The Need for Rest

Hebrews 4:9, “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.”

Ironically, I am writing this as I am heading on a plane for a much needed vacation. Yet as I tried to sleep on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic with my internal time clock already out of sync, I couldn’t help but think about this passage and its application and just had to write.

Let me admit that going on vacation this time around was not an easy thing for me. I avoided telling people about it out of guilt. I even hesitated telling people where I was going in fear that some might think that I wouldn’t be able to be around in the event of an emergency. I also didn’t want to give fuel to the fire for those who consistently spew hateful, negative things. On top of that, I used to pride myself on not taking vacations, days off, or by working all hours of the day and night. “No one can out work me,” I used to think to myself with pride in my heart. A man who took time off was lazy, even soft, and I didn’t want to be one of those guys who were just flat out weak. That certainly has something to do with my struggle to take time to rest.

Well, let me be even more frank: that thinking is completely man centered, sinful garbage. True, God values work. He has shown this by His six days of creation. He has worked throughout history, interacting with His people and leading them to great testimonies of faith in Him. He even did the greatest work of all on the cross willingly and unselfishly. He is a God who works.

However, God also rested. He also wants His servants to rest. In fact, His creation wasn’t complete without that seventh day of rest. Even Jesus took time to rest, going off to refresh and renew Himself with people, places of solitude, and time with His Father. Rest isn’t weak, lazy, or soft- rest, properly done, is a good thing and will make us more effective for Christ’s service.

I look forward to this time with my wife. We are going to enjoy this great creation that God made, taking time to rest and getting revived so we can serve Christ even more as we head into a busy season. Please pray for us, and learn from my own confession: take some time to rest!

Pastor Fran

P.S.: see you after my vacation  😉

When the going gets tough, in what do you trust?

There are moments when you must step up and do the right thing for your family. While not getting into details, I have recently found myself embroiled in an ugly, sad situation in which I was actually concerned for the safety of some of my family members. I’ve had to give advice and support to those I love the most. Most of all, I’ve prayed for the Lord’s safety and direction for them. Yet I am confident that somehow, some way, God will get the glory and His name will be magnified.

But through this, it has brought to my mind a question that we should all ask ourselves when we are struggling through life’s difficult times: when the going gets tough, in what do you trust? Our culture and our own flesh tends to rely on the things that seem best and most convenient: the law, politics, emotions, even manipulation to somehow “win” people over and gain a “victory.” We see these sort of things often in the workplace, social media, or in everyday arguments. However, any so-called victory with these tactics and results are temporary and hollow. In fact, peace, true peace, is never found, only the absence of outer conflict for a season.

Therefore, to achieve real peace, we must be different. Our real trust is not to be on the what, but on the who. While the world will cling to their self-righteous, egocentric tactics based on nothingness, God’s people need to learn to trust Him first. Proverbs 16:20 says, “He who gives attention to the word will find good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.” In the same way, Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” In other words, God is always sovereign and always good, and will always sustain you through your issue at hand as you always trust Him.

Will there be consequences to a situation, including suffering and damage? Sure, this is the broken world that we live in, yet this shouldn’t matter, since God is still with you. Besides, by allowing God to be preeminent in your thoughts, feelings, and practices, He will lead you the right way and the right direction and even in the right methods to work for His glory. And along with this too, He will be your Comforter even now in this time of need.

Lay it all before the Lord, trust in your sovereign God, and let Him lead: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him” (Ps 34:8). Praying for God’s peace in your time of need.

Pastor Fran 

P.S.- in case you missed it, you can find out how to follow Christ by clicking this link or by contacting me.