Perhaps the greatest plague affecting our mental and physical wellbeing is daily stress. The human body is designed to handle periods of stress followed by a period of restoration to the normal state. It is problematic to live in a state of chronic anxiety even when there is no external stress factor. What is God’s anti-stress therapy to overcome stress?
God’s rest – His anti-stress therapy
What really affects us in a stressful situation is anxiety and fear. If they are eliminated or minimized, there is a much better chance to quickly and easily overcome the stressful situation. God’s anti-stress therapy is called Rest. And it is not some kind of rest, but God’s rest. Here we will look at God’s rest and how we can enter into it.
The Bible calls rest that state, which is characterized by a constant deep peace of mind and tranquility. This state results from the deeply rooted knowledge of the answer to the most important questions. So there is no longer any internal conflict and struggle with respect to identity, belonging, significance, meaning, and purpose in life. This is how Jesus Christ expresses this rest in the Gospel of John 8:14. “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.” Jesus as the Son of God had no doubts and hesitations about His identity and belonging. And this was the key to His ministry and mission. They are the most significant in human history with eternal consequences and impact.
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Implications of God’s rest
God’s rest equals to return and reconciliation. It is a complete return to God, oneself and the others, in all possible aspects. When we have returned, we automatically come to rest. It becomes possible for us to stop struggling and proving our own value. We stop seeking and doing our best to obtain approval, recognition, and love. Rest is a complete finding and acceptance so that we can rest from our deeds and stop travailing and struggling. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:9)
Our motivation to live changes. We are no longer driven by our own passions, deficits and lacks but can freely follow the path of truth and love. No longer we are an empty vessel, or a bucket without a bottom, which can not be filled. We change to a full vessel, and from this position of fullness, we become able to meet the challenges of life. God’s rest is the foundation and the core, the synonym of life, free of anxiety and fears.
Surrender is the key to enter in the best anti-stress therapy
God is the Giver of the true rest. The way to enter into it and to stay there is through surrender and the exercise of faith. God’s rest is within the limits of the personal relationship of each of us with God. This relationship is made possible by accepting by faith the forgiveness of God and His proposal for reconciliation a new life. This offer God sends to everyone personally through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once we have gained access to God, we can appropriate by faith all that God offers us. His offer is identity and sense of belonging as God’s beloved children, value and significance. All these are independent of achievements and possessions.
The path of appropriation is the surrender to the authority and government of God in every area of our lives, as well as in every situation. This means in practice that we are not the ones in charge of fighting the battles. Instead, we hand over the leading position to Him Who fights for us and Who has taken responsibility for us as His children to do for us what we can not do. The surrender expresses our dedication, humility, dependence; and our choice of God to be our Lord, Master, and the Head of our life.
Faith equals obedience
On the other hand, assuming our responsibility is expressed in the exercise of faith as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17). The practice of faith is not something mystical or complicated. It is the choice to accept as true what God says is true and to conform to this truth our thoughts, words, and actions. In other words, to accept as the leading and determinant factor of our decisions and actions God’s authority and His word. To learn to be doers, not just listeners and to choose what is pleasing to Him.
The Bible calls the exercise of faith – obedience, which is the key to acquiring God’s rest. “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:11)
Do you long to be at rest? What hinders you to enter and stay in God’s rest? Come and share in the comments!