Thursday, October 4, 2018
Joyful Rest ✽ Restful Joy
"Joyful rest, restful joy".
To be honest, I'm not sure where the phrase came from; but it's been going through my head frequently over the past several weeks, since it first came to my mind. The more I think of it, the more I feel like it is the best short and simple description I can give of a lifestyle of rest. Simple, at least in it's wording. But, like most things that are worth any thing, once you dig deeper, it's not really simple; and that makes it all the more worth it.
Joy is often seen as happiness. Rest is often seen as sitting down after a long day. And, while those things may often go together, in reality, they are not connected. Happiness and the ability to slow down can depend on our circumstances, but joy and rest are actually a command from God; these are qualities that believers are supposed to be known by...
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation." (Habakkuk 3:17-18)
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against these there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30)
"Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is: and walk in it, and find rest for your souls..." (Jeremiah 6:16)
And I have found that these two things often feed each other. When I purposefully make the decision to trust that the Lord is working His perfect will in my life, and that He will use me for His glory; that the bends in the road can be used to serve Him just as well as the straight path I expected to travel; I find it exponentially easier to be content and joyful where He has me.
On the other hand, when I take the time to rejoice (which is a form of purposeful worship), no matter what my circumstances, then I find that I am instantly better able to look at my circumstances with a peaceful heart, rather than an anxious one.
Joyful rest, restful joy.
Trust, worship, obedience.
Because the one who died to save my soul can be counted on to know the best use of my life.
Because the one who saved me from my own life of sin, not because I was worthy, but because He is merciful, is worthy of honor.
Because a sinner made new, bought by the blood of the Lamb, has no way of paying back our Gracious Lord, and so out of our debt of thankfulness, we obey Him to show Him our love.
And He in turn uses our obedience to bring us closer to Him, and into a deeper Joy and Rest than we have ever known.
How kind He is!