Feeling Overwhelmed & Stressed? Learn How to REST in God
As an introvert, one of the hardest things for me to do is walk into a crowded room of people I don’t know.
It gives me anxiety just thinking about it.
But when I force myself to do it, I immediately scan the room desperately searching for a familiar face. If I see someone I know, I can relax because I’m not alone.
In the same way, life is a lot easier when we remember God is with us, so we don’t have to face anything alone.
But sometimes this truth is easy to forget.
Especially when life gets hard. When the chaos around us overwhelms us. And the heartache of what we are facing leaves us feeling depressed and stressed.
So, how can we find peace in the chaos of everyday life? How can we learn to rest in God when we feel frustrated and overwhelmed? How can we experience His comfort and peace . . . no matter what we are facing?
- 1) How to Rest in God’s Promises . . . Read God’s Word.
- 2) How to Rest in God’s Presence . . . Embrace prayer as a way of life.
- 3) How to Rest in God’s Love, Peace, and Grace . . . Spend time in meditation.
- 4) How to Rest in God’s Sovereignty . . . Thank God in Praise.
What does it mean to rest with God?
Resting with God means we enter His Presence through things like reading His Word, prayer, meditation, and worship.
As we sit still before Him and allow Him to work in us . . . we can lay our burdens before Him. And exchange them for His unexplainable peace.
By spending time with God, we are reminded that we can trust Him because:
- He is in control.
- He knows what He is doing.
- And He dearly loves us.
So, no matter how crazy life gets around us . . . we will be okay.
How to Rest in God
Studies show those who are engaged in strong relationships cope with stress better and are overall happier and healthier.
(One study even found a lack of strong relationships increases the risk of premature death by 50 percent!)
In this age of social media, where many of our relationships are superficial and shallow, we need strong relationships more than ever.
And there is no relationship that can be stronger than the one we have with the God who created us. Gave up everything for us. And unconditionally loves us.
So, let’s learn how to rest in God by getting to know Him as we follow these 4 easy steps.
“Be still, and know that I am God!”-Psalm 46:10 NLT
1) How to Rest in God’s Promises . . . Read God’s Word.
Reading God’s Word is the first step to getting to know God. Which is how we learn to rest in God’s promises.
Because we won’t know the amazing promises God has given us if we don’t read about them!
God gave us the Bible to help us learn about Him, remind us of His promises, and give us hope in this dark world.
As we read His word, we learn what the Bible says about resting in God. And we learn we can trust God no matter how hard life gets.
Because Scripture clearly shows us that God loves us. He is with us. And He knows what He is doing.
- if He can send plagues to release a nation enslaved,
- part a sea to lead them to safety,
- take over a city just through trumpets blaring and praise,
- defeat an army of tens of thousands with only 300 men,
- save three men from a blazing furnace,
- raise Jesus from the dead,
- turn a murderer into a gospel preacher,
- and so much more . . .
Then He can handle anything that comes our way.
Reading God’s Word is how we begin to find God. How we get to know Him. And how we learn to rest in Him.
Just as the body cannot breathe without air, our weary souls need the fresh breath of air God’s Word brings to our souls.
Just as the body cannot go too long without water or food, our hungry souls need to spend time drinking in God’s Living Water and eating the Bread of Life as we feast on Scripture.
And just as the body needs a good daily cleansing. Our souls also need a good daily cleansing as the Bible shows us the sins we need to repent of and the right way to live.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”-Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
2) How to Rest in God’s Presence . . . Embrace prayer as a way of life.
When we pray, we are conversing with God. This is how we enter His presence and find rest!
We can pray while we are in the shower, as we run errands, and as we do housework.
We can offer up a quick, “Lord, help me!” prayer when dealing with a teenager, or a “Jesus, be with me!” prayer during a heated growth opportunity with our spouse.
We can pray anywhere because God is everywhere.
- There are quick check-up chats and deep discussions.
- Casual dialogs and even disagreements.
- There are moments where we need to bring decisions before Him.
- And times when we need to dig deeper and let Him heal us.
Prayer is an ongoing conversation with the One who loves us without reservation!
As we embrace prayer as a way of life, we become fully alive in Christ.
And we find rest in Him.
Because no matter what we face, we can bring it all before the One who is holding billions of stars in place.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
3) How to Rest in God’s Love, Peace, and Grace . . . Spend time in meditation.
Prayer and meditation are similar practices because both are ways to converse with God. However, meditation involves more focus and learning the art of listening.
Biblical meditation calls us to focus on God. By regularly sitting still before the Lord we quiet our minds and learn to listen to Him.
It is great practice if we find, as we pray, we are the ones doing all the talking!
It is also a great way to learn how to rest in His love, peace, and grace. Because as we spend time with Him . . . we realize we are simply hanging out with our best friend.
And that fills our hearts with joy!
Three Ways to Meditate
1) One way to meditate is to focus on your breath. Think of breathing out your cares and worries, while breathing in the peace that comes from the Holy Spirit. You can also focus on one of God’s promises or attributes as you breathe slowly.
2) Another way to meditate is to focus on Scripture. While you read a passage of God’s word, SLOW DOWN. Think about each phrase and what it might have meant to the original readers. And then consider if God has anything to say to you through the passage.
3) We can also meditate by speaking Scripture. You can pray Scripture by sticking your name into a passage and praying God’s Word back to Him.
For example, take Psalm 91:2 and say, “This I, [your name], declare about the Lord: He alone is [your name’s] refuge, [your name’s] place of safety; he is [your name’s] God, and [your name] trusts Him.”
It’s a great way to rest in His love and grace!
“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”-Psalm 91:2 NLT
4) How to Rest in God’s Sovereignty . . . Thank God in Praise.
In a devotional by Jess Connolly, she talks about how she had developed a fear of flying after an episode of turbulence on a flight. She discussed this with her counselor who told her:
“Somewhere along the way your brain learned that fear kept you safe on the plane. You got scared, and you got what you wanted—to land safely—so your brain decided subconsciously that the trick of being scared worked.”
And then Jess stated:
“Maybe your subconscious learned a lesson incorrectly, and it’s time to learn the truth. The best way I know to do that is to act courageously and experience the fruit for myself. My plan is to praise where I used to fear and teach my brain how well that works.”-Jess Connolly, “Take It Too Far”
I love the idea she proposes that we can teach our brains not to fear by teaching them how well praise works.
After all, it’s hard to keep a smile off your face when speaking words of praise!
Praise reminds us of who God is, all He has done for us, and the incredible future He has promised us.
Praise makes a way for gratitude to flow from our hearts. While bringing joy and peace to our souls.
Praise helps us rest assured that no matter what we face in life, God is good. He loves us. And He is with us.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”-Isaiah 26:3 NLT
How to Find Rest in God
You get to know someone by spending time with them. By engaging in frequent conversations with them.
And God is no different.
We can learn how to find rest in God by spending time in His presence. By reading His Word, praying, meditating, and worshipping Him with praise.
And as we get into the habit of doing these things, we will find our stress, worries, doubts, and fears fading away . . . in the light of His mercy, love, power, and grace.
Because as we grow in our relationship with Christ. As we take the time to experience being in His Presence. As we learn how to truly KNOW Him . . . we are reminded that no matter what we face in life, we have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of us.
You can’t get any closer to someone than that.
And knowing God is that close to us, makes it easier to let go of the stress . . . and embrace His rest!
If you found this encouraging, then please share so it can bless someone else!
And be sure to check out these other inspiring reads:
- 4 Steps to Learning How to Forgive Yourself
- 5 Amazing Reasons to Live with Eternal Hope
- Wrestling with God: 3 Ways to Trust God When Life is Hard
Great post! I am very glad that I stumbled across it because it was exactly what I needed today!
Hoping that you are keeping well, Collene!
I am so glad that you enjoyed it and benefitted from this! I am doing well. Thank you!