Jim Ehrhard is a missionary who is currently serving in the Ukraine with his wife and two young daughters. He is a former pastor at Bible Church of Cabot and Cornerstone Bible Fellowship. He is a professor at the Kyiv Theological Seminary and teaching others in the way of the Lord. He is a blessing to many.
The following is from his latest update and I wanted to share it because I know it is applicable to my life and probably to yours as well. Thanks Jim!
Probably nothing is more difficult for me than learning to rest. Even when I take a vacation, it takes me a few days to slow down and stop thinking about the things I need to get done! This is doubly true spiritually. If you ask me, “What is the hardest thing for you spiritually?” I would answer, “Learning to rest in the Lord.” I think most other believers would say the same. While the Bible is full of admonitions to rest in the Lord, it is the one area we struggle the most with. So, I’m learning to rest – but it is the hardest thing for me to do!
Rest in the Lord! …Well, how can we rest in the Lord?
First, rest comes when we have done all that the Lord asks of us. Rest is not merely passive; it comes when we know we have done all the Father asks. Jesus had this perfect rest (John 8:29). We must first do all He has commanded us to do and then we can enter into His rest. Psalm 37:3 reminds us, “Rest in the Lord and do good.” Not merely rest – but do good. This is true even for spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:13 says, “after you have done everything, stand.” In other words, we can only truly rest in the Lord, standing against the enemy, when we have done all He asks of us. A disobedient spirit keeps us from rest as well as from spiritual protection. Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” True rest begins when we have done all the Lord commands. There is no peace or rest for the disobedient soul!
Second, “cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7). Also, Psalm 46:10 tells us to “cease striving and know that I am God.” Rest comes when we do all He has called us to do, and then we put everything in His hands and trust Him for the outcome. We cease striving.
Third, to rest, we must trust the sovereignty of God. On the Sabbath day, the Israelites were told not to gather any manna. They were to gather a double portion on Friday and to trust that God’s provision would be enough. We cannot rest unless we learn the secret of contentment (Philippians 4:12). We learn to be contented with what a sovereign God has provided for us. But God’s desire for us in not only spiritual rest, but physical rest. Jesus told His disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:30-32). Even in creation, God rested on the seventh day as a pattern for man (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11). Jesus corrected the Pharisees when he reminded them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Rest refreshes us so that we are able to be ready to serve the Lord another day.
Resting in the Lord is definitely the hardest part of the Christian life! It is far easier to be active in ministry than to take time to rest. I’m learning, and I’m trying to learn to rest in the Lord, not just for my physical health, but for everything in life. It’s a lesson easier to teach than to live! I’m learning ….