There are times when a scripture jumps off the page, hits you square in the eyeballs, then burrows deep down into your spirit.
While reading through the book of Romans this month, today I was reading and meditating upon Chapters 14 and 15. Verse 32 in chapter 15 reads “so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company.”
The context of this verse is vital to understanding the depth, fullness and richness of what Paul is communicating to the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul was a tried and true, tireless proclaimer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He traveled for years, conducting three missionary journeys to share God’s love with Jews and Gentiles across the known world.
His focus was always to preach Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Multitudes came to the Lord through his itinerant ministry. Others resisted the message and messenger. Paul was mocked, taunted, persecuted, beaten, imprisoned and often was on his own with a handful of faithful sidekicks.
If you are ever having a bad day, I invite you to read II Corinthians 11:22-33 and discover what Paul dealt with on a regular basis. Your day won’t seem so bad, believe me!
In verses 29-33, Paul asks the church to pray for Him. If it is God’s will, he will travel to Rome to visit the brethren after he delivers an offering to the poor saints at Jerusalem.
Paul asks that he may come “in joy” and find “refreshing rest” in their company.
The John Wayne of the Gospel was tireless, but tired. Weary of being on the road so much, exhausted from the demands of ministry, Paul longed for “refreshing rest” from his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
What would “refreshing rest” look like? He would be in the company of like-minded believers. He would be secure, protected, provided for and able to take a few deep spiritual breaths away from the ministry trips. The church would be a safe harbor, a place where the Gospel trail blazer could relax, kick back, take it easy for a while. He longed for and looked forward to sharing the joy of the Lord with those who loved the Lord like he did.
Paul received “refreshing rest” in Rome before he set out on the next leg of God’s plan for his life and ministry.
Refreshing Rest In The Church
- Stay refreshed in the Lord so you can bring refreshing rest to others.
- If you are stressed out, get your act together before you enter the church. Surrender your stress and issues to the Lord. Receive rest in your soul from Him. Then enter the fellowship to share His refreshing rest with others.
- Life is not about you. Its about Christ in and through you to serve and minister to others, the church first, then the world.
- The church should never be a place of strife, division, gossip, backbiting, power plays, turf wars or plain old selfishness. These ungodly, sinful things hinder “refreshing rest” that someone may need.
- Minister rest to brothers and sisters in Christ by encouraging them at church. Encouragement in the Lord always brings refreshing, restoration and renewal.
- Help create a restful, refreshing atmosphere in your church. Put a warm, joyful smile on your face. Hug somebody in the name of the Lord. Speak an encouraging word. Genuinely care about your brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Thank God every day for “refreshing rest” in Christ and His church.
The body of Christ, His church, should always be a holy haven of “refreshing rest” for His servants. Followers of Jesus, including you and me, need refreshed in the Lord when we gather with God’s people.
Let’s be honest. You and I will not find “refreshing rest” in the world, the workplace, in the company of unbelievers, and certainly not on Facebook! “Refreshing Rest” belongs to the community of believers in Jesus Christ. There is no rest without Him and each other.
Imagine. What if your local church was a place of “refreshing rest”? What if weary, stressed out, frustrated, anxious, worried, troubled, hurting brothers and sisters in Christ would take a deep spiritual breath when they walk through the church doors, knowing the peace, hope and joy of God awaits them? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Of course it would!
So, do you leave your church services feeling rested and refreshed in the Lord? Do you do your part to contribute to a spirit of “refreshing rest” in your fellowship? Would visitors to your church say there is a spirit of “refreshing rest” in your assembly?
How can you bring “refreshing rest” to a brother or sister in Christ in the church this week?
“Repent therefore, and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19
A Word For Your Week:
Refreshing rest is every believer’s responsibility in the body of Christ.