“Return and Rest”, Scripture and Notes from L.Willows (trust, peace, saved)

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For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling. – Isaiah 30:15

In returning to God, we engage our hearts to make a choice to trust.

We turn away from our fears and all that pulls us backward. The scriptural meaning of the word returning is “to give back” (apokathistémi: Greek). That is interpreted as meaning to restore, to return. Here, the Lord God asking that we return to him.

We do wander away. When we do, we separate ourselves from God and lean on mortal “false” belief”.  We become idol believers, worshiping from our own weakness and building fortresses of self-righteousness. That is the unwillingness that is described. We actually march against the will of God when we fortify self-righteousness. We are asked to turn from our forts, hear His Call and return. 

When we return, our hearts “hear and respond”. We are motioned to draw close to God. We re-unite ourselves (and become whole) with His Love for us which has always been constant.

It is His Promise to us.

Jerimiah 31:3,  “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” 

When we draw close to God with our hearts we are motioned by His Spirit.  Trust is stirred. Hope floods in with the warmth of His Love. As trust permeates us and becomes rooted in our hearts and minds we desire deeper obedience.

Trusting God means rest.

When we trust God we put our confidence in Him. We allow our strength to come from Him. Effort is surrendered. The “doing” comes from a source other than ourselves. We are responsible for action but outcomes are in the sovereign hand of God. We place our security in Him.

Trusting God means peace. Only God’s peace one offers true rest.

In scripture, the word “quietness” (Eirene: greek) means one, peace, rest. The promises of God have given each of us eternal reasons to rest with trust in each of our hearts.

He is absolutely trustworthy Nu 23:19 See also Tit 1:2Heb 6:13-18

He is unchanging Ps 110:4Mal 3:6-7Jas 1:17-18

He has the power and will to fulfill his promises Isa 55:11 See also Ro 4:21

I am so grateful for the reminder at the beginning of the scripture, “you shall be saved”.

For me, the gift of salvation altered my life, truly set me free and put me on a new course forever. I asked for ‘help’ for many years. I thought that I did know God. I thought that I was already wise. But nothing prepared me for the life-altering experience of Seeing Christ and experiencing His Presence. That, for me, was the mercy moment when all of Heaven seemed to open up and Love poured upon and through me with miraculous grace. I wept, with joy. To this day that joy continues to grow as my soul rests in God’s Love.

Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. – Psalm 116:7

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. -1 John 3:19

© 2019 Linda Willows

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“Trusting God, His Hand in Our World”, from Jerry Bridges, author of ‘Trusting God, even when life hurts’.

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From, “Trusting God, even when life hurts” by Jerry Bridges

First, God in His Sovereignty has established government for the good of all people-believer and unbeliever. Paul said, “There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God….For (the ruler) is God’s servant to do you good.” (Romans 13:1-4) Admittedly the statement, “the ruler is God’s servant to do good,” seems difficult to accept when we see some of our brothers and sisters in Christ persecuted and perhaps killed because of their Christian commitment.

We should remember that God in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty and for reasons known only to Himself, allows rulers to act contrary to His revealed will. But the evil actions of those rulers against God’s children are never beyond the bounds of His sovereign will.

And we should remember that God works history from an eternal perspective, whereas we tend to view the outworking of history from a temporal perspective.

John Newton (1724-1807), converted slave trader, Anglican minister, and author of the familiar hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote:

The kings of the earth are continually disturbing the world with their schemes of ambition. They expect to carry everything before them, and have seldom any higher end in view, than the gratification of their own passions. But in all, they do they are but servants of this great King and Lord, and fulfill his purposes, as the instruments he employs to inflict prescribes punishment and transgressors against him, or to open a way for the spread of the Gospel….They had one thing in view, he had another.

From “Trusting God, even when life hurts” by Jerry Bridges (page 79-80):

Although we may not perceive the hand of God in the affairs of nations as we view them today, His rule is no less sovereign today than it was in the days of the prophets or the apostles. Professor Berkouwer (The Providence of God, pages 91-91) is again helpful:

This does not mean that the work of God is always evident in the interlacing of Divine and human activity….Yet it is striking to observe how often the purpose of God is reached without radical intervention. On the surface, there may be nothing to see except human activity creating and defining history on a horizontal level.

It is only in the biblical revelation that we see the hand of God ruling over and guiding the activities of the nations and the effects of those activities on His people…

…God recorded in His Word specific instances of His sovereign rule over history in order that we might trust Him in the affairs of history as they unfold before us today. We should remember that, for those experiencing the events recorded in the biblical narratives, God’s hand was no more apparent to them in those events than His hand is apparent to us today in ours.

Source: © 1988 Jerry Bridges, Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts

“In His love; Good, for God wins His Song”, a worship poem from L.Willows

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In his love; Good, for God wins his Song 

Oh, heart, don’t look back,
You will not lose for long,
All that is lost, will gain again
In his love; Good, for God win’s his song.

Oh, heart, don’t mourn, you must not be drawn.
The times, they are swift-
seasons pass, they conform,
held in his midst like a wild summer storm.

Oh, heart, don’t look back,
The east comes with new dawn-
Bringing gifts of life’s future
From such goodness, full drawn.

Look, see what brightness
does beckon, does sing.
There at the threshold
of his mercy, of our King.

Oh, heart, don’t look back,
You will not lose for long.
All that is lost here will gain again.
In his love, Good; for God wins his Song.

Oh, Heart, find your place there,
find that note, find that song.
Sing forever with The Chorus;
with the Beloved’s dear Belong.

© 2019 Linda Willows

Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Psalm 33:19

Oh, 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!

Exodus 33:19

And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

Psalm 84:11

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

“Seeking Peace and Trusting God” from L.Willows; Isaiah 26:3 and Prayer for Peace

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“Seeking Peace and Trusting God” from L.Willows; Isaiah 26:3

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Prayer for Daily Peace~

Father,

I praise you for your promise of perfect peace.
My heart and mind long to surrender to your peace,
to abide in you and with you
in this and every hour of the day and night.

Let every part of me bend gently like a new blade of grass
that trusts the sun.
Give me a thirst for the beauty of a refreshed and pure mind
that turns to you
like petals to Light, open with hope,
encouraged by your Love.

May this day bring me closer to you, 
and fulfill the path of deepening faith 
by the power of Your Spirit.
My gratitude and heart speak your name in love.

Lift me into your love, let your peace be the rule of me.
Pour it into the harvest of this day.

Keep me with you, Lord. Let this heart stay.
May your glory be seen today.

In Jesus Name,
Amen

© 2019 Linda Willows