Rest, Relax, Rejoice; November 11, 2020

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

I think every sincere Christian has moments when they worry about their own ability to remain true to Christ, to hang in there until the end. That’s hardly surprising when society around us is such a mess. Here Paul is speaking to that directly. Frankly, the church in Corinth was a mess as well, with factionalism and even immorality, so it’s particularly significant that Paul wrote this to them. The focus, as always, is on God’s faithfulness rather than on our inability. I really like the word order in the NIV here, because it makes that focus very clear. It’s not so common that I prefer the NIV to the Japanese! This fits in perfectly with something the Lord had me preach on December 5, 2010: Rest, Relax, Rejoice. That’s something I understand in theory, but I sometimes have a hard time applying in practice. There is just so much to be uptight about! That’s certainly the case today, with the turmoil over the US election. When everything falls apart, as it seems to be in the process of doing, we’ve got to remember that not only does God have a Plan of the Ages (my grandfather’s term) that will bring it all out right in the end, He also has each believer firmly in hand, so we have no reason for personal anxiety either. When we have that settled in our heart and mind, we can indeed rest, relax, and rejoice.

Looking back over the past few weeks of my devotions, it’s clear that I’m going through yet another period of intensive training in this area. However, God is indeed faithful! Yesterday I woke up at 3:30 and was unable to go back to sleep because of everything on my mind. Last night I realized that every one of those issues had been resolved during the day, and this morning I slept until 6, when we usually get up around 5. Maybe I’m learning something! I know full well that God is still God whatever happens in America, or in Japan. I need to be faithful in the tasks specifically assigned to me, including prayer, and leave everything else – and specifically the results of what He has me do – in His hands. One of the things yesterday was making the very large payment for our new water heater, and the church has two fairly large-ticket items coming up as well. God is still Yahweh Yireh, the Lord our Provider, as He has demonstrated time and time again in the past. I am to recognize the overwhelming magnificence of His grace toward me, and us, and rejoice!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for showing me how to check on exactly when it was that you said this to me. It’s been a large item in my awareness ever since. Help me keep growing in applying it! Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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