In a natural disaster, our most common reaction is to be scared, anxious, and freak out.
Yet the first thing we’re told by emergency responders is to remain calm.
This is the same command God gives us in unknown or frightening circumstances.
He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Although chaos may surround you externally, God doesn’t want you to become chaotic on the inside.
The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)
The Bible is filled with scriptures pertaining to fear, trust, and faith.
And this is for good reason.
If you’re not resting in His promises, which only comes through faith, then you’re “like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)
What Does “Rest” Mean to You?
When you think of the word rest, What do you think of?
Most people think of ceasing from work—relaxing, slowing down, unwinding, and sleeping.
However, there’s another definition of rest—the definition that God is implying when He gives us this command.
“Rest: To be placed or supported, so as to stay in a specified position.” (google-rest)
So when God is saying, “be still and know that I am God” or “I will give you rest”, He’s saying be “placed and positioned” in Him—in His promises, in His faithfulness, and in His truth.
That’s because He alone can give you a hope that truly anchors your soul.
A hope so secure that when trials and difficulties come, you’re not driven and tossed like the waves crashing all around you.
If you’ve ever looked at a bird’s nest you’ll notice how it’s positioned and secured in the branches.
Even though the winds come, the nest remains secure.
The bird and chicks aren’t worried about the height, what’s underneath them, or above them.
They’re secured and resting in the assurance of their support.
That support for you is none other than Jesus Christ.
He wants you to rest in Him with such assurance as those birds in their nests.
Now I’ve been asked before, “How do I actually rest in Him? It’s so hard to do, I don’t know how.”
Yes, it’s hard because it’s the opposite of what our culture teaches us—which is to stress out and do something now!
And, it’s the opposite of our natural tendencies—which is to worry and be consumed with fear.
You have to remember, there’s no message of peace or assurance in the world because it cannot give what it does not have.
That’s because true peace that surpasses all understanding comes only from Jesus Christ. (See John 14:27)
The only way to truly have rest is to know Jesus Christ and allow His promises to overpower everything and everyone else.
3 Steps to Finding Rest in a Restless World
Step #1: Have a Devotional Life
Resting in God’s promises isn’t a one-time response.
It’s an actual way of thinking which begins with reading God’s Word consistently.
Because once you know God’s character from His Word, and the personal relationship You have with Him, then you can begin to trust Him.
You don’t trust someone you don’t know, so it must begin there.
Step #2: Remember What God’s Already Done.
Remember and acknowledge all those times God was faithful to you in the past and how God came through. Those
Those stones of remembrance as I like to call them, are great to have in your toolbox to pull out when doubt or fear arises and you can’t manage to see the horizon.
This is exactly what David did when he was a servant in Saul’s kingdom.
David pulled out his stones of remembrance when he defeated Goliath.
David said, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37)
David was afraid I’m sure.
But his faith overpowered his fear because he saw the power of God at work before in his life.
He knew his life was positioned, placed, and supported in the Lord and that he had gained a great confidence from those faith experiences to go forward.
Hebrews 4:9-10 says, “There remains, therefore, a rest for the people of God.”
God says that His burden is easy and His yoke is light for those that choose to follow Him. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Remembering what God has already done for you will give you the courage you need when new trials come your way.
Step #3: Self-check to See What Exactly it is You’re Carrying
Ask yourself this question:
“Is the burden I’m carrying right now light or heavy?”
If heavy, you’re carrying more weight than you were intended to carry.
It means you have to give it to God and trust in His promises.
Only then will you find the rest He promises is available to you in His Word.
When you really take the moment to analyze your life, it helps you to see if you’re resting in God’s promises or not.
God doesn’t want you weighed down or stressed out.
He want you to rest in Him and His promises.
Worship artist Chris McClarney wrote a beautiful song that illustrates this concept of truly resting in God called Defender.
Let this song be your life anthem.
Choose to rest in the knowledge of who God is.
So when the storms of life are shaking the world around you, your heart will not be moved.
“Resting in your promise,
I will rest within the knowledge that You care.
I put my trust in You.
Deep within the darkness,
Though my enemies surround I will not fear,
I put my trust in You.
And when I don’t know what to do,
Jesus, I will fix my eyes on You.
For You’re my defender, I hide my hope in you.
You are the loving arms my broken heart can run to…”