by Ashleigh Beason, LPCA
We all struggle with unbelief in some way, shape, or form: unbelief that God is good in the midst of hardship, that He loves you even when it seems no one else does, that He is faithful in times when we desperately need him to show up, and that He is in control when nothing is going the way you planned it. As humans, unbelief and doubt come naturally but always leave us feeling anxiety stricken and fear oriented.
Rest–a word that today’s society often longs for but not many actually experience. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because our culture is obsessed with the virtue of work, perhaps it’s because balancing all that life brings does not allow for rest, perhaps it’s because everything around us screams, “Now!”
But I often wonder if we don’t spend time resting because we don’t trust God with our time, we forget who He is in the midst of our busy-ness, or because we don’t believe He is who He says He is. We can know intellectually who He is but our actions do not demonstrate that. Hebrews 3 says that the Israelites were “unable to enter (God’s rest) because of unbelief.” This is the importance of believing God is who He says he is, so we can enter into His rest. In fact, the very next verse says “the promise of entering His rest still stands…only to those who have believed,” and isn’t that something we all want to experience? This is a promise, rest.
He is in control when everything seems out of control and not going the way you planned
He is loving even when it seems no one else is
He is faithful when we need him to show up
He is good in the midst of hardship and nothing is going right
Doesn’t that give you a sense of rest and peace?
Rest is something God wants for us so deeply. Rest it is something that was fully experienced in the garden of Eden…uninterrupted time with God, believing in His goodness, faithfulness, and loving nature. But then Adam and Eve started to doubt his goodness, faithfulness, and love so in their unbelief they ate from the tree and fell away from God’s rest and presence. Isn’t this what we all do daily? We doubt one characteristic of God and anxiety creeps in.
We read on in Hebrews 4 that rest is something we have to “strive” for. It does not come easily because it is not what is natural. Unbelief is natural, hurriedness is natural, work is what is natural. But even in our striving it is no mistake that the end of Hebrews 4 about entering into God’s rest is about Jesus who is the only reason we are able to enter into rest with God. This verse reminds us that even in unbelief, hurriedness, anxieties, and fear we can “draw near, with confidence to the throne of grace” to God’s presence, to the place of rest “and he will give us grace in our time of need.” Jesus will meet us in our place of unbelief and doubt and remind of us His character, of His peace, goodness, faithfulness, and love.
The enemy does his best work to make us doubt the most when we live a hurried life so take time this week to rest: to RE-SET, to create a garden experience for yourself, reminding yourself of God’s character and the importance of spending uninterrupted time in His presence. Perhaps rest is what you need most.
Ashleigh Beason, LPCA