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There Remaineth a Rest

January 22, 2008

John 16:32-33  “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 

II Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.  Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

There are ever so many things which are found in these passages.  In the first, Jesus reveals that all will be scattered unto their own and that none will stand by him when he is betrayed.  Yet he is not alone because he is in continual fellowship with the Father.  Likewise, in this world, we may well find ourselves standing alone or going through unimaginable trials.  Yet we are never alone and Jesus has promised to be with us always; even unto the end of the world.  It also reveals that the peace of God will remain; even in the midst of tribulation.  We are to be of good cheer; knowing that Jesus overcame the world, and that through him, we are more than conquerors. 

This world is growing darker and crazier by the hour.  We must abide close to the Lord and trust him with childlike faith if we’re to stand in the days to come.  The chariots of Egypt will fail.  Our understanding will prove to be woefully inadequate and “in part.”  No matter how prepared we may think we are or how many passages of scripture we can quote, things will transpire upon the earth in which we’ll be completely astonished.  There will be events that, despite our understanding of scripture, will throw us an unexpected curve and we’ll have to simply “Be still and know that God is God.”  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, his perfect peace will remain; regardless of what comes our way.  This truth is ever so important and it seems that no matter how many times it’s touched on, it needs touched on again.  I fear that very few of us are prepared for what lies ahead in this world, including myself. 

The second passage above is also a most incredible one.  It reveals that our comfort comes from the Lord.  This world can offer one a false sense of security, however, such a falsehood can dissipate without warning.  Those who place their trust in the institutions or inventions of this world will be in a state of panic when those devices fail to sustain them.  But if we’re born of the Spirit and abiding close to the Lord Jesus, we’ll not become victims of our circumstances but will be in a position to be strong and do exploits.  The physical situations of this world should never “get to us.”  I know that none of us are perfect in this area, however, I know that we need to trust the Lord; even when it seems as though we’re in way over our head. 

Another notable point in the second verse deals with our comforting others.  This thought has been on my heart for months, but how to share it has always been complicated.  When it all goes south; when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in contact with folks, who are at their wits end.  They will need to know that the peace of God is very real and that he can sustain us no matter what.  During such times, people will have about matters at the forefront of their mind and divine appointments are certain to result.  In other words, if we stay atuned and don’t become rattled, we’ll be in a position to minister to those who “never saw it coming.” 

II Corinthians 7:5-7  “For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.  Nevertheless God that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;  And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that i rejoiced the more.”

This is a most incredible scene.  The apostle paul was in the midst of trial.  Physical exhaustion must have been the norm while fightings and fears compounded the situation even further.  On top of this was the care of all the churches and without a doubt, he was still mindful of the letter sent to the Corinthians.  Unlike today, when we can second guess something that we’ve written, go in and edit the suspect post, the epistle was simply “out there” and he most likely pondered how it was received.  Was he too hard on them?  Was the church still there?  So while Paul was in the midst of a stressful situation, Titus came by and brought good news.  “The Corinthians are back on track Paul.”  I imagine that when Paul learned of this, the exhaustion seemed to go away and the fears dissipated as they praised God for doing a mighty restoration.  

Hebrews 13:5  “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  So that we may boldly say The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Contentment is a primary attribute of restfulness.  I know of folks who are constantly heaping to themselves material goods; trying to make themselves happy through stuff.  It becomes an addiction and is anything but restful.  I know people who spend their weekends buying things that they cannot afford and going places that they cannot afford to go to in order to be happy until Monday. But when we are content in the Lord Jesus instead of being constantly engaged in trivial pursuits, it’s very peaceable and the joy of the Lord is beyond incredible. 

The second part of this verse is equally awesome.  “The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  Fear has torment and will rob us of our victory.  But when we trust in the Lord and don’t concern ourselves with what others may do unto us, we’ll be at peace when others may go completely nutty.  This is also a place where “loving not our lives in this world” comes in as doing so will cause us to be fearful of anything that may seem to threaten us here. 

Well, it looks like another long post.  Sorry.  Without a doubt, the peace of God passes all understanding.  Being at peace when everything around us is screaming “be afraid; be very afraid” seems completely crazy to the natural mind.  Yet Isaiah 26:3 is true and it doesn’t depend on the price of tea in China.  Well, it’s 2:10am, so I’ll go for now.  Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.   

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7 comments

  1. Hello timbob,

    This post goes right along with my current study of Isaiah 33-35. When you mentioned comforting others, I thought of Isaiah 35:3-4 Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.”

    Praise God that He is unchanging, indestructable, and from everlasting to everlasting! His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than ours. Knowing this, why do we continue to put our trust in other things? What better place to put our trust than in the One that is Faithful and True!!! He longs to pour out His blessings on those who trust in Him.

    Thank you for another inspiring post.
    Blessings,
    Scotti


  2. Thank you so much. The Lord let me read it just in time- I was getting distressed because of all the homework I had and the way things were going. Praise His Name! His Peace is in me now I feel much better. What you said about loving our life is something I have to watch for. Many of the things I have to do now are things that are easy to like, so I have to trust The Lord to take all idolatry from my heart. He promises to give us a pure heart if we seek it (*see below). May the Lord sanctify you all, and may you all be found worthy to stand before Him on that day (let’s keep that last part in our prayers, He commands us to pray like that.). God bless you all.

    *25Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

    37Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock.


  3. any day that elijah decides to show up with his chariot is a good day for me. until then, there’s always the subway…

    life keeps getting nastier and nastier each day… the verse that resonates so often is that men will become lovers of themselves.


  4. ‘Astonishing’—good word for what’s transpiring before our eyes and behind the scene. My mind always goes to how our young are being poisoned and it’s such a true blessing of God’s power to find those of youth (meaning under 25…please don’t send the PC police after me!) taking a stand for righteousness.
    Like code, I see ‘lovers of selves’ and Matthew 24 easily portrayed in everyday life. Joel 3:14-‘…multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!…” It’s the choices of decisions ever on the heart and in prayer…
    As always, edifying message, timbob, and thank you for the reminder to keep leaning on Jesus!
    In Christ’s Abiding Love.


  5. Good morning, Timbob–

    I’m often puzzled why so many people are so tired so much of the time. Young men walk into Tuesday night Bible studies exhausted. I hear many ministers and their wives complaining about “burnout” and extreme fatigue. I know people work hard and have lots of stresses, but I believe you have hit on a truth here. If we can absolutely live in God’s Word and look there for direction and guidance, we will have peace and rest. There is rest in the Holy Ghost.

    Thank you.

    Shirley Buxton
    http://www.shirleybuxton.wordpress.com


  6. I am thankful that there is a place in God where we can be filled with the “peace of God that passes all understanding.” I have experienced that peace in the midst of trials, as long as I can stay focused on His Word. When I lose that focus, that is when the vain imaginations come along, and I find myself tired and stressed out. God has been merciful at those times to lead me back to the realization that I need to abide in Him.

    Thanks for another good post.

    Blessings,
    Carol


  7. “I fear that very few of us are prepared for what lies ahead in this world, including myself.” – yes, I can certainly identify with that Timbob!

    Blessings,

    Peter



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