Often life is a struggle either because of choices we have made or choices that have been made for us by others. We often seek to live in “our will” rather than choose to live in “God’s will”. Living in God’s will means recognizing God is in control. Living in God’s will means making the best of bad situations. Living in God’s will means maintaining our principles–even when inconvenient.
When we live in God’s will, we can get “rest” from those storms raging around us. I want to tell you how God supplies our “REST”– the rest we need just to get through life.
The Greek word translated as “rest” is “Katapausis” and comes from the root word, “katapauo” which literally means “to stop” or “rest”. Interestingly, in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, this word is used most often to describe “God’s rest”. Remember how God “rested” on the seventh day? “Katapausis” is a reference to the rest (or the resting place) that God gives to His people. I believe that this “rest” is a rest from the turmoil of the world, a rest of fulfilled hope and realized destiny.
Hebrews 3:7-11 (TNIV, God’s voice speaking)
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. 10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “
Often, when storms rage around us, when we struggle deeply with something, or when life seems to struggle with or against us, we turn away from that which is good. We turn away from a God who loves us and we turn inwardly to our own pain, anger, disappointment or hate. This is called “hardening of our hearts”.
If we want to enter the “rest” that Gods promises…..it is important to learn to soften our hearts and to recognize that He has our back. The storm is that “time of testing in the wilderness”
— Our rebellion is the hardening of our hearts, the promise is in doing the right thing, resisting self-centered anger (anger about what is happening to “us”, it is okay to be angry at the bad actions of others)
— Our rebellion is resisting the deep disappointment that leads to hopelessness and looking to our loving God for comfort and the knowledge that He is in control.
May you soften your heart in the midst of life’s storms and turn to God rather than rely on your own understanding. May you resist temptation and the desperation of haplessness because indeed, in Christ, there is a true hope. And, may you find true rest in the midst of the storms, the rest that only comes from Jesus!