When Your Mind Will Not Rest

When Your Mind Will Not Rest, there is a solution

The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah is one of the best-known songs sung by choirs during the Christmas season each year. Many audiences do not know that the words come from the book of Revelation, or that the 260 pages of Messiah were written in only 24 days in 1741.

This beautiful composition is a call to praise the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who reigns forever. In the book of Psalms, the last five chapters are songs of praise called hallelujah Psalms, beginning with Chapter 146. This Psalm, as others do, begins, and ends with three words, “Praise the LORD!” It becomes personal when the Psalmist vows to praise the LORD all the days of his life.

Today if we as believers made the same vow to God, to praise him all the days of our lives, I believe all our days would be different. If we woke in the morning with praise on our lips, it would set the tone for a productive and peaceful day. Our hearts would be light as we get out of bed with renewed strength and purpose.

The Psalmist goes on to warn against trusting in Princes (human wisdom), but to place our hope in God and be blessed. In God we can be confident of His provision, freedom, restoration, and sovereignty. (Verses 5-10).

For weeks, I was having dreams every night that left me exhausted when I woke up in the morning. It seemed like my mind was busy all night and not getting rest. As I read these Psalms, I began to praise God before going to sleep. From the very first night, there were no more dreams, and my mind was at rest as I slept. Since then, my mornings have been energetic and productive.

The children of Israel sang songs of praise as they traveled to their traditional festivals. But we do not need to wait until our traditional Christmas celebration, or when we are on our way to church to sing praises to the LORD. Our songs of praise can occur anytime day or night.

“I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 146:2 (ESV)

 

 

When Silence Hurts

It seemed God was silent—that our cries were not being heard. We prayed for a year for healing of our loved one, but God did not answer in the way we wanted. Have you ever felt that way? Have you in desperation cried out to Jesus on behalf of a son, daughter or loved one only to feel you had no response from Him at all or an undesired response? In those moments, it would be so easy to give up and doubt God. But even in those moments of perceived silence that cause pain, God is there. He is listening.

Perhaps He is waiting for something that has not yet occurred. That is why it is so important to press on, to be persistent in speaking to Jesus in prayer and believing by faith that He will supply the answers to prayers for others.

As Jesus went from place-to-place teaching, the Scribes and Pharisees constantly confronted him as they tried to discredit Him. He was not only teaching but performing miracles of healing. Power exuded from Him as His word healed. All Jesus had to do was speak a word, and it was so. He did not need to be in the presence of what His word commanded for it to be so.

Such was the case when a mother approached Him desperately seeking help for her daughter. She was a Gentile woman whose daughter was possessed. She knelt before Jesus asking Him to help her, believing that He could heal her daughter. But Jesus was silent. (Matthew 15:23) Yet, in the pain from His silence, the woman persisted. Jesus then saw faith in her persistence and said, “Oh woman, great is your faith. Be it done for you as you desire”. (Matthew 15:28) The daughter was not present in this scene. But Jesus spoke from a distance, and it was so. In that moment, healing took place.

Perhaps you have been praying for someone with a desperate need for Jesus. This story in Matthew 15 encourages us to press on, to never give up, to be persistent and believe by faith that Jesus will address the situation when the time is right. In fact, He intercedes by His Spirit for the saints. He will answer as God’s word tells us — “according to God’s will”. (Romans 8:27) How awesome is that! Jesus prays for us. We can trust Him to do what is best for the ones being prayed for, even when it is not what we expect.

“…and her daughter was healed from that very hour.” (Matthew 15:28b, NKJV)

(This is an excerpt from the upcoming Bible study, Embracing Faith. Watch for it soon.)

ENDURING TO THE END

One morning, I was reading Psalm 100:5 in the ESV Bible translation. The verse includes the phrase: “His steadfast love endures forever.” His love is steadfast. That means it is firmly fixed in place and not subject to change. God will love you forever, no matter what. Nothing can change that.

The word endures was the word that grabbed my attention. Perhaps because we have all been enduring so much this year. I looked at other verses using the word. It excited me to discover it used sixty-six times in the ESV translation along with the word forever. I looked up some of those verses and saw that, not only does God’s love endure forever, but whatever God does endures forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

Out of your own curiosity, look up some of these verses yourself.

  • Psalm 100:5
  • Psalm 111:3
  • Psalm 111:10
  • Psalm 117:2
  • Psalm 119:160
  • Psalm 135:13
  • Ecclesiastes 3:14
  • Lamentations 5:19
  • Daniel 4:3

All of these things endure forever as it relates to God in the Old Testament. Then, in the New Testament, the focus shifts to Jesus and what endures forever for humanity. Matthew 10:22 tells how endurance applies to you. “The one who endures to the end will be saved.”

The word saved in this verse means, in part, delivered, healed, and preserved. We are delivered from evil, healed from sin and preserved for eternity. The one who endures to the end will be preserved forever in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Can I get an Amen!

Endurance is about eternal life. It is running the race of life without giving up, no matter how difficult the circumstances. It is the ability to walk through every hardship, rather than trying to side-step the difficulty. Our labor for God is simple. Believe in Jesus. Trust Him through every situation.

Hebrews 12:3 tells us to think about what Jesus endured so we do not become weary of the struggles we go through. The endurance of Jesus is our example for withstanding hardship and adversity. If we fix our eyes on Him, we can endure. The way we endure any hardship should be done with an attitude toward God’s eternal purpose. It is part of being an ambassador for Christ.

One day we will live in His presence, having endured to the end. We cannot give up. We must not give in. Keep on trusting that God has an eternal purpose in mind for you. Everything He does endures forever.

(This is an excerpt from the Bible Study Living Your Glory Story by Donna Skell and Virginia Grounds available on Amazon and also on my author page.)

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