Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Place to Rest

by Tim Howard

Insomnia is defined as habitual sleeplessness, according to the dictionary. 

A person experiencing this condition is incapable of finding true rest. 

The reasons for restlessness abound!  The threat of global recession, continuing wars, famines, natural disasters, incurable diseases, personal crisis, family challenges and future uncertainty are all contributing factors.

When this happens, certain consequences ensue: People may start arguing with others, do sub-par work, be less loving and more irritable with children and friends.  It’s hard to live in peace when you have no rest.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 4 that there is a way to find true rest.  This rest is defined as a ‘peace from God’ that will allow you to sleep all night long and have pleasant dreams.  Check out what Paul the Apostle says in Philippians 4:7.  He tells us that this peace defies logic because it’s not connected to external things.  You can be in the middle of a raging storm and still sleep like a baby.  Mark 4:38 records a time when Jesus did it and so can you.

To enter and experience this rest, however, some key decisions must be made regarding your past and future.  Worrying about your past and fretting about your future will contribute greatly to sleeplessness.  This happens because you were not created to live in the past or the future but in the PRESENT.  Rest and peace are available only to those who live in the present and seek God NOW!

Many people, however, choose to live in the past.  They will not leave the past hurts, the slights, the pain, the problems, the misunderstandings, the grudges, and the resentments. They choose to rehearse the past rather than release it.  They have pretty much identified themselves as victims.  Their past begins to infect their present rather than affect it in a positive way. May I suggest that you cannot change the past!  It is gone forever, so why focus on that which cannot be changed?   Jesus wants you to focus on what can be changed.  It’s no surprise that Isaiah 43:18 tells us: “Do not be obsessed with the former things or continually focus on the things of the past.”

Regarding the future, Jesus said these words in Matthew 6:34 …do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Worry will rob you of rest today and catapult you into the uncertainty of the future. What you do today is extremely important. Your decisions will actually shape your tomorrows and release God’s peace. You can determine right now that – the rest of your days will be the best of your days.

Whether you are struggling with the past or the future, God wants to give you rest. Trusting Him for a bright tomorrow is the antidote to worry. He can use your past to strengthen your future and bless your present. Let’s get rid of our yesterdays and make room for our tomorrows by finding a place of rest as you put your trust in God.

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