Lately, I’m struggling to have Inner peace.
I LONG for rest, but my soul is in turmoil.
I can’t seem to surrender these feelings of frustration, to trust in God’s timing, and I’m unsure why.
So I’m doing all I know to do: I press into God’s Word.
At first my hearts cry was, “Show the answer. What am I supposed to do?”
When that was met with silence, my heart began saying, “What’s the next step? Just tell me what to do next.”
Finally I said, “Show me YOU.”
And God led me to Hebrews 4-5.
Verses on REST and BELIEF jumped out.
Yes, Unbelief keeps me from entering the Rest provided for me in the Cross. I can REST because Christ did all the work. All I have to do is Believe in God’s promises.
That’s encouraging, but it didn’t quiet my soul.
The waves crashed in as my heart cried for MORE.
“God, show me more. I need more help.”
Then I began to mediate on the verses about Christ being tempted as we are…yet without sin.
He was tempted as I am now?
Tempted to be frustrated with God’s timing?
Tempted to vent to anyone who will listen?
Tempted to take matters into His own hands?
Tempted to run away and hide?
Tempted to be mad at God?
Tempted to lash out at the unfairness of life?
Tempted to fear He wasn’t enough?
Tempted to fear God was asking too much of Him?
Tempted to settle for “good” instead of God’s plan?
Tempted to be human?
I believe God’s Word to be true. Therefore, Christ must have been tempted with these types of emotions.
Though it’s not written as I just did, there are stories in the Bible we can look at and infer that Christ was tempted like you and I.
1. Christ was ready at a young age to begin His ministry, yet He wasn’t baptized until He was a grown man and THEN He began His short ministry. (Luke 2:41-52, Luke 3:21-22). That must have been frustrating. Being a child, full of wisdom, but not yet ready to step into the role He was created to fulfill. I wonder if He ever listened to the “Bible Scholars” of His day and pondered how they could be so wrong. As He left childhood, I wonder if He asked God “is now the time to start? People were being deceived. Shouldn’t He begin sooner rather than later? He knew the Word better than them. They needed Him. Why couldn’t He begin now?” Was Christ TEMPTED to rush God’s timing?
2. I could give link after link of times Jesus was probably TEMPTED to lose his temper with the lack of faith in His disciples. They got scared of a storm and woke Him. They wanted to send crowds away to get food instead of trusting in Jesus to feed them. They couldn’t cast a demon out. A few wanted to sit on His right and left hand. You get the picture. Jesus was probably TEMPTED to act how we would when our patience is stretched thin. He might have even been TEMPTED to shout at them, to vent to someone, to throw up His hands and call it quits.
3. Hours before His arrest, He asked three disciples (friends) to pray with Him, but they fell asleep. He was in agony and they fell asleep. (Matt 26:36-44) It would be easy for Him to think, “Some friends they are”. Christ may have been TEMPTED to be upset with them. To give into despair and feel utterly alone. He may have been TEMPTED to lash out at them…or God. Why would God want Him to face these last moments alone? Couldn’t He have just one friend for a little longer? His emotions were high. It would have been easy to let them go unchecked…just for a moment.
4. As He prayed in the Garden, TEMPTATION to not trust God’s plan was there. He asked if there was possibly another way. He was willing to die, but the pain of it all was threatening to overwhelm Him. As I read His words, I try and put myself in His place. I would have been Tempted to run away. Tempted to think I wasn’t strong enough to accomplish what God asked. Tempted to think it might be better for the people if I stayed here longer. They still needed teaching. Didn’t their lack of faith prove that? Couldn’t the cross wait one more year? Healing the sick, preparing disciples were “good” things, couldn’t I do that longer and do the whole cross/sacrifice thing later?
Maybe all this is just me. But I can see ways Christ might have been tempted.
Just like I am now.
I don’t have to cave to temptations.
The sin that CAN follow temptation was nailed to the cross with Christ.
He was TEMPTED, but without sin. Yet, He took the punishment of sin, as if He were the one guilty and not me.
There’s liberty found in resting in the work of the Cross.
Christ did the ultimate work so I can enter His rest.
Rest, not just when I’m dead, but now.
I can rest from my struggles now as I enter boldly before Him and ask Him to help me with my current temptations. All I have to do is BELIEVE.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb 4:16 NKJV
I need God.
I can’t settle this storm inside on my own.
But I have confidence and trust in the promises found in the Bible.
So I come boldly and seek the grace I need.