Finding Rest in Times of Unrest

As a child being afraid of the dark, nighttime was not pleasant for me.  Some nights rest would be hard to come by and I would wake my sister from her bed to come with me so that I could get some rest.  There was something about the presence of having someone there with me in that dark time that was comforting.

Dark times and seasons of weariness can keep people balled up in a bundle of nerves.  But, when they realize someone is with them, someone is there holding their hand through the tough seasons; it helps them endure until they arrive on the other side of the difficulty they were facing.

Times of unrest may come in many ways.  The word “unrest” means that things are disturbed from their normalcy.  Suddenly, things do not look or feel like they usually do.  One can wake up to a world in a moment that is different and unfamiliar because of certain events.  Things like this make people nervous about what is going on.  That nervousness can turn to fear and panic.  But for those who have attached themselves to the Lord, throughout the Word, He speaks of comfort and rest in times of uncertainty.

Moses in the past needed reassurance about continuing to lead the children of Israel, and God spoke this promise to him: “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (Exodus 33:14).  Those words would, no doubt, carry him through the difficult task of leading a multitude of people who were often referred to as being “stiffnecked” (vs. 5).  Those very people he led and labored over and prayed for would test his patience many times over, but I can imagine those reassuring words God spoke to him kept feeding encouragement to his soul – because, even when it did not look like or feel like it, Moses knew he was not alone.  He may not always be able to rely on people, but Moses could always rely on God, and oh, what comfort that is in the darkest of times.

Later, Moses would be instructed to pass this same level of encouragement on to the people because there would be days, and there would be battles they would face which would seem to be much more than they could handle.  But Moses relayed this message to them: “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 20:1).  On the way to the Promised Land there would be some times of fighting – but their certainty in the midst of everything they would face; their rest, would be found in the presence of God with them.

And that is the key to finding rest in times of unrest.  It is realizing, that as a child of God, no matter what we face, we do not face it alone.  The fighting may still be there.  The dark days may seem to eclipse the good – but through it all we are never alone.  There is great comfort in that, and we still have that promise with us today, and His name is Jesus.

Although this is not the Christmas season, we are still reminded of what was spoke of Him by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; see also Isaiah 7:14).

“God with us.”  Those beautiful words of reassurance were spoken to Joseph, but they are words of reassurance to us all – “God with us.”  In the darkness, He is there, with His people, promising to never leave them, nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).  In the uncertainty, it is His presence that allows us to find rest.  That is why David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).  David found reassurance in knowing that God was with him in the dark valleys of life.

We have seen how God’s presence brought rest in the most trying times in the past, and we have the reassurance of Jesus (God with us) with us even today.  But we also have this promise into eternity.  Jesus said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3; emphasis mine).  Regardless of the uncertainty and unrest we face, there we will have a heavenly joy that will never fade away.  There we will have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4), untouched and unbothered by the things we see down here that are before us.

But, to get there.  To receive that reassurance of rest for today and for that time to come, you must be born again.  You must be saved.  The Bible tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8; also see 2 Chronicles 15:2).

Are you seeking to draw near to Him today?  Jesus is the only true rest that you will find in any time of unrest.  But only those who attach themselves to Him can claim this promise for their life: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

We have “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  But, as the Son of God, Jesus came and died for our sins that we might be free (John 3:16; John 8:36).  The Bible tells us, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

If you want to find true rest and be in right standing before God, you need to surrender your life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Savior.

After hearing Peter’s powerful message on the day of Pentecost, the hearts of the people were pricked, and they asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).  In the very next verse, it says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27, 28).  Do you hear Him calling you today?  Will you answer the call?  In Christ Jesus is the only place where you will ever find rest in times of unrest. With Jesus, you will never have to fear the dark.

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