Why Resting Isn’t Giving Up

When we find rest in Jesus, expectation replaces anxiety. The desires of our heart don’t go away, we just have faith that they’re in the right hands. Read the full post for more at wearegospelgirls.com

I’ve already admitted there’s a situation in my life that makes me feel like freaking out. And I’ve also shared that God is speaking to me about letting go of the anxious pursuit of things other than Him.

But sometimes letting go is harder for us than it sounds, because it feels like giving up.

For those of us who have desires in our hearts, who still pray to see ourselves or our loved ones healed, our finances turned around, the abuser gone, the persecution stopped, the negative thoughts and feelings replaced, or honestly just long to feel loved, we know that we can’t hide our desire for those things even if we tried.

Finding rest in Jesus has nothing to do with stuffing down our desires until we forget they exist or with pretending everything’s OK.

No, God has given us far too much power, love, and sound mind to ask that of us.

In fact, resting in Him doesn’t mean giving up on the desires of our heart at all. It means giving the who, what, when, where, and how of them to the One who was always in control in the first place.

The other night as I was washing dishes and turning all of this over, a verse came to mind.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. – Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

God’s desire is for us to live in absolute delight. For us to live with the confidence that those things our hearts desire are things He desires for us, too. They’re there for a reason – because we’re made in His image and heaven is written in our hearts.

And resting in Christ doesn’t mean pretending we don’t have desires. That we’re not still looking to Him with expectation. He’s our Savior after all. He’s an expert at saving.

Sometimes this is a sensitive topic, because some of us have been waiting for the desires of our heart for a very long time. And some of us know people who never saw those desires fulfilled this side of heaven. And so we feel like we need to hold onto those desires with all of our strength. Like if we’re not anxiously pursuing them, they’re not going to happen at all.

But here’s something God has made me sure of, even as it’s hard for me to live it out: It’s not always our job to know when the desires of our heart will be granted – whether today or tomorrow, on earth or in heaven. But it is our job to know that they will be done.

When we find rest in Jesus, expectation replaces anxiety. The desires of our heart don’t go away, we just become sure they’re in the right hands.

That’s why we pray to Him and we pray for each other. Because we expect good things to be done. That’s why we do things big and small in love and faith, taking baby steps to take care of our bodies, take care of our finances, take care of each other, and take care of the hurting.

That’s why we endure suffering with perseverance, digging our heels into our Rock, even as we cry out “when Lord, when?”

And that is also why we can rest our hearts and minds in the peace that He is for us.

We can know that because Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice to show us His love and defeat all the things that would bring us down. We can be confident of that because Jesus conquered death once and for all to make the earth His footstool, showing that He is always and forever in control. We can rest our anxious minds because He has secured a place for us in an eternity that far surpasses anything we could experience on earth. And we can lay our burdens down at His feet, because His gift to us is rest.

God is in control. He’s working for our good. He’s not letting go. We don’t have to do life without Him, because it’s so much better with Him. And someday we will see the desires of our hearts from a God who delights in us far more than we could ever know.

What are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments.

p.s. more good stuff…

“As you wait, I will renew your strength. And as you wait, I will carry you on My wings.”

Related verses

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. – Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJ21)

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
– Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

I am counting on the Lord;
yes, I am counting on him.
I have put my hope in his word.
– Psalm 130:5 (NLT)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4 (NIV)

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
– Psalm 18:2 (NIV)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31 (NIV)

We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. – 1 John 3:16 (CEV)

‘Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Could you build me a temple as good as that?’
asks the Lord.
‘Could you build me such a resting place?
– Acts 7:49 (NLT)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Original photo of Woman Lying On Grass With Book by anankkml from freedigitalphotos.net.Text and overlay added by Stephanie Oh.

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4 comments

  1. This is a very powerful post Kim, and speaks to my heart. Especially when my words this year to meditate on are resting and trusting. The verse from Psalm 37? That has come to me several times now in the past week or so. Love what wisdom you share here. I love what you said …that resting replaces anxiety with expectation.

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    1. Thanks for this, Renee! It means a lot to me to be walking side by side in this with friends. This was hard for me to write about, because it’s not something I always live out. God gave me “still” for my One Word this year, and He’s definitely speaking to me a lot about being still, resting, trusting. He’s helping me get there, but any wisdom here is not my own. 😉 It’s everything God’s sharing with me one day at a time.

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  2. Love how scripture-saturated this post is! I’m always in need of being pointed back to the truth of the Word in regard to the struggles we’ve been talking about here lately. Maybe resting feels like “giving up” because it’s about surrender. We really are giving up the fight–but it’s a fight we were never meant to fight to begin with, and a fight we were never going to win. And maybe that’s the hardest part of it all, accepting that we are utterly helpless to bring about the things we so desperately desire–and then also *living like* we’ve accepted that fact. I think you’ve struck the heart of the matter with Psalm 37:4. It’s in choosing to delight first in the Lord, to pursue Him above all else that our desires fall into their proper place. Our heart lines up with His and our desires begin to line up with His desires for us. And even when we know our desires are in line with His, we still desire *Him* more than we desire for those things to be fulfilled in our lives. Oh, how I want that! So thankful it’s a journey and a process, ’cause I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna take me a while to get there!

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    1. You know the crazy thing is as I was reading your comment I was thinking about how when I seek Him and listen to His desires for me, they’re usually things that help me take care of myself and feel better, but I get so sidetracked by silly things when I’m not surrendering to Him. When I’m delighting in Him I’m not so concerned about what others are pushing me to do, and I can actually see Him leading me to live a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle. I’m thankful it’s a journey too, because I definitely move slow! XO!

      Sent from my iPhone

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