• Tonie Roberts

Part 1 of the Work of Rest encouraged us to receive rest in our souls. This comes as we join our faith to the word of God and believe - come what may, we are to live in rest, not stress.

But there’s a second part of rest that may be even more difficult for believers to receive and live out, it’s the physical aspect of rest. As Christians, sometimes we think that movement for Christ means movement in Him. It ain’t necessarily so.

Be honest, have you ever been stressed out and maybe burnt out, doing what you believed is the Christian thing to do? You believed you should have gone here, done this, and done that, even when you were so tired you could hardly think straight. You pushed yourself beyond measure. But was pleasing Jesus your motive?

Let’s go back to Matthew 11: 28. Jesus said “HIS” yoke is easy and HIS burden is LIGHT.

In our zeal to please self and others, we can take our OWN heavy yoke. Without the prayerful yoke of Jesus, our efforts only lead to weariness and added stress.

Remember Jesus said, Come to ME! That’s our first and most important responsibility as a Christian.

As we spend time with Jesus daily and learn of Him, we become more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We trade our yoke, our way of doing things for His, resulting in His will being done on earth.

Recently, I considered doing 3 very important tasks that were Christ centered in 1 day. I sensed a lack of peace from the Holy Spirit about one of those tasks, but I felt it was just as important as the other tasks since it involved helping someone. After serving in three areas in one day, I did not feel well for a few days. It wasn't God's will for me to overdo it, and that is not His will for you. Whom Jesus loves, He chastens (Hebrews 12:6). I repented and received healing!

When we live in the rest of God, “we cease from our own works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10). If God rested, so should we. Our bodies are His temple. Let's be obedient and labor to enter the rest of God! As we follow the Lords leading to do things His way and balance that with His rest we become spiritually and physically fit and God is well pleased! After all, it's about pleasing Him!

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  • Tonie Roberts

Life in 2022 can be filled with hurry, worry, and a state of absolute busyness. Running smack into stress is as common as breathing. You’re tested just getting from A to B whether driving, using public transportation or even on waiting for an elevator. The constant sound of sirens can numb our senses to the point of unconcern due to our own stress levels. Hearing of daily random acts of violence, facing constant price increases, unending political insanity, and concern about one public disease then another doesn’t help.

Knowing we would face these things and more, Jesus invites us to live in rest, even in 2022! (Math 11:28)

For more than a month, I read Matthew 11:28 and Hebrews 4, battling with the concept of experiencing this rest Jesus gives. Every time I received the rest, something quickly came along to test the rest. But isn’t that the point?

We’re tested daily but find the answer in “joining our faith with the Word which activates the promise” of rest (Hebrews 4:3 TPT).

When we learn and believe what Jesus has already said about our situation, rest is received (Matth 11:28). Instead of learning what Jesus said and yoking (joining our faith) with the Word (Jesus is the Word) we sometimes allow the tests to reign and wear us down. Weariness and stress set in and rob us of our promised rest, producing stress.

Hebrews 4:11 (KJV) states we should “labor to enter into rest”. What a contradiction of terms! Though Jesus gives us rest, we must labor or make every effort to enter that rest. According to Hebrews 4. doubt is disobedience and it robs us of rest and the promises of God. Doubt/failure to believe, took the lives of the children of Israel.

Jesus says TODAY, despite every obstacle, if we will (we have a choice), we can enter His rest (Hebrews 3:13). Let’s join our faith to the word of God, no matter what today brings, and confidently, obediently live in rest!

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Did you ever wake up feeling purposeless? I have.

Look around. Do you see your friends’ and co-workers or even your neighbors living passionately, engaged with the community with fulfilling lives? They have rewarding jobs, great relationships, and a sense of direction that compels them to jump start their day with excitement!

After looking at others, I began evaluating myself. Am I living in God’s purpose? I know God has something good in store for me and nothing can happen without God ordering it. As Jeremiah 29:11 states “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.”

At the age of 17 I had surgery for a raptured appendix and almost died. The surgery involved a 4–6-inch incision on the lower right side of the abdomen. My recovery wasn’t easy. I experienced many negative thoughts that led to depression and eventually I weighed only 80 pounds.

But one day God spoke to me and gave me an important message. At that time, I felt lost and confused. How was I to know the truth? How was I to believe that God was for me when I didn’t have the desires of my heart? But God’s word says in John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you that in ME you will have peace, in the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world and God is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18)

As I look back, I can clearly see how I’ve grown spiritually in God’s grace. Praise God for His unfailing love and compassion to those who love and fear Him. The Hoy Spirit showed me that my feelings and my life experiences will change each day and the word of the Lord will stand forever. God’s character is unchanging through the ages (Isaiah 40:8)

I realized that when we follow Jesus, He will open doors for us and break the chains that prevent us from moving forward towards His great plan for us. I pray the Lord will help us love Him and trust Him with all our hearts and to give us wisdom and direction to follow His plan for us and stop comparing ourselves to others. As time goes by, God will give us a clear vision of His purpose for each of us and with the help of the Holy Spirit everything falls in the right place.

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