Recently, I found myself being stretched and stressed with work. Not having sufficient rest does affect the effectiveness of your work. Not only that, your health is also affected. I recalled falling ill last month. I was down with fever and flu from 9 June to 16 June. It was really uncomfortable when you were unable to do anything but rest in bed. I just needed that sufficient rest and recovery. During those moments, I had wonderful time with the Lord through reading and praying. The Lord knew that I needed to be recharged physically and spiritually. I thanked our God for reminding me of Proverbs 11:25 NIV, “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” I was so encouraged by this Bible verse that I decided to read Proverbs 11 completely in two Bible translations. I was ministered by the Lord in Proverbs 11:11, 14 & 30. Now, as I look at Proverbs 11:25, I am reminded that God is the One who refreshes me through His presence and His precious words. He feeds me with the Living Bread and gives me the Living Water to drink. Isn’t He wonderful? Isn’t He powerful?
When you are wearied, you really yearn for rest so as to restore your strength. God is the One who graciously brings me to rest physically so that I can be refreshed spiritually. This reminds me of Matthew 11:27-30 NIV where our Lord Jesus Himself invites those who are weary and burdened to come to Him for rest. Jesus promises to give them rest. Recently, at the EP Co-workers’ Fellowship, I have learnt that having rest is like having Sabbath. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. As I looked at Matthew 11:27, I discovered something more wonderful. We used to look at verses 28 to 30 but when I looked at verse 27, it was referring to the real rest which you and I can only find in knowing Jesus. When Jesus chooses to reveal Himself graciously to you and to me, we have the real spiritual rest which no one can offer us, not even the world. In Christ and in Christ alone, we have the rest which we yearn for. So, Jesus is my Rest and so is yours!
Spiritual refreshments and restorations are necessary for every child of God. We cannot discard this reality and this truth. We cannot go on the long haul without the fresh reservoir of resources in immersing ourselves in the very presence of Christ Jesus our Lord. I would like to share with you Isaiah 40:28-31. There is a crucial need to recognise who our God is. Your understanding of who God is will give you the motivation in your walk with God and your faith in Him. Remember that our God is “the everlasting God who is the Creator of the ends of the earth.” Run to Him for refreshments. Resort to Him for restorations. Our God is the LORD God Almighty. He is all-present (omnipresent), all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-knowing (omniscient). God gives strength/power to those who are weary/weak. These people are encouraged to come to God and place their hope in Him. To hope in God is to wait for God. When the children of God wait for God, they are putting their trust in Him, expecting Him to rescue them from their situation. They need to have their strength renewed, that is, the energy to handle their situation. If not, they can become despair and discouraged. In Isaiah 40:31, it encourages me to come to place my hope in God: “. . . those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” When my strength is renewed and restored, I shall soar on wings like eagles. Thank God for His grace and His mercy! Thank God for His faithfulness and His goodness! Thank God for His healing and His inspiration! When my health was restored, when my recovery was complete, I rejoiced greatly in the Lord for showing me His loving-kindness and His tender-mercies. When I was refreshed by the Lord Jesus Himself, I was once again able to refresh others. What a joy! What a privilege! What a blessing! When you soar on wings like eagles, there is real freedom, real peace and real rest in the One who provides the power to strengthen and to sustain you. Always remember that God is the One who draws you to Himself whenever He sees that you need to rest in His blessed presence. In Psalm 16:11, I am encouraged that “I know the path of life through knowing the Lord Jesus who reveals His Father to me.” and that “in His presence, I have full joy and in His right hand, I have eternal pleasures.” My relationship with my Lord Jesus continues to be strengthened as I make the deliberate effort to draw close to Him and I am confident that He will draw close to me. I must not be distracted by the world but instead be attracted to Him and His powerful Word, drawing gladly from the Well of His Living Water.
My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, let us come to Him for rest and restoration when we are weary and burdened. As we hope in the Lord our God, our strength shall be renewed and then, we shall soar on wings like eagles!
Preacher George Ang
July 7, 2019