April 5, 2018

I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE:

TO GIVE YOU REST

Joshua 1: 13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

So much stress over this land. So much needless strife. So much wasted time. Year after year, wandering in the wilderness. Mile after mile, marching and walking and thinking. Living in that dry, parched wilderness but never really having a home. Putting up temporary tents, living out of Egyptian suitcases, and building temporary dwellings, only to pull them back down to keep traveling. Women gave birth to children in that caravan, and all but a couple of people that originally left Egypt gradually died off during this journey. What a trip. Now God was faithful, as He always is, to meet their needs. He gave them shade, warmth, food, and water. But there was nothing glamorous in this expedition. It began so victoriously as God miraculously parted the waters of the Red Sea, and later as Manna miraculously fell from Heaven. But then, discontentment quickly came, and complaining and criticism quickly followed.

What is interesting about the whole experience is that it was never necessary from the start. God had already promised this land to the children of Israel. He had already claimed it. He had already provided for it. God was going to go ahead of them and fight the battles and clear the way. God had promised to do so. It was there for the taking. If only they had exercised faith in the promise that God had already made. If you notice the verse, God had not just given them the land, God had given them “rest”. Unfortunately, they had not been able to enjoy either. You see because they did not step out by faith, they were never able to fully “rest” in God’s provision. There was always confusion, distress, and questioning. There was always doubt instead of belief. They saw the Giants and the grasshoppers in the land, but they could not see God. They could have enjoyed the land, and even more importantly, they could have enjoyed God’s rest. How different that would have been from what they experienced. There was little rest on their path through the wilderness all those years.

Until you and I have faith in the promises that God has made, we will never enjoy real rest. God gives the “rest” before he gives the “land”. Notice in the verse which one came first. The “rest” comes from trusting God before He gives the land. That is what faith is. Faith is believing that God will give the land even before we ever see God give the land. We believe it because he said it.

There is some “rest” that you and I can enjoy today. Are you anxious about something going on in your life? Are you concerned, confused, or even tempted to complain. Are you beginning to wonder or doubt that God will honor His promises?
* Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.