Friday, December 6, 2019

Ten Biblical Reasons for Rest and Relaxation: Part 3

How much joy and peace did you actually get during our break in the series on rest?  Have you put any of it into practice or did you find yourself caught up in the stress with all the rest?  

Does this picture look a little like how you feel?  Maybe a revisit to last week's challenge might help first.  

If not ... let’s get back on track in preparation for the new year with God’s Daily Favor.

In our last session together we left off with Biblical reason #8 for partaking in a period of rest, so we’ll pick up from there.  You can read the beginning of this teaching series here:  Part 1   Part 2

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Reason 9 – Rest Kindles Joy

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, 
and uphold me by Your generous Spirit."  (Psalm 51:12)

You may be wondering, “What does my joy have to do with rest?”  It actually has quite a lot to do with true joy and here’s why.

When we are exhausted it’s pretty difficult to find the joy in even the simple things, like a blue jay fluttering about outside a window on a sunny morning or watching your husband try to fold clothes the way “he” thinks you do it.  A rather amusing sight actually!

Sleep is a precious thing.  It is necessary for good physical health as well as good mental well-being. Unfortunately, many people find a good night’s sleep to be a rare commodity.  Of course, when you examine sleep according to the five senses, you just might find a sleep solution that helps you get the sleep you need.  I’d take that bunny trail, but that’s for another time.

There’s no way we can appreciate the grace of God that is given to us on a regular basis, let alone trying to seek out His daily favor for the challenges we may face for the day!  Our brains just can’t get into gear with the lack of oxygen we get from a poor night’s rest.

It never fails (for me anyway) that when I’m at the heightened point of being tired that all I want to do is go to bed.  Nothing else matters.  I can’t focus, work, relax or even eat. 

In other words, I’m not a joy to be around during those times.  When I allow myself to get that far without rest it doesn’t please anyone, especially the Lord.  Plainly put, if I want to continue to receive favor from the Lord I need to follow what He says concerning everything that pertains to life and health.

That four letter word is what seems to get in the way - OBEY!  Perhaps the New Living Translation better suits me when I fail to follow wisdom.

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, 
and make me willing to obey You."  (Psalm 51:12)
No Joy Suckers

Slipping into the “must do now” mode sucks the joy out of why I’m doing it in the first place and totally violates my own life rules.  For those who have been under my teachings or visited my home, you know that I have a house policy. 

Above my light stitch by the front door is a sign that all must observe if they are to enter.  Sounds rather tough doesn’t it, but I really believe in and follow it myself for a foundation piece to receiving the favor of God in my life.

If you come with an attitude or a spirit of disagreement (otherwise referred to as a critical spirit) it has to be left outside so that the peace within is not broken.  There have been so many times when my husband brings a less than friendly spirit home with "un-intentions" of unloading it on me.  I know he has to vent, but we have learned there is a proper way that it can be done without having the joy sucked out of everything else that has happened that day.

We have followed this practice so long that when it starts to happen, he turns around, closes the door and re-enters the house with a big smile saying, “Hi Sweetheart, I’m home!”  It works every time and usually bumps up the joy atmosphere with laughter. 

If you're not quite sure whether or not you fit into this category, here are a few pointers that might give you a clue.  Notice I said "a few" ... 
Resting in Joy and Peace

You see, there are plenty of things that can steal our joy if we let them, especially lack of rest.  The key phrase here is “if we let them” … we have a choice.  However, when our physical body hasn’t been re-fueled, we don’t always recognize that our joy is being picked away little by little, until we’re at the point of frustration.

Scriptures tell us that Jesus is the one who gave us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which include the filling of joy and peace among many more. 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (In otherwords there is no law against these things.)”
(Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

Followers of Christ are to be joy givers, not joy takers or “joy suckers”.  We fervently need to be on the lookout for things that steal the pleasure of what God has given us through salvation.  All too often we overlook that the lack of rest is a major joy remover, which causes us to operate out of reflex, jerk reaction feelings and not wisdom.

This doesn’t mean that we are to maintain an attitude of joy just when things are going fine, but live full of joy regardless of the circumstances.  Having proper rest certainly helps us to live the life Jesus died for to give us.

Our hope in Christ activates the favor of salvation gifts to overflow in us, giving confidence to His promises here and eternally.  It’s Christ’s joy in us that changes things around us to get in line with His Word.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises." (Romans 15:13 AMP)

Resting spiritually on the Word of God allows our physical side to confidently abound in the power of the Holy Spirit to work things out for our good so that it glorifies God.  The joy of our salvation is restored, because we cast our cares on God and trust Him with all that’s going on around us.

This Week’s Challenge:
Show Me A Sign

Who would ever imagine so much could be tied together with a little thing called “rest’?  God did!  It has always been His plan for us to abound in joy, not just experience it every so often when the spirit hits. 

The problem with relying on our feelings to “keep going … press on … don’t quit or everything will fall apart” kind of self-righteous attitude, is that we never know what kind of spirit will emerge in any given situation when operating in overload modes.  Trusting God changes everything so that we can rest spiritually and physically.

Yes, we need to have an “I can do all things through Christ” attitude.  Unfortunately, the “I can do things without Christ” part usually surfaces when we think we can ignore His Words on proper rest.

We are constantly expecting Jesus to “show us a sign” that He is working in our lives, but what about doing the reverse?  Our challenge this week is to literally make a sign as a reminder that joy lives, abides and dwells inside us and our homes. 

Example: Joy Lives Here

Just as I have a physical sign by my door, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Yours doesn’t have to say exactly what mine does, but it’s a conversation opener for sure. 

If we are to ever experience complete rest, our joy has to be restored spiritually and that certainly is good enough reason for me.  What about you?

My prayer is that God, the source of all hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trusted in Him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope resting on and through the power of the Holy Spirit. (from Romans 15:13 NLT)

Let the joy of God’s favor be restored in you through rest!

One more thing … I haven’t forgotten, but deliberately wanted reason #10 to fly solo.  You’ll have to read why next time.  Looking forward to closing out this series with you and pray it has richly been a blessing.

Restore Your Joy in Me (Hezekiah Walker)

Until next time, experience the joy of God’s favor!

Restore favor with a day for rest.”
- Jesus Christ

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy.   
Note: When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.            

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Towel 1: Grace lives here. Joy lives here.
Towel 2: Hope live here. Love lives here.
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