Rest for Our Souls

[4] For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. [5] Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)

[8] For by grace you have been saved, through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not the result of works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Faith. It is the reliance upon someone or something to bring about a particular result that has yet to be proven. In terms of “cause-and-effect”, faith is the effect of any cause deemed worthy by an individual to warrant trust. Faith, therefore, is reactant.

There are many practical displays of faith in our day-to-day, even if those actions are “second nature” and go unlabeled as such. Let’s take you for instance…yes, you reading this post. As you’re reading this, it’s likely you are seated on a chair that has been entrusted with the task of keeping you from a painful fall onto your posterior. You have placed your complete trust (and weight) in this particular object. Without thinking about it, you have relied upon this piece of furniture to relieve you from the consequence of gravity – a great fall.

The same goes with our faith. When I place the fullness of my faith in Jesus and truly sink into and rest on His grace, I am saved from the inevitable consequence of sin – a spiritual death at the end of the sinner’s perpetual fall (infinitely worse than a bruised rear end, I might add). To say “yes” to Christ is to fully embrace Him and to go “all in”, without reservation. What this means is (to reference the example of the chair) I do not withhold some of my “weight” from the comforts of His grace, for this displays a lack of faith in the Savior. Genuine faith in Christ is an “all or nothing” matter. You either put all of your trust in Jesus, or you don’t rely upon Him at all. You either believe that He saves completely, or that He isn’t worth resting your existence upon.

Like a cozy chair, Christ is waiting for people to take a load off and fall into Him with complete abandonment. As He said to the crowds during His earthly ministry, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). Now, don’t misunderstand this passage or what I’m saying. Christ offers eternal relief for our souls when we come to Him for salvation, but following Him is not intended to be easy. You will still exist in a fallen world, and be faced with many troubles; BUT, you will have the assurance of your faith – an eternity secured by Christ’s work at Calvary. THAT is worth total surrender. HE is worth trusting.

Our faith overcomes the world. It has nothing to do with us. And everything to do with the God who bestows such faith to us in the first place. The faith of the Christ-follower is overcoming because it rests upon the Overcomer.

Christian – remember the promise of God through Christ that has won you over, from death to life. He graces you with faith. Be reminded that He initiated it all, and that you simply reacted to His lovingkindness. And although you will fail at times to trust Him, take heart; for He remains faithful in our shortcomings.

Doubters – there is a Savior waiting with arms open wide, ready to receive you and relieve you from an eternity separated from Himself. There is rest for your soul…but only IN CHRIST.

Grace and peace,

Sean

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