy, but keeps them constantly walking. And walking. Ever faster. Ever faster in order to keep up with the never-ending bills, the increasing debt, the unforeseen expenses that pop up at the most inopportune times…

Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)

Hmmm… Just to read those words immediately brings a soothing balm to the soul… And to actually take His words to heart –to believe them and tuck them deep into our spirits– brings even more refreshing comfort.

But are people doing this? –Coming to Jesus for rest? Not many are. They instead go to the pub, or to the lake to fish, or to the mall; or they get on the phone and chat. Most commonly, they grab the remote and flop onto the couch and drown themselves in the T.V. What are they looking for? They search for escape. Escape from reality. Their painful, sad, lonely, hollow realities… And it all eases the sorrow for a while. But not for very long.

If only people would believe. Or if only someone would explain the Gospel to them more clearly. If only they would get the true Gospel! They would find a Person… a God… THE God… The God of the universe, their Creator made in the likeness of man… who loves them… and wants to give rest to their tired souls.

Isa. 30:15 says, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, BUT YOU WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT.'” That last phrase is so sad! Why would they have none of it? If God was offering them rest, salvation, strength…, then why refuse? Could it be that hard to repent? That hard to rest, remain quiet, and trust? Unfortunately, yes. The unregenerate find all that very hard. And even those who walk with the Lord sometimes find it hard. Because circumstances, friends’ advice, and the world often tug us away from the Lord’s way.

But look at verse 18: “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him.” As we wait for Him, He will teach us things. He will train us to live righteously before Him, maturing that we may produce all the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22,23) And He will guide. And as we trust Him, He will act. Our job is to keep our eyes on Him and do exactly what He says. We rest quietly, always maintaining a heart of purity and obedience, doing our regular assignments until He gives a clear signal to move forward. Even then, it may seem we are stepping into a mist, but if we are sure His feet have stepped in first, we can do it –even if we can’t see anything, except risk, folly, or even danger. For indeed, a core doctrine we follow is: “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) Should He not test us then, to see that we are mastering this faith-walk? Does He not train those He wants to use?

Now, if we are abiding in Him and His words, and we do NOT have clear guidance from Him to step into the unknown, then we are to wait. But to wait in obedient expectation for His signal, continuously praising Him that He is in control and that He knows what is best. Then, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” (Isa. 30:21) And this is in answer to our “cry for help! [For] As soon as He hears, He will answer…” (v. 19) He will speak if we search for His voice, for He has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to teach us, guide us, and comfort us. He will give us a good way, a way that leads to peace. This is the promise for all who repent, rest, and wait patiently in trust.

As the Lord says in Isa. 32:17,18, “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”

Hmmm… (Sigh.) What a blissful promise…

with love,

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