“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” (Ps 62:5, NIV2)
Facing trials, no matter what kind, can be done with inner peace, as long as our focus is totally on Jesus, the only One who can give inner peace.
Sunday night we experienced freezing rain. The accumulated build-up of ice caused extensive power outages in our region that lasted for most of the day. Our electric sump pump stopped working and the basement flooded. All the furniture and drywall in our lower basement were ruined. Part of life we decided. At least it was just some cheap furniture that was half-ruined anyway. It could have been worse.
When we discovered we had no hot water, we realized that it had, indeed, been worse…
Since our hot water tank is a rental, we called the company who owned the unit, and they sent out a technician. Unfortunately for him, it was Christmas Eve and he had to work. Unfortunately for us, he arrived just as we were starting our Christmas Eve festivities. Unfortunately for our budget, the technician had some grim news to share with us: “Merry Christmas. Your rented hot water tank is ruined by the flood. Since your rental agreement doesn’t cover flooding, you will have to buy out this unit for 900$. Oh, and because of the holidays and the number of people in the same predicament as you are from the ice storm, we won’t be able to replace the unit until Friday. Have a nice day!”
He was, actually, far more caring then these recorded words make him sound. Nonetheless, it came as a shock. The reason we had taken a rental water heater in the first place was so that we would never have to worry if it malfunctioned! Of course, we never bothered to read the fine print stating that flooding was not covered…
When the technician left our home that night, we sat back down to worship our Savior’s birth. Whenever we are faced with bad news, however, it generally remains the focus of our thoughts, and that night was no exception. After all, such a large sum of money would shake anyone up.
These somber thoughts had only been in my mind for a couple of minutes when I began to hear God’s sweet voice: “Are you aware that this is a personal attack from the evil one himself, who wants to ruin what I have prepared for you?” A bible text then came to mind: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12, NIV)
I immediately rebuked this attack in Jesus’ name and made the decision that I would enjoy the Presence of my Lord instead. My soul was filled with peace and I was able to enjoy every minute of our festivities–especially while we worshipped the One who had made it all possible: Jesus Himself.
As my wife and I experienced total inner peace, the negative thoughts never resurfaced. This is far from the norm for me. In the past I would rehash these negative thoughts for days on end, never experiencing a single moment of peace. I used to be a worrier, magnifying my problems a thousandfold, but it is a thing of the past. The difference is that Matthew 11:28 has become a reality to me. If we truly abandon ourselves to God instead of to ourselves, Jesus truly gives us rest.
Does this mean all adversities will leave us unfazed? No, it doesn’t. There are times when we can feel overwhelmed by our circumstances. Jesus Himself was facing anxiety at Golgotha (See Matthew 26: 36-45), but it was only short lived, as He received comfort from God Himself. May we all have the same purpose as Jesus did: “. . . The Father is the goal and purpose of my life.” (John 14:28b, MSG). How different our lives would be if that were only our goal.
The apostle Paul didn’t fear any of his circumstances, either. He knew he had to testify in Rome and that adversity would hit him head on, and he expected that his own death may be the outcome. Still, he remained unfazed. In his own words, he declared: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” (Phil 1:21-24, NIV)
He knew where he would be heading when he died. He had nothing to worry about. Jesus was on his side, helping him to rest completely in God’s peace, and so can we.
If you feel pushed by God’s Holy Spirit to share your victories over adversity and worry, and how Jesus gave you that inner rest during these tumultuous times, please tell us about them buy emailing us here. With your permission, we would like to share these with the world. In a world where there is no peace, pure inner rest is possible only by the merits of Jesus Himself.
“Oh no! My basement is flooded. I have no electricity and I am freezing. What should I do?”
Trust in Jesus. He will see you through: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28, NIV2)
This is not just a promise. It is a reality that I experience on a daily basis, and so can you.
(To access the entire “Restful Repose” devotional series, please click here.)