I need a break. Have you said that lately? The daily grind of living in a fallen world, dealing with people’s “issues,” working hard, wearing down, receiving bad news and trying to bring about some good news, and the occasion of getting knocked flat on your rear — sometimes that’s what life feels like.
When you start feeling down and out, your soul may need a break. A break can look like a long weekend with no cell phone. Or maybe just an afternoon nap. But there are seasons in life when we come off the spiritual battlefield with a knife wound or shell-shocked from what we’ve just experienced, and it’s in those times we need more than a few hours to recuperate. Here’s what God offers as respite:
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
Imagine yourself coming off the battlefield and returning to the Father’s House. Come in for rest, refreshing, quietness, and a peace that you’re in a safe place. Go to that safe place with God. Nestle into His comfort and let Him restore you.
The older we get, often the less contact and less understanding we have of the next generation. But the heritage of our families, our churches, and our nation lies within the next generation.
In Isaiah’s day, God named a symptom of the rebellious children of Israel:
This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:9-10).
Lift up a prayer today for our children. Pray that God cultivate within them a longing for the Word of God and a desire to be taught the truth. Pray for our schools and universities to be places where truth is sought and spoken.
How can you discern how much you’re trusting God?
Talking the faith talk is something all Christians learn to do but it’s no evidence of what’s going on inside. Isaiah 26:3 reveals a measure of our trust in God:
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
Perfect peace is a result of faith, but focus on the middle phrase of this promise; what do you have on your mind? What is your focus? When we’re trusting God, our thoughts will be on Him. When we’re not trusting God, our thoughts will be on our problems.
Friend, I have been there, more times than I care to admit. It’s a fierce battle. If you’re struggling to think on God instead of your problems, memorize Scripture. Journal. Read the Scripture. Name your thankfulness. Recount the identity of God. Don’t give up. God wants to be your center, and He will meet you there.
Streams of sweat poured down the back of my neck as I fidgeted on the mat, dirty bare feet tucked beneath me, eyes gazing back and forth at the village women as they poured one by one through the doorway of the mud hut, smiling and nodding as they found a seat on the floor. Finally my national friend turned to me, and with a nod and a smile she said, “Go ahead, sister. They are hungry for words.”
Hungry for words. Everybody is looking for something. We all long for, even crave for, one thing or another. When’s the last time you knew that your soul was hungry for the truth of God’s Word?
He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness. (Psalm 107:9)
A young family friend of ours cracks me up with his one-liners. He literally looks up sweet talk tips on the internet and tries them out on the girls. He has found some doozies, but what’s really not so funny is that my guess is he doesn’t mean a fraction of what he says with his sweet talk. He’s just talking.
Take a deep breath and think. Do you say loving words to God? Another deep breath. Do you always mean them? Study each of these words carefully and make certain that you mean what you say as you lay this Scripture before God:
O LORD, You are my God.
I will exalt You,
I will praise Your name,
For You have done wonderful things;
Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
One of my favorite places on the planet is Disneyworld. It’s the total package. I love the rides and shows, but it’s also the music, the atmosphere, the beauty, the costuming…that place is dripping with ambiance. The experience begins before you actually step into the park, because Disney parks have these impressive entryways that tower over the lanes where you drive onto their property. It’s a giant welcome sign that is so grand, you know that this is a place you want to be.
I wonder what the entrance of heaven will be like. I don’t know. But God has already set up an entryway to heaven, posted here on earth. God promised that He will set up a banner for the nations (Isaiah 11:12). Let the nations look up! Let the people see! His banner is grand and glorious, inviting the nations to enter in. Point someone toward the banner today, and pray that the nations will see His banner and enter into the kingdom of God.
Some students you’ll never forget. My first year teaching I had a student who smoked, swore, bullied, lied, was disrespectful – I won’t type up the whole list. He was not beyond rehabilitation, no one is. But I cannot describe to you my disappointment when I had a meeting with the parent about this child, and she quickly let me know that this boy did nothing wrong, all his teachers and the principal were against him, and she was furious that I would dare make up such lies about him. All the while, he leaned back in his chair so that she couldn’t see, and he grinned at me, poised his hands like he was praying like an angel, and taunted me with how he had this woman so deceived. She had fallen for his masterful deception.
It often appears that those gifted at deception are the ones who prosper, but God is not deceived: He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of the His ears (Isaiah 11:3). What is seen and what is heard can deceive a human, but God isn’t weighing out circumstantial evidence. He always know the truth and will judge by the truth.
I have a couple of people in my life that I know I can count on not to keep their word. Some people struggle to follow through with good intentions.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like if God didn’t keep His Word? God promised about 2700 years ago:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-2).
I’m eternally thankful that God kept His promise and sent Jesus Christ, who has been every bit of lovely and perfect, wise and understanding as God promised He would be.
I’m supposed to be like my Father. I want to be a woman who keeps my word. It starts when I resolve that I won’t make promises I can’t keep, and I make it a priority to do what I say.