I recently went to Florida for a few days. I was on an island, it was 83, and I spent 72 hours mostly free from my mainland responsibilities and stress. As I was flying, God brought a recent talk to mind. Speaking on the Joy of the Lord as my strength, Pastor Jeff reminded us to draw joy and rest from the same sources as Christ. This moment with the Holy Spirit helped me shape the next three days and encouraged me to spend a lot of time in prayer, Scripture and in awe of God’s creation…while at the beach. What does resting in the Lord look like to you? Watch this short video from Pastor Jeff on the Joy of the Lord.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
True rest is found in the Lord
In Matthew 14 we see a great picture of Jesus working and resting. After compassionately feeding the five thousand, Jesus sent the disciples ahead of him and went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. He found rest by spending time alone with His Father.
Paul builds on Jesus’s example in Philippians 4:6-7 and wants to teach us how to find joy and rest in the Lord. God knows at times we will be anxious, stressed and so He gives us instruction for how to navigate that. I am to turn anxiety into prayer; worry into petition. The result? The supernatural peace of God.
Actively give your stress to God.
Open up your journal from last week. Look at your written responses to the questions and recall how you felt. Consider your stress; relationally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally. Spend some time in prayer actively giving your stress to God. Ask Him for help. Ask Him for peace. Ask Him for rest.