In this Issue
"Finding Rest for Your Soul"
"Inspirational Women's Garden Club Monthly Teleseminar for Women - July 11, Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST "
Finding Rest For Your Soul
Are you stressed and anxious? Do you feel overwhelmed with the demands of your life? Many of you lead stress-filled lives, often overloaded with demands of work, family or activities.
While many of these activities may be positive, sometimes you realize you've taken on too much - that you've become immobilized to face the demands of your life. How do you cope with it all and do so in a victorious way?
Our society fuels a lot of the stress you experience. You see daily advertisements for things that promise you significance, happiness, or fulfillment if only you owned this particular car, or piece of jewelry, or item of clothing. I've discovered there are three areas that fuel the inability to find rest for your soul.
You may tend to want the things you don't yet have - for instance, those who are single desire to be married; those who are married wish they were happier in their marriages, or worse, wish they had married another. Those without children long for them; those with them long for the freedom they formerly had without children. As you can see, you can experience a lack of contentment over almost any issue in your life, and a deep impatience at getting what you want when you want it.
- Lack of contentment and impatience
One of the most deadly effects in our society, and particularly in Washington, DC, is a drivenness that is part of the culture of this city. Many come here to achieve and to become significant in their particular area of expertise. Often, they do not rise to the levels they had hoped, or worse, they do, only to find their success failed to bring them the satisfaction and fulfillment they had expected.
- Prison of Unrealistic Expectations
This drivenness reflects a self-sufficiency - where we've sent a message to God that we have our lives under control - that we really don't need His help after all. One of the trials of abundance or success is this temptation to feel that we are sufficient to lead our lives well apart from God's strength and help.
Perhaps you look at this listing of issues and feel they don't apply to you...but for the rest of us :) here are some principles from God's Word to help us live victoriously and find rest for our weary souls.
Keys to Victory along the Journey
How can you avoid falling into these traps: lack of contentment, impatience, the prison of unrealistic expectations, or the failure to trust in God? How can you live a purpose-filled life, yet consistently find rest for your soul? There are four keys to victory, which if chosen consistently, will lead you to a victorious experience along your journey of life.
Come to Jesus and He will give you rest
Matthew 11:28-30 gives us a wonderful promise. Jesus had been teaching the people, encouraging those who were weighted down with trying to keep the many rules of the Pharisees, one of the sects of religious leaders of that day.
These leaders weighted the people down with heavy rules and regulations that were impossible for the people to keep. Rather, Jesus urged the people, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
The yoke was an agricultural metaphor, where oxen or other animals would be yoked together to enable them to plough more easily and in a more straight furrow. Here Jesus is promising us that if we take His yoke upon us, He is under it with us, carrying the heaviest weight of the burden, and enabling us to plough through the challenges of our lives more easily and with Him carrying us through.
Allow ourselves the freedom to rest
Psalm 127:2 tells us "in vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves." God cared so much that we rest that He instituted a day of rest in the Old Testament, called the Sabbath - to ensure that His people would rest. Exodus 31:15 states that "The seventh day is a day of rest, holy to the Lord." God wanted to ensure that we would include a cycle of rest within our work to preserve our health and protect our time with Him and our loved ones.
Trust in God and Ask Him to Lead Us in a Good Path
One of the greatest reasons we struggle to find rest for our souls is that we have not really learned to trust God. Psalm 91:1 teaches us about His character: "I will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
Believing that God is trustworthy will allow you to rest. He tells us in Psalm 46:10 to "cease striving and know that I am God" because verse 1 has already affirmed that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."
Nahum 1:7 also reminds you that "the Lord is good - a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him."
You can pray and ask God to lead you in a good path and give you wisdom. Even thousands of years ago, the prophet, Jeremiah, wrote, "stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it and you will find rest for your souls."
Joy and Strength has been a wonderful devotional and a source of inspiration and comfort to me for nearly 20 years. I pray this is an encouraging and strengthening passage for you as well.
Psalm 142:3 - When my spirit was overwhelmed wtihin me, then Thou knewest my path.
The work which we count so hard to do,
He makes it easy, for He works too;
The days that are long to live are His,
And close to our need His helping is.
Do not yield to the temptation of looking at everything at once, as if everything would happen at once, and all the events of the day be crowded into an hour. Do not thus forecast, but take each thing as it comes to you, and look upon it as the present expression of the will of God concerning you; then regard the next in the same way, and thus receive you day piece by piece from Him who will remember always when He gives you work to do, that you need strength to do it.
Often when you have almost fainted in spirit, the thought comes, "If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee, what shalt thou do with the horsemen?" Put is from you, it is a faithless thought; if you need more strength, you will have it, be sure of that; or the call to greater exertion may never come to you. Your business is in His hand who will be sure to do the best, the very best for you. (Priscilla Maurice)
If you would like to hear more on this topic, please join us for the July "Inspirational Women's Garden Club" event on Wednesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. EST. For more information, contact Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to have you join us and bring a friend, too!
June Coaching Special
With enrollment this month in either the Women's Garden Club or the Pastors' Forum, you’ll receive a complimentary 30-minute personal or church coaching consult. Just contact my office at email@example.com. I'd love to serve you.
Please let me know what issues you would like to hear about in the next newsletter. I'll do my best to address your concerns! I look forward to speaking with you all next month.
Many prayers and blessings to you all,
Relationship Tips is a monthly e-zine written and published by Suzanne Martinez, founder of SFM Consulting & Associates, LLC. Our purpose is to help leaders develop healthy leadership cultures and healthy relationships - cultures that promote growth and maximize personal and organizational performance.
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