11—God Promises to Give You Peace and Rest

Would you agree that we live in a world full of chaos and hate? Does the world news make you anxious? Do you feel stressed by the pressures of life? If so, God promises to give you rest and peace.  Imagine that you are lying in a hammock under a shady tree, relaxing by a pool or lake somewhere, or sitting on a porch swing reading a captivating book. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? God promises to give you everlasting rest and peace that rivals the ultimate relaxation situation.

What do you need rest from?

We need rest from carrying our worries and responsibilities. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When our eyes are on Jesus, and we pray about everything, we will stop striving and feeling weighed down by the world’s concerns. 1Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  King David said in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” So when you pray and give your cares to God, He promises to sustain you, and you won’t be moved, that is, to be provoked. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Doing evil is disobeying God.

We also need to enter God’s eternal rest. Hebrews 4:1, 6, 11 explains, “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” 6) “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience.” 11) “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” These verses encourage us to strive to obey God, so we don’t lose our eternal rest. In my last post, I explained how God promises to rescue us from His wrath when we obey Him and do what is right.  Hebrews 4:1 says we are to “fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it [His rest].” This type of fear is forsaking evil and not giving in to our sinful nature and lustful desires but turning to God and obeying His commands.

How do you achieve peace in a world full of troubles and chaos?

I found that peace resides in my heart when I look to Jesus and give Him my concerns. My favorite go-to Scripture verse is Isaiah 26:3,You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I wrote a series of posts about trust because trust is so hard to do, and we become disappointed when our expectations are shattered. Understanding God’s promises help us trust Him. 2Corinthians 1:20 states, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” God keeps His promises because it brings Him glory.

Troubles Are Inevitable, but Peace Is a Choice We Make

Jesus said in John 16:33,I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus has overcome the world, but how do we overcome the world?  1John 5:4 explains, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Because we have faith that God keeps His promises, we don’t have to carry the cares and troubles of the world. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:7-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you don’t give God the issues that cause you anxiety and worry, then you choose not to have peace.

When We Obey God, We Will Have Peace

I don’t know about you, but I feel miserable and guilty when I sin. I have no peace when I say or do something that hurts another person. But when I repent and ask forgiveness, I also must ask God to take my guilt to feel peace again. Proverbs 3:1-2 tells us, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.” And Isaiah 57:21 states, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Wicked people do not have peace, which is why our world has so much chaos and hate.

Conclusion

I hope you have been blessed by this post, and I pray you will have peace and rest during these troubling times. Keep your focus on the things of God and not on the issues of our world. There is nothing that escapes God’s notice. 2Chronicals 16:9 tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him [completely His].” God keeps His promises; you can trust Him.

RELATED POSTS

POSTS about God’s Promises


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

How to Convert Pridefulness to Gentleness and Humility

You might think you have the right to be prideful because of your position in life, accomplishments, or status in the community. None of those situations are bad, nor does it mean you have arrogant, self-centered pride. Being proud of your accomplishments is different than thinking you’re better than someone else. I have to admit that I struggle with pride because I slip into thinking more highly of myself than I ought to. Most pride issues come from unhealthy beliefs that need to be uncovered and transformed by truth.

How often have you heard people make excuses for their bad behavior and accept it as part of who they are? So why is self-centered pridefulness a bad thing? The Spirit of pride keeps you from acknowledging your sin, apologizing, and repenting. I have written several posts on this subject, to learn more please read the posts listed below:

HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution

Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds

My website is about changing unhealthy beliefs to experience a new reality. What we think and say comes from what we believe, and what we believe directs our behavior. Our choices determine how healthy our relationships will be. In this series of posts, I will expose the unhealthy beliefs that control our lives and how to transform them with the truth to experience a new reality. So why should we deal with pridefulness, and how does it block a gentle and meek attitude?

Where Does the Prideful Belief Come From?

The primary source of sinful pride is the devil. Self-centered, unhealthy beliefs are based on wrong assumptions and perceptions put into our minds by the demonic spirits all around us. Remember, we are spirit beings in a physical body living in a physical world controlled by the spirit world. You can read more about that in my post called: Four Realities of the Spirit World, also see the link below by Dr. David Jeremiah. If you are not submitted to God and are not resisting the devil, he will put the thoughts into your mind that you deserve better treatment than that, and so on.

Satan (angel named Lucifer, meaning “morning star”) sinned because of his pride by wanting to set his throne above God’s throne and was thrown down to earth (Isaiah 14:13-15 and Rev. 12:7-9). He causes us to sin through the same prideful attitude. Pride is thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to think (Romans 12:3), which also encourages us to think with sober (sound) judgment, that is, with a humble attitude. You know you have a spirit of pride when you are self-centered and insist on getting what you want at the expense of others. And, you know you are prideful when you become offended and get a bad attitude toward someone for what they said/did not say or did/not did something you felt was unfair.

How do you know if you are humble?

God’s word defines a humble person as follows:

1. Someone who fears God (Prov. 15:33; 22:4).

2. A person who bears with others and is kind, patient, and forgiving (Eph 4:2 & 32).

3. When we count others as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

4. If you have wisdom that is pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17; Proverbs 11:2).

5. Someone who has acknowledged they are a sinner and repents (Psalm 149:4).

6. A person with a contrite (repentant) heart who trembles at God’s Words (Isaiah 66:2).

7. A humble person is not judgmental but gives grace (Eph 4:29).

What Is the Truth That Transforms this Unhealthy Belief?

The truth is that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (1Pet 5:5 and James 4:6).” 1Peter 5:6-7 states, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Give God all the worries that cause you to be anxious, and trust God to take care of all your concerns. When you worry, you exalt yourself above God because you do not trust Him to take care of your affairs. When you humbly give God all your concerns, He promises to exalt you at the proper time.

James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When we submit to God, we are humbling ourselves and acknowledging our sin and need for His power and strength. But we are also to resist the devil and his temptations toward selfish ambition and pride. James 3:14-16 states, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to [deny] the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile [evil] practice.” First, humbly ask God to show you if this verse applies to your life. Secondly, if you see selfishness, acknowledge that you have an unhealthy pride that leads to selfish ambition and ask for God’s forgiveness. Thirdly, ask God to remove it and to give you a humble spirit.

How To Change Unhealthy Beliefs

1. Before you can transform unhealthy beliefs, listen to what you are saying and pay attention to your thoughts because they come from unhealthy beliefs.

2. Submit the wrong thinking to God and ask Him to show you His transforming truth.

3. Ask God to show you if there is a painful memory contributing to your pridefulness. Satan takes every opportunity to inject pride into our minds.

4. Pray and put off the unhealthy belief controlling your thoughts and put on the truth God shows you from His Word.

I first loosed the wrong thinking that God showed me and replaced it with scripture truths similar to the following:

Humility realizes that everything I have, including my abilities, is a gift from God. Deut. 8:17-18

I do not think of myself more highly than others, but in humility, I will regard others as more important than myself. Rom. 12:3; Phil. 2:3

God lifts up the humble in due time, so I will cast all my anxiety on Him because He cares for me. 1 Pet. 5:6-7; James 4:10

I am humbled when I see my need for God and trust He will guide me in what is right for all His ways are loving and faithful.  Ps. 25:9-10

When I am humble, then I will be honored. Prov.15:33b

RELATED POSTS

1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

HOW TO DESTROY THE DEVIL’S WORK IN YOUR LIFE


All verses are from the English Standard Bible unless otherwise indicated. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. No part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-Changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, salvation for non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a person making the request.

RECOGNIZE WORLDLY THINKING AND BE FREE

Our world has many distractions that keep our focus away from the true source of life, peace, and love. We want to fill-up on all the world has to offer, and wonder why we feel empty, anxious, and lonely.

Rick Renner expressed the following belief. Before we received the life of Jesus Christ, we are dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture in which we live.1 For example, the news outlets shape our opinions; advertisers influence our desire for things we don’t need; movies and TV shows numb our moral conscience; and social media shapes our attitudes. You will think worldly thoughts when you immerse yourself in worldly activities and around worldly people. 1John 5:19 tells us “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” so be wise in how you spend your time and what you put into your mind. The Apostle Paul explains worldliness in his letter to the Ephesian believers. Meditate on each line of the following passage. Ephesians 2:1-3 state,

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and

were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Did you know an evil spirit works in those who disobey God? Someone told me the “prince of the power of the air” is the devil controlling what comes into our homes via the airwaves, referring to the Internet, TV, and radio. Satan uses any worldly device to wage war in your mind to allure you away from devotion to God. He first blinds your mind so you are not aware of his attractive temptations. In 2Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul states, “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds….” The god of this world is the devil as described in Revelations 12:9, which states, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” A person deceived and blinded by the devil will say they are fulfilled and satisfied with worldly activities. However, many people realize the despair and futility of this lifestyle and turn to Jesus Christ, which happened to me.

The following questions are tough, but an honest answer is necessary for you to have victory over the unseen battles with temptations to love worldliness more than God.

??- Do you dress in the latest fashions, act like the world, talk like the world, and be controlled by worldly activities, such as drinking, tattooing, gambling, video gaming, sexual immorality, etc.?

??-Do you put into your mind evil images of death and lust in the form of pornography, ungodly TV shows, magazines, books, and movies?

??-Do you often skip church to go to a sporting or recreational events?

??-Do your favorite activities distract you from reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying, or spending time with fellow believers?

You might be thinking two things right now: first, none of these questions mean I’m worldly; second, I can still do these things and still love God. Now imagine if you lost all your possessions, beauty, prestige, and successes, would you still love God and be thankful? Or what if your favorite team or activity disappeared, would you feel depressed and lost? Because of this pandemic, I miss doing many activities I use to do, which has caused me to evaluate my priorities. Is this pandemic causing you to become depressed or re-evaluate your priorities?

The Bible does not say doing or having enjoyable things is wrong? But when you love and value them more than God, this is loving the world. 1John 2:15-17 explains, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17) And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Why does God tell us not to love the world or the things in the world? Do you think God knew mankind would worship and serve what they can see and touch and what appeals to their pride and pleasures of their sinful nature? One of His Ten commandments found in Exodus 20 was not to worship or serve anything created by man because God is jealous. God created us and wants us to love and serve Him only.

Examples of the lust of the flesh in 1John 2:16 could be our appetites, cravings, and desires for alcohol, drugs, sugar products, over-eating, sexual immorality, gambling, and greediness. The lust of the eyes includes those things we specifically see and covet, which may spark our lustful desires and appetites. Examples are pornography or wanting what someone else has, such as possessions, achievements, and advantages. The boastful pride of life refers to anything that promotes or elevates a sense of independence from God.

Independent thinking causes us to believe we can do our own thing, live a self-serving life, and have it our way. For instance, the pride of life is anything giving you the right to boast and may include gaining possessions to show a certain status; gambling to hopefully win big; success to show you are someone, or wealth to be admired. All of these are passing away, then you will spend eternity with God or in hell. So, if you don’t want to be devoted to God while on the earth, then why should He want to let you in His heaven?

The Bible warns against being enslaved or taken captive by elementary principles or spirits of the world, Galatians 4:3 states, “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” Colossians 2:8 states, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” And, Colossians 2:20 states, “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations.” These Scripture passages tell us, we can be enslaved to the elementary principles of the world, but in Christ, we have died to these elemental allurements. Now, these worldly spirits do not control us anymore. Being aware of your thoughts will prevent you from being taken captive by the evil spirits of the world. Memorizing the truths in God’s Word will help you distinguish between elementary principles of the world and godly principles.

Reflections and Application:

How were you dominated, manipulated, and mastered by the culture of this world?

Further Study/Footnotes:

1. Renner, Rick, (2007), Dressed to kill. Published by Teach the Nations, Tulsa, OK

RELATED POSTS:

How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism

What Controls Your Thoughts?

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Bondage to Unseen Controls

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness?

Why do people riot, cause trouble, and even kill people? What is good about destroying businesses and stealing their merchandise? So, what has happened to goodness? This post and the next will explore what goodness is and how to achieve it.  I have to admit, I only had a vague idea of what it meant to be good. I was challenged by what I found in my research. I hope you will be challenged too.

What does goodness mean? Which definition do you think describes goodness?

  • Obey instructions.
  • Be moral or virtuous by choosing the right actions and thinking and having a “good” character.
  • Be kind; generous; unselfish.
  • Have excellent quality, like good workmanship.

What does the Bible say about goodness?

Obey God’s instructions:

Deuteronomy 12:28Be careful to obey all these words … that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.  Also, read Jeremiah 42:6.

Turn away from evil: good is the opposite of evil:

To do evil is to cause harm or trouble. God, instead, wants us to pursue peace with all men (see Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14).  He also expects us to love one another, so when we do not love but are unkind, impatient, or destructive, we do evil (see 1Corinthians 13). 

1Peter 3:11let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 12:21Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

1Thesalonians 5:15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. And, Proverbs 17:13If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.

Proverbs 11:27Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it. And, Proverbs 12:2A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.

Isaiah 1:17learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.

Be humble and generous and ready to share with those in need:

1Timothy 6:17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18) They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19) thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Titus 3:14And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

Hebrews 13:16Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Rely on God’s goodness, not your own.

Most of us are born, grow-up, and die as selfish, self-centered sinners; wanting our needs met instead of loving and caring for other people. So, how can we achieve the standard of God’s goodness? Only through the power of the Holy Spirit as you humbly renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word. If you are uncertain that you have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, then pray and ask God to forgive your sins and ask the Holy Spirit of Jesus to come into your heart. Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do good.  Act 10:38 states, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”

How should good deeds benefit others?

The good deeds we do are from faith in Jesus and are like the good fruit on a tree or vine (see Matthew 7:15-20). In John 15:5, Jesus states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

James 2:15-18If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17) So also, faith, if it does not have (good) works, is dead being by itself. 18)  But someone will say, you have faith, and I have (good) works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.

1John 3:17-18But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18) Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Galatians 6:10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

Luke 6:33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

Hebrews 10:24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.

Matthew 5:16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

You can love your enemies and do good to those who hate you through the power of the Holy Spirit in you. And, God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and so can we through His goodness. 

Luke 6:35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

Luke 6:27— “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

We receive God’s goodness when we fear Him and take refuge when trouble comes:

Psalm 31:19Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

King Solomon said at the end of his life in Ecclesiastes 3:12I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.

Conclusion

I asked at the beginning of this post, what definition described goodness. The answer is all the above. When I began this post, I did not know much about goodness.  I learned it is good to obey God and do what is right, to share, and help others in need. One word of caution, your perception of good works can be a source of legalism and judgmentalism. To learn more, read my post called How To Overcome Legalism And Judgmentalism.  Doing good also raises another controversy.  Some people believe that being a good person and doing good works gets you to heaven.  The Bible says we are saved by grace and believing in the Son of God.  I write in my post called What Is Required?, we also need to do the will of our Father in heaven, which is to obey God’s instructions to do good works because of our faith. Those who riot and destroy are following their evil nature.  We all need the power of the Holy Spirit through believing in Jesus Christ to be genuinely good.

Do you obey God’s instructions in the Bible?

Do you sacrificially help others in need and share what you have with them?

Do you avoid evil and do good to others, even if they hate you?

All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.