Resting Place

quiet I'm thinkingImage by Grant MacDonald via Flickr

..since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the LORD your God is giving you....In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Deut. 12:9 John 14:2-3

For me, the Christian life is often full of contradictions. Yesterday I heard a preacher on the radio saying that if we don't feel the joy of the Lord evey day then there is something wrong with us. Of course, the Bible promises us joy as well as peace, fullfilment and so many other good things, but it also promises us trouble and pain. Again this morning on the radio I heard a Christian lady talking about losing a child and how she felt that she had not coped very well because she just cried all the time. I thought to myself that she had coped very well. Indeed the lack of tears would have been a very serious problem! I think that sometimes we burden ourselves with what we believe God and other people expect of us. Perhaps the latter is the real problem.

I just want to remember today that I am not perfect. I am human, weak, lacking knowledge, strength, and more besides. But I also have achieved much. God has enabled me to get through another year with a desire still to be close to Him. For me that is the most important thing, to keep praying and seeking and to accept all my weaknesses. I want to remember that this world is not my resting place. When I get to heaven and see Jesus face to face, only then will I find my true rest.

Comments

Gudl said…
Yes, however, we also must try to overcome our weaknesses, not just accept them, at least try to become better. But you are right, we are nowhere 'perfect'... we are human. ... thankfully we serve a God who is full of mercy.
Anna said…
Hi Mike, happy new year! Once you have visited my blog, just going through my archives. BTW great post. You said: 'Of course, the Bible promises us joy as well as peace, fullfilment and so many other good things, but it also promises us trouble and pain.' - I think we need both, balance is the key, just sometimes we get too much of one or the other. Thanks, Anna :)
SuzyQ said…
"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
Sometimes we have to become aware of our weakness so that we can lean more and more upon God's strength.
As many of the saints new well, God does not only make himself known through consolation but also trial.
We all have to carry our cross in this life.
Walk in His shoes on our way home.
Where we will finally find complete, undisturbed rest and peace:)
Wanda said…
Thank goodness our Joy doesn't come from our circumstances, but our relationship with our Lord.

This was a wonderful post, and what a daily encouragment you are to all of us. I may have to start calling your Pastor Mike.

Have a wonderful time at your retreat!!
Paulie said…
Yes, my strength comes from Jesus who takes my weakness and makes it strong when I rely on Him!
Great post, Mike!
Susan
Dave said…
You made some really great points there. Too bad we all don't see our Christian lives in such a focus. Thanks for the reminder! :-)
oldmanlincoln said…
Hello.

I came to say, "Thanks" for all of your visits. I have not been able to make it around to everyone but will. It just takes time.

Best wishes for the new year to you and your family from me and Patty.
Allen said…
Thank you for the reminder. Our future is His perfection, our present is the flesh, our journey is His daily purging of our impurities if we are willing. I find myself wondering, how many times did Jesus just close His eyes and shake His head at the thoughts and actions of the twelve. And, how many times did He laugh until He ached at and with them. As the Apostle Paul said, In my weakness, He is made strong. Thank you for the encouraging post.
Angie said…
His power is made perfect in weakness. Isn't it an amazing thing? Yes, we'll have all of eternity to look on the miraculous ways of God! Our faith will become sight and we shall see Jesus as He really is. In the meantime, we are being sanctified and being conformed into His image. What promises to hold on to! Take care, bro.
Becky Wolfe said…
Thank goodness Jesus doesn't expect perfection from us or none of us would ever achieve heaven.

I agree that it is certainly hard to 'rejoice always' and that we do often try to act the way we think others think we should be acting. God knows our hearts & there's no faking what's inside there :)
Sidharth said…
My dream last night was that a boy coming and asking me, "Should I rejoice in this(some tragic situation)" and my answer to it was "Rejoice always, give thanks IN everything".

Many people get offended by this command to rejoice and give thanks in all circumstances. God isn't asking us to rejoice "for" sickness or death or pain....He wants us to joy in HIM- in His Healing, His Comfort, His Faithfulness, His Love....and most of all our POSITION as sons to HIM [Luke 10:21].

No one will "Feel" like giving thanks and joying in any hardship or tragedy...and thats why Scripture calls it a "sacrifice" of thanksgiving. A sacrifice obviously will cost us much- our emotions, our thoughts, sometimes even our notions...

This is not about being mechanical about thanking Him....God tells us to thank Him for OUR safety [Phil 3:1]

Check out this article of mine...it has blessed many: JOY

Sid
Sidharth said…
Moreover its sad that most of us take "joying" in Him as a burden. God is telling us, "Relax and Enjoy Me.". Our sinful nature rebels against this simple good command which is a safeguard for ALL circumstances...

Sid
GrandmaK said…
As I reflected on your words this a.m. I found I really had nothing to add (you might want to make note of the date) for you said it all so very well as did all who have commented here. God bless you as you begin this new week! Cathy
Andrea said…
Great post. The picture looks like a great place to relax and get some peaceful rest. I would love to be sitting there right now.
Suz said…
I hope your retreat was a good one! Peace & joy, Suz.
michaelonbass said…
Great post. I understand where you're coming from.

Thank the Lord for His grace to all who believe.

Let the Holy Spirit guide us through the struggles of life in this world so that we may overcome it.

Peace!
Debbie365 said…
Mike, there has rarely been a time I have read your posts where it did not meet a need that I had at that time. This one is no exception. I have been going through some difficulty the past several months, and I do find myself worrying about what people are thinking. I wonder if they are growing impatient with me and deciding that I am not coping well enough - or fast enough because I'm not 'through' it yet. I guess I need to quit worrying about that, huh?
Sandy Carlson said…
Hi, Mike,
Your post made me think that so many times Christians are too hard on themselves. That's very sad because Jesus was all about compassion. Still, we seem to be plagued by some bizarre perfectionism that robs us of the peace and joy of daily living.

Thanks for offering up such a thought provoking blog. It's great.
TheNewBreed said…
i got the new post !
Mike said…
I am so blessed by all your comments. I love it when you challenge me and make me think. Thank you. Thank you Gudl and michaelonbass...yes I need to overcome! Perhaps it is also acceptance of myself in the process that I am lacking. God bless you all!
Amrita said…
What you say here is balanced teaching...realistic.Sorrows and trials make us stronger and develop patience in us.
If you've still got the desire to be close to Him, you've got the key ingredient.
I've been blogging about "desire" lately, and reading Eldredge's book, The Journey of Desire.

""To live with desire is to choose vulnerability over self-protection; to admit our desire and seek help beyond ourselves is even more vulnerable. It is an act of trust. In other words, those who know their desire and refuse to kill it, or refuse to act as though they don't need help, they are the ones who live by faith."
Great post. I've found that Jesus will give us His peace even when we experience suffering. The joy of the Lord is our strength, even through the tears.