The Gift of Rest, Part 3

“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to Hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.” – 2 Peter 2:4-10

As the Good Shepherd gives His people glorious rest, He provides good and right conditions for us to truly lie down and do so. He provides us a haven where we are safe and have refuge from the threats on the outside. Christ brings us to a place of rest as we’re in harmony and at peace with one another. Our Shepherd also makes us to lie down in His green pastures as He gives us peace and tranquility within. 

We often wrestle with the spiritual pests and temptations of our flesh that wreak havoc in our minds and hearts. The world is another of the chief culprits that often tries hard to steal and prevent our peace. The worldliness that Jesus freed us from is the same worldliness that we strive against. It’s also the very same worldliness that sneaks back in by various disguises and dwells within us to our frustration. Some of you may struggle with doctrinal truths, while others battle the temptation of particular sins fearing that you will fall into gross sin. 

We can agree with the Apostle Paul that what we will to do, we don’t practice. What we hate, that we do. (Romans 7:15) Like Paul we cry out, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” [emphasis added] (Rom. 7:24). One would despair if Paul stopped there, with no answer. Yet, praise the Lord for the Gospel centered answer in v. 25, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” As Peter marvelously teaches us in 2 Pet. 2:9 above, our Lord “knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations” [emphasis added]. God knows how to bring you up out of the pits and cesspools. That great deliverer is Christ, who not only knew how to do it, but really did it! He is our Savior who gives us His Spirit who cleanses, sanctifies, heals, comforts, and transforms us. He works faith in our souls and unites us to our Good Shepherd.

The Holy Spirit gives us relief as He shows us the things of Christ. John refreshes our hearts with this in John 16:13-14 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you [emphasis added]. By the Spirit’s grace, by His work, we put the things of our flesh and this world to death. He gets them out of our lives more and more, returning our gaze to see more of Christ, opening the way to true spiritual rest. Even more, when we see Christ again, our hearts will rejoice with joy that no one and nothing can take away (John 16:22).

Beloved, peace and tranquility within is something we long for – that peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7). It’s something that you may feel is missing in you many days. Some days you feel like you’re walking in a wasteland parched by stress and fear. Others may be like a twisting tornado and you can’t stop the spin. Yet, though that may be how you feel, stand on and walk in the verity of what you know to be true in the Word. Jesus knows how to deliver you from temptation, and does so! Such divine peace is yours in Christ- not just in theory or by some empty promise, but by an everlasting promise by the living God who cannot lie and never fails. As Christ by His Spirit brings it to bear in your heart, despite your circumstances, He makes you lie down and rest in Him. Beseech Him for peace, Beloved, and praise Him for it!