Over the past few weeks, Mark and I have been working diligently to write the Rest and Leave policy for Blue Fire Legacy. Several places in this document reference the need to rest in the way God prescribed. As we consider the necessity to rest, there are additional facets that come to mind as rest is not an independent concept.
Interestingly, while physical rest can be achieved by slowing our pace and observing healthy boundaries in regards to activities and commitments, true inner rest cannot be achieved in the absence of faith and trust. Peace is also a necessary component of inner rest, and without faith and trust, peace is difficult to attain.
As believers, each of these elements are found in Christ. He is the Prince of Peace. He is usually the member of the Trinity that people find most relatable. For some the Father is viewed through a deep father wound because of brokenness in earthly relationships, and the Holy Spirit is too etherial a being for many to delve into relationship because of an inability to grasp His form and function. Jesus, however, is often more relatable because He came to earth and took on human form. We place our faith in the fact that He is Who He says He is. He is our Redeemer and Savior. Because of His loving kindness bringing us into and deepening the relationship, trust is built and faith can be further exercised and grown.
Those who have gone before us
Hiking is one of the things we like to take people to do when they visit in the summer. Okay, technically, Mark is usually the one up for the challenge of a hike. We tend to lean more towards a walk or “saunter” when I’m tagging along.
One particular outing, we had one of our daughters and her friend with us. The walk is fairly easy and encircles a body of water. There is one tricky portion, though. In this one spot, there are logs all jammed together in a parallel fashion that make a pseudo crossing. The logs move as weight is put on them. So, there is a little bit of finesse required. As our daughter’s friend was crossing, amidst much verbal encouragement from each of us, her foot went just slightly too far to the side. Her foot slipped into the water but she quickly reacted and instinctively found another log for more secure footing and made it across. She trusted those that had crossed before her, and she trusted that re-securing her foot on the log would help her complete the crossing.
There are a plethora of examples of those that have gone before us in faith in various passages of the Bible. Yes, there is a collection of some in Hebrews 11, but beyond that, as we study the lives of those that called God YHWH, they exercised faith in Him even when His instructions eluded their comprehension. While we draw on Biblical examples, sometimes observing a more contemporary counterpart assists with relevance and willingness to step even when we don’t see or understand.
Trust in God
Sometimes, we step out in faith without actually seeing the “log” that God has provided. We can do so because we are exercising our trust and faith in Him and His proven unchanging character (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8, James 1:17). We may even decide to exercise faith in God when what we hope for or desire is not yet realized or manifest.
Faith is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a strong belief or trust. A different online source, Oxford’s English Dictionary, provides the definition, “a complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”
For believers, our faith is not in just any someone, but rather our Creator. However, we can often fall short of complete trust in Him. Can we truly and fully trust Him when circumstances around us would indicate that our personal world is falling apart? Our health, our family, our finances, our (fill in the blank as you see fit).
Faith is not rooted in desire alone
Faith is not adequately rooted in the desire to be changed or healed, but rather the belief in Christ alone. Belief in His all sufficiency and His identity as our All in All and the Son of God permits the stability of our faith because we can trust in Him.
Faith is a choice not a feeling. We must choose to put it into action. Because faith can be difficult to fully grasp and understand, I looked up Hebrews 11:1 in a translation for children. The ICB, (International Children’s Bible) says, “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
We can rest in the assurance of God’s provision, protection, and consistency. We can experience inner rest and peace because of our faith that He is Who He says He is.
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