As an introvert, one of the hardest things for me to do is to walk into a crowded room of people I don’t know.
When I do, I immediately scan the room desperately searching for a familiar face. If I see someone I know, I relax instantly because I know I am 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.
But as we grow in our relationship with Christ. And as we take the time to get to 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 the best way to grow in our relationship with God is to learn to REST in Him.
- But what does resting in God mean?
- And how do we find rest in God?
“Be still, and know that I am God!” -Psalms 46:10 NLT-Psalm 46:10 NLT
1) Read God’s Word.
Reading God’s Word is the first step to getting to know God.
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 we can trust God no matter how hard life gets.
- 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 God’s promises to us.
Just as the body cannot breath 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.
2) Embrace prayer as a way of life.
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.
Prayer is an ongoing conversation with our Creator.
- 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.
As we embrace prayer as a way of life, we become fully alive in Christ.
And we find rest because it is comforting to know that no matter what we face, we can bring it all before the One who is holding billions of stars in place.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”-John 15:5 NLT
3) 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.
It is a great practice if we find as we pray, we are doing all the talking!
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.
Three Ways to Meditate
- One way to meditate is to focus on your breath. Think of breathing out your cares and worries, while breathing in the Holy Spirit. You can also focus on one of God’s promises or attributes as you breathe slowly.
- 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.
- 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.”
You get to know someone by spending time with them. By engaging in frequent conversations with them.
And God is no different.
We find rest in God’s presence when we spend time meditating on Him and His Holy Word.
4) 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 is 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. And it brings 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 wants good for us.
Facing our giants in life is easier when we choose to praise God!
What Happens When We 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 everything for us, and unconditionally loves us.
We can face the hard things in life as we REST in God and grow in our relationship with Him.
This is how we live for more with God.