Destination Called Peaceful Rest

Are You Looking for the Way to a Destination Called Peaceful Rest?

For almost thirty years, this country hill in Maine has been home to our family. One by one, we’ve added to the numbers until, soon, we’ll be 14 Morins in all, but it all started with two of us. The longer we live here, the more obvious it becomes that “home” is really more about the people than the place.

In his dealings with Israel, God bends over backward to urge them (and now us!) to make our home in him, to find our rest in him. Hebrews 4:1 opens with the invitation and a warning:

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

Hebrews 4:1

The writer of Hebrews speaks of “entering” God’s rest as a destination, but it’s clear that Peaceful Rest is found in a Person.

Therefore… Choose Rest Over Discontentment

For present-day believers, rest is a discipline, but it is also a gift from God. Rest isn’t one more thing to clutter up your to-do list! It’s not just another kind of work that needs a check mark, but rather a trust-based admission that the first work and the most important work has already been done.

Israel’s example is a warning to us:

They had forfeited rest in the Land of Promise. They longed for a different place, even a return to Egypt! Trusting an unseen God did not feel safe.

What self-salvation strategies do you implement rather than resting in God’s provision for your soul? God’s invitation to rest in him, to make him your home shouts, “Stop spinning plates! End your ceaseless striving! Believe that God is enough!”

Therefore… Choose Rest Over Worry

God did not promise Israel a trouble-free existence in the Promised Land. They would have to conquer it yard by yard, and he has not promised present-day believers a life without hassles. He has, however, promised to give us peace in the midst of the hassles.

Our response to trouble is all about the location of our souls. Have you located your soul in relation to God?

As John Koesslser has said in The Radical Pursuit of Rest, “Like Israel we experience divine rest starting with relocation… [But] instead of relocating to a different point on the map we are brought into union with Christ.”

If you have made your home in Christ, if you are trusting in him and his sovereign goodness, you will find rest in your journey. Detours and obstacles may abound, but rest can be your traveling companion–and your destination.

The promise still stands. You are invited to enter his rest, the only true destination that offers peace no matter what.

What self-salvation strategies do you implement rather than resting in God’s provision for your soul? God’s invitation to #rest in him, to make him your home shouts, “End your ceaseless striving! Believe that God is enough!”

And Now Let’s Talk Books…

Just Rest

Rest is a counter-cultural concept in our world of hurry and hustle, but it’s a habit that counteracts anxiety. In Just Rest, Melanie Redd shares that 95% of college counselors express concern over the level of anxiety and depression on campus. In response, she guides her readers through ninety days of strong habits supported by a daily verse, a prayer, a positive declaration, and a call to action.

Redd’s favorite name for God is Adonai Tov–“The Lord is Good.” God’s goodness stands as an invitation to rest, for no matter what presents itself, whatever appears on the horizon, remembering God’s goodness changes my response.

Melanie writes with the courage, confidence, and conviction of a woman who has gone to the source of rest and come away with good news. And here it is: The storms we fear, the path we seek, the veiled ending to our story are already stilled, found and known by the God who promises to be our rest and our peace. You will be changed as you read, journal, and pray your way toward this deeply transformative truth.

In #JustRest, @MelanieRedd writes with the courage, confidence, and conviction of a woman who has gone to the source of rest and come away with Good News.

Embrace Your Life

Elizabeth Woodson is a black woman, single, and living on the older side of young. I am a white woman, married, and living on the younger side of old. Differences aside, we met over the words of Embrace Your Life, because we share in common a need to reconcile the life we envisioned with the life we actually have.

If longing is your companion, Woodson offers a scriptural guide for living in that liminal space wholeheartedly. Good theology supports an understanding of the roots of longing, and lessons from the life of Joshua provide a model for the believer who is intent upon accepting God’s invitation to self-examination, lament, hope, remembering, faith, and joy.

Woodson sounds the alarm to awaken those who have been busy masking their longings with unhealthy and unhelpful behaviors. Best of all, we are not defined by our longings. As important as they are to us and to God, he invites us to make his glory and his Word our ultimate desire. Nothing else can bear the weight of our all our hopes.

“Keeping it real” with God includes telling him our real feelings, asking him for our heart’s desire, and trusting him with the outcome. The end goal is contentment, not as a result of swapping lives with someone who’s living our dream, but by choosing to embrace the given, not allowing the not-given to blind us to the goodness of God or the beauty of the life he has assigned to us.

Holding You in the Light,

If longing is your companion, Elizabeth Woodson offers a scriptural guide for living in that liminal space wholeheartedly. @missjazzyliz @bhpub #EmbraceYourLife

Got Questions?

If you need help in framing good questions to carry your wondering, there’s no better place to begin than scripture. I’ve prepared a FREE printable to get you started. Half a Dozen Biblical Questions for Entering (and Enduring) Hard Times is free to all newsletter subscribers. If you’re navigating life with a chronic illness, struggling financially, or simply dealing with daily overwhelm, God welcomes your questions because he welcomes YOU.

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Many thanks to BH Publishers, Net Galley, and End Game Press for providing copies of these books to facilitate my reviews, which are, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

65 thoughts on “Are You Looking for the Way to a Destination Called Peaceful Rest?”

  1. I love the verse a few lines later that says, “whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”

    “What heights of love, what depths of peace
    When fears are stilled, when strivings cease”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good words Michele. I find the hardest lesson is to Choose Rest Over Ceaseless Striving to be enough and do enough. I have watched as each of my uber-productive and creative God-fearing parents has been taken into the slow diminishing unproductive years of Alzheimer’s…I have watched and wondered what God is doing in their spirits as their bodies and minds no longer can GO and DO…Are they at last learning to REST in HIs Love for them without any performance needed? I want to learn to rest without being forced into a state of rest…The ‘yet not I’ life of being in Christ and having Him living through me is what I aspire to. His teammate in His yoke. He knows what that will take. He’ll compete the good work in each of us.
    Thanks for your good words ( :

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    1. I hear you.
      There’s rest that amounts to being sent to a “time out chair” by God–and then there’s rest that’s chosen as the “better thing” because it’s focused on communing with Christ, God’s Word and His ways. We’ve got some work to do…

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  3. “For present-day believers, rest is a discipline, but it is also a gift from God.” So true! Sometimes I can turn rest into another to-do, but it’s better to view rest as God’s gift, not yet another work on my part.

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  4. What a beautiful view! I think “rest” is something so many of us struggle with.. especially peaceful rest. Even when my body is at rest, I often feel like my thoughts are going a million miles a minute.

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  5. I appreciate your view here of rest as a destination. A few years ago I really took a look at “rest” when I retired. I was reminded that to rest is not a suggestion. It is a command.

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  6. Michele, thank you for your beautiful reminder of Rest with Christ. I love, “The promise still stands. You are invited to enter his rest, the only true destination that offers peace no matter what”.

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  7. Yes to rest as you explore it. David Whyte (poet) is doing three Sundays on Rest in May but I didn’t sign up for it, but it did sound good.

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  8. Wow, what a view you have from your property. It truly looks restful. I so appreciate the word picture of relocating to that place called resting in Jesus. I need to make my way there much more frequently than I do. Beautiful words, Michele.

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  9. Choosing rest is so important- not only for the body, but especially for the soul. Great article, and the books sound wonderful.

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  10. Genesis 18 – 6 And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” 7 And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

    Biblical ‘fast food’ was so different than today’s concept. We think we have it so much better with all our conveniences – yet – here we are talking about our great need for rest. Does anyone else see the irony in this?

    “Trusting an unseen God did not feel safe.” There is nothing new under the sun – we struggle with this same issue thousands of years later. And they did not know Jesus or Holy Spirit. You would think we could have made more progress by now. 😦

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  11. This statement caught my attention: “rest can be your traveling companion–and your destination.” I’m thinking of those times when the to-do list is long and there seems no way to shorten it. Everything on it seems equally necessary. So we plunge ahead, working as efficiently as we can to meet the expectations and deadlines. BUT! Rest can be our travel companion as we work–leaning on God’s all-sufficiency, restoring our spirits in the cocoon of his presence, taking joy in the serving of others, etc. We can also look forward to REST at the end of the to-do marathon (an ending we should protect from more busy-ness!), to replenish our strength–physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We’ll then be ready to run again!

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  12. Michele. this is a good reminder when I find myself missing Maine. Growing up in a coastal town there where many generations of my family lived and farmed is a place and people I miss a lot sometimes, but you’re so right–True rest is all about the location of our souls! And that’s in the person of Christ, not an earthly spot!

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  13. Michele, the second half of Hebrews 13:5 comes to mind: “Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” I know the beginning of the verse talks about keeping free from the love of money, but perhaps it also applies to all the other things we find ourselves striving after …things that keep us from pursuing rest. God has promised to be with us always; what could be better than that?

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  14. I also love the bench and the meaning behind that area.

    Home and rest are in a person, not a place. That’s good to realize.

    Thanks for linking up at the Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop 18!

    Laurie

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  15. Taking time out to rest is so important but I know I often distract myself from doing so. The words “be still and know that I am God” are ones I often come back to when I’m reminded of the importance of rest. #PoCoLo

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  16. “Choose rest over discontentment.” That really stood out to me, Michele. So often I look around at the state of my house and property and I express discontent, thinking it’s just too much for us. Then, if I dwell on it, it takes away my peace and rest. BUT, when I choose rest over discontentment, what a contrast. I am at peace and am not bothered by the circumstances or conditions surrounding me. And I don’t feel so overwhelmed. What a blessing that God gives us rest even now, before that final rest of eternity. Blessings to you!

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  17. I love when I come across a post like this on more than one platform. I take it as a sign that God has more for me to learn. I’m glad that I am on summer break because I think God is calling me to new forms of rest. Stay tuned …

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  18. You say so many great things here, Michele.
    “Home is really more about the people than the place.”
    “For present-day believers, rest is a discipline, but it is also a gift from God. Rest isn’t one more thing to clutter up your to-do list!”
    “Whatever appears on the horizon, remembering God’s goodness changes my response.”

    I’m thankful you’re passing along to us the beautiful things you’re learning about rest.

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  19. Michele, I am learning “rest” isn’t a destination, it’s a person. Maybe that’s why Jesus calls us to come to Him when we are weary! Yet I still wander everywhere looking for just the right spot to “rest”!

    Like

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