Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
Psalm 116:7 (KJV)
Our soul returning to its rest means that we are confident that God has already supplied our every need. This confidence has nothing to do with circumstances or conditions, nor is it dependent upon how we may feel emotionally; much rather is it the outworking of what we know to be true! We find rest for our souls when we stand confidently upon the Word of God, when we know that God truly has dealt bountifully with us. It is out of this place of rest, out of this quiet assurance, that we will see the goodness of God showing up in our lives.
This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.
1 John 5:14 (KJV)
The will of God is revealed through the Word of God. As we look at Scripture through the lens of the new covenant and the finished works of Jesus, we know that God’s will is for His kingdom to be made manifest on earth as it is in heaven. This includes healing, deliverance, soundness, our needs being supplied, and everything that is necessary for us to fulfill our calling and our purpose in Christ. And so when we pray, let us approach God with the confidence that as we pray according to His glorious will, it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom. And may our hearts be set upon the truth that God is looking for each of us to be the very instruments and vessels through which His will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 5:20 (KJV)
Gratitude can function as a powerful doorway into the heart of God. When we deliberately take time to be grateful for all of God’s blessings in our lives, we are making ourselves more receptive to what the Lord is seeking to do right now. Gratitude also increases our faith, for it reminds us of all that God has already done for us—things that otherwise we could have easily taken for granted. Today, reflect upon all the ways, large and small, that God’s goodness is already at work in your life. Thank Him that He is mightily at work in you, and that He is using even the challenges and temporary obstacles to ultimately bring about a greater manifestation of His grace and goodness.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
In times of difficulty, when things don’t make sense, the most powerful thing we can do is to simply purpose in our hearts that we will trust God no matter what. When we know that His plans for us are for good, and that in fact all things work together for good for those who love God, we can then acknowledge that in each and every moment, the Lord is guiding and directing our steps. We can rest assured that our challenges merely become stepping stones that are shaping us and preparing us for our magnificent destiny in the Lord.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mark 11:24 (KJV)
Grace-based prayer begins with gratitude that the very thing we are praying for has already been made available through the finished works of Jesus. And so we believe that we receive, knowing that our God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. And to walk uprightly simply means that we put all our faith, trust and reliance in what Jesus has already done for us, rather than in what we can accomplish through our own works or efforts. The more we can rest in this assurance, the more we will see the goodness of God manifesting in our lives.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Romans 8:15 (KJV)
The moment we got born again, God’s Spirit has come to live on the inside of us. It is the Spirit of God in our spirit that draws us unto God, that enables us to fellowship with Him. And so when we approach God, let us approach Him as He truly is: our loving heavenly Father whose good pleasure it is to give us the kingdom. Let us remove any fear, guilt or feelings of condemnation; and let us not doubt but for one second that it is God’s will for us to be whole in every area of our lives.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Romans 6:6 (KJV)
Every believer who receives the Lord Jesus into their hearts is spiritually united with Him. It is for this reason that the Word of God can say that our old man, our old self, is crucified with Him. Union with Christ is at the very heart of salvation. Today, realize that when Jesus died on the cross, your old self has died with Him. Old hurts, regrets and past mistakes have died; everything that was fleshly and contrary to the things of God has died. Though this may not yet be evident, nevertheless through being united with Jesus you have already been set free; He has already made you a brand new creation! Now in order to take what has been established about us in Christ and make it our day to day experience, we must be faithful in renewing our minds. The more that we meditate on and confess who we already are in Christ, the more are we making a way for the incredible fruits of salvation to be shown forth in our lives.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
1 John 4:7-9 (KJV)
God loves us as we are, along with our flaws and shortcomings. And it is God’s love for us that compels Him towards wanting to mold us and shape us more fully into the image and likeness of His Son. Yet every single one of us must learn to receive God’s love, and to then live out from it. The more we receive it, the more we can share it. And so as we look towards this Easter weekend, let us remember that everything that God has done for us through the finished works of Jesus Christ is rooted in His indescribable and perfect love for us. In fact, the Bible says that in this was manifested His love towards us!
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4 (KJV)
We do not live by bread alone because we are not only physical beings. Just as our physical body requires physical food, so too our born again spirit—the innermost part of who we are—requires spiritual food in order for us to reach our full potential in Christ. We are being spiritually fed anytime we receive the Word of God; anytime we consider it, meditate on it, and take it into our hearts. The more that our spirit is fed, the stronger our inner person becomes. And when our spirit is strong, our ability to be victorious over the flesh increases.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psalm 37:3 (KJV)
The highest expression of our faith is to trust God no matter what. When things seem to be taking longer than expected, when we do not yet see how it all will work out, those are the times in which we must turn to the Lord, and simply say, “I trust You.” Then with that heart attitude we go forth into our world as Christ representatives: we shine His light, we express His love, always relying upon His grace to help us do so. And day by day, moment by moment, we will find our needs are always met; until one day we look back and see how everything has always been working together for our good. The key to it all was our trust in a God who is good all of the time.