True rest brings us into a right relationship with God and with others. When we experience this kind of rest, we feel revitalized, more alert, more creative and more human. Our capacity to love others, as well as our desire to be in relationship, increases. A deficiency of rest can compromise the quality and meaning of our work and negatively impact our health, family and personal lives.
Difficulty entering into rest might indicate that we’ve made an idol of our work. As fallen and broken human beings, we might devote ourselves to work in the vain hope that it alone will bring us meaning, purpose, security or happiness. Our work can become driven by a desire for perfection, worth, admiration or status. Perhaps some of us define success by comparing ourselves to others and working to have more than they do. Still others of us may use work to avoid dealing with other areas of life. We sacrifice our health, our families and our discipleship on the altar of excessive work.
The idol of work might fool us for a time, until we are passed over for promotion, fired, laid off or retired. Then we discover that work comes to an end, and meanwhile, we have become strangers to our family and friends. Fulfillment doesn’t come from frenzied work. It comes from rest and repentance. And strength comes from quietness and trust, trust that who we are in Christ is enough.
Jesus, if I’ve made work into an idol or even an addiction, I repent and ask you to heal my wayward heart. Help me to take the steps I need to enter into true rest. Amen.
-From Finding Work and Life Balance daily devotional
All of us become disappointed when we have a plan that fails, a hope that does not materialize, a goal that is unreached. When things like that happen, for a certain period of time we experience a letdown, one that can lead to depression if it is not handled properly.
That’s when we have to make the decision to adapt and adjust, to take a new approach, to just keep going despite our feelings. That’s when we must remember that we have the Greater One residing within us, so that no matter what may happen to frustrate us, or how long it may take for our dreams and goals to become reality, we are not going to give up and quit just because of our emotions. That is when we must remember what God once told me in just such a moment: “When you get disappointed, you can always make the decision to get reappointed!”
Disappointment often leads to discouragement, which is even more of a “downer.” How disappointing and discouraging it is to see the things we love senselessly destroyed by others or, even worse, by our own neglect or failure.
Regardless of how it may happen or who may be responsible, it is hard to go on when everything we have counted on falls down around us. That’s when those of us who have the creative power of the Holy Spirit on the inside can get a new vision, a new direction, and a new goal to help us overcome the downward pull of disappointment, discouragement, and destruction.
From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul instructs us not to use any foul or polluting language. At one time, I didn’t realize that this included complaining, but I have since learned that murmuring and complaining pollute our lives.
Plain and simple, complaining is a sin! It causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives and destroys the joy of anyone listening.
We need to ask ourselves, how quick are we to become impatient and begin to complain when stuck in traffic or while waiting in checkout lanes in grocery stores or department stores? How quick are we to spot and point out all the faults of our friends or family members? Do we complain about our job when we should be thanking God that we have one?
The best antidote for complaining is thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for all the good things they have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.
The Bible says that we are to enter God’s courts with praise and thanksgiving. You and I need to make it a daily goal to live a life of thanksgiving. Let’s be as positive and grateful as possible.
Try going to bed at night pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning. Thank God for “little” things or things you might normally take for granted: a parking place, waking up in time for work, a meal, your family… Don’t get discouraged when you fail, but don’t throw in the towel and quit either. Keep at it until you have developed new habits and you are living with an attitude of gratitude.
Be generous with your gratitude. It will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.
Prayer Starter: God, I want to live with an attitude of gratitude, starting right now! I thank you so much for loving me and for blessing me. Help me see the positive things in life and to thank You for them.
—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional
God desires to heal His people from past hurts caused by rejection. He wants you to know He will never reject you. He says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (NKJV). This is referring to those who are laboring at trying to be perfect and then beating themselves down with guilty feelings when they fail.
Jesus was talking to the people who were trying to live under the laws of the Pharisees. It takes a lot to please a Pharisee, and they’re still around today. I’m sure you know one, someone who conveys to you the message, “I’ll accept you if you perform perfectly and please me. I’ll reject you and withhold my love if you don’t.”
Jesus isn’t a Pharisee. He says in John 3:18 that he who believes in Him will never be rejected. Believe in Him, love Him, cling to Him, rely on Him and trust Him. Then you can truly enter in to the joy of the abundant life He offers you.
Prayer Starter: God, thank You for loving me and always accepting me. I believe in You, love You, trust You and rely on You with all that is within me.
—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional