Many believers today have been deceived by the devil to postpone their rest in the Lord to when they get to heaven.
There is certainly eternal rest for the believers in heaven; however, the Scripture assures that there is also a true rest, peace, and joy in the Lord available to the believers in this present life.
Therefore, you don’t need to defer your rest, peace, and joy in the Lord till after you leave this evil world. The Lord Jesus has made provision for you to have rest, peace, and joy in this present troubled world.
27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (NKJV).
33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (NKJV).
There is no doubt that perfect and eternal rest, peace, and joy await true believers in heaven (Rev. 21:4).However, God wants you to have a foretaste of the perfect rest, peace and joy awaiting you in heaven while you live amidst the turmoil of this present life.
This is why Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 NKJV).
If truly you have come to Christ and submitted to His lordship, you have a God-given right and access to divine rest while living in this evil and troubled world.
One of the primary evidences of knowing and trusting the Lord Jesus truly is evincing rest, peace and joy even in the midst of storms or tribulations.
In the face of death, the face of Stephen (the first martyr among the early disciples) was said to be glowing like the face of an angel. Apparently, he was not fearful, restless or troubled (Acts. 6:15).
The word “rest” in the Hebrew “damam” literally means “to be dumb.” This implies “to stop, to cease, to hold peace, to quiet self, to be silent, to be still, to tarry or wait.”
Therefore, to rest in the Lord implies the following:
To stop from struggling to please God through the works of the law;
To cease from fear, worries and anxieties about anything;
To hold your peace in the midst of troubles, trusting in the Lord’s help;
To quiet yourself and refuse to be upset, restless or agitated in the days of adversities;
To be still and wait upon the Lord for divine instructions when under pressures to act.”
It is God’s command that everyone who comes to the Lord Jesus Christ must take their rest in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Scripture commands you to “Take your rest in the Lord, waiting quietly for him; do not be angry because of the man who does well in his evil ways, and gives effect to his bad designs.” (Psa. 37:7 BBE).
How do you know someone who has taken his rest in the Lord Jesus Christ?
He will cease from his works!
The Scripture states, “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” (Heb. 4:10 NKJV).
What sort of works is this scripture talking about?
The works of the law!
You cannot enter into the Lord’s rest until you cease from seeking, striving or struggling to overcome Sin, Satan and life’s challenges in your own strength and wisdom, and until you cease from seeking, striving or struggling to appease or please God by your good works, self righteousness, or adherence to some religious rules or rites.
The Scripture records that when the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them were finished, God rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had done (Gen. 2:1-3).
God rested from His works of creation not to sleep or go on vacation because He had become exhausted, but to relish or take pleasure in all that He had created.
Similarly, Jesus Christ has completely finished the redemptive work for the salvation of mankind through His sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection. Consequently, no man needs to do any other works or offer any other sacrifices in order to be saved.
All that God expects from us is simply to take pleasure in the finished work of Christ and put our faith in the person and finished work of Christ.
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. (NKJV).
No other good works can please or satisfy God completely for salvation other than the finished work of Jesus Christ. It is therefore useless striving to keep the Mosaic laws or to perform some religious rites for the purpose of earning God’s love, acceptance, favour, blessing or salvation.
No man can earn or merit God’s love, acceptance, favour, or blessing. Salvation is available to all men as a gift, but at the expense of Christ.
Paul amply states this truth in his epistles.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV).
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),
14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (NKJV).
Beloved, you take your rest in the Lord when you cease from your futile works and take pleasure only in the finished work of Christ for your salvation (John 17:4, 19:30).
However, it takes a spiritual understanding that Christ has defeated Sin, Satan and the World through His death for you to enter into His rest.
You will always experience inward rest, overflowing joy, and peace that surpass all understanding in spite of your circumstances if you truly know and deeply believe that the Lord Jesus loves you completely, unconditionally and infinitely, and that He has won for you a perfect and permanent victory through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
You will not lose your sleep, peace, rest or joy over any spiritual, physical, financial, physical, or emotional need if you truly know and believe that God has already blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, and that all things are yours in Christ (Eph. 1:3, 1 Cor. 3:21-22, Rom. 8:17, 2 Pet. 1:3).
Friend, enough of fretting and running about!
Christ has fought and won all battles and adversaries for you through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead (Col. 2:15).
The Holy Spirit is therefore calling you today to come and “Take your rest in the Lord, waiting quietly for him; do not be angry because of the man who does well in his evil ways, and gives effect to his bad designs.” (Psa. 37:7 BBE).