An Invitation to Rest

Greetings! Most of you, I am guessing, will be reading this after our general election on November 3rd. I am writing this on election eve on the 2nd. Perhaps the day after on the 4th, we will know who our President elect will be. Will Trump be re-elected, or, will Biden be at the top spot?

Regardless, I am not going to write a lengthy post here about politics. I’m taking a guess here, that you’ve probably had your fill of things by now!  Personally, I am weary of it all. I think we all are more than a bit tired and need some emotional and mental rest.  With that end in mind, let me leave you with a word of encouragement and an invitation.

First, the  encouragement which is mostly for those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ. If you are not a follower of Jesus, hang in there, the invitation at the end of this brief blog will be mostly for you. As Christians, we know we are part of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28). Because of this we are told to be full of thanks to our God. We are told to worship Him with reverence and awe. 2020 has been a year where so much has been and is still being shaken. While this can be disconcerting, even for Christians, the greater and enduring reality of being part of something that is unshakeable should lift our eyes and our spirits. We are citizens, ultimately, of heaven (Philippians 3:20). And finally, as we wait for the fullness of His unshakeable kingdom of which we are citizens, Jesus taught us to pray with confidence to His Father: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:10).   And so, while we live in this world, we suffer the effects of a world that is being shaken, just like everyone else does. We are human after all. Yet . . . when we suffer, it is possible for us to “glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:3-5). So, yes, feel free to groan in this world, but let me encourage you by way of reminder: we have a better world that we will someday see and enjoy with all of God’s renewed creation (Rom 8:18-25)!  So whether it is a Democrat or a Republican in control of the white house, whether our supreme court “leans” to the left or the right, yes, these things matter, but they do not have ultimate significance. So, yes, be happy if your candidate wins but don’t exult in their victory. And, feel free to be disappointed if they don’t win, but also do not despair.    

And my invitation? That would be mainly for those reading this whose ultimate hope is not in our Lord, not in the things I mentioned above. I invite you to join Jesus in His Ultimate Kingdom. You do this by recognizing your own brokenness and sin. Acknowledge you have offended our Creator, the God of the universe with your rebellion. Yes, I know, concepts like “sin” and “rebellion” sound so antiquated, but I would suggest to you, look around at the world today that is being shaken. I believe old-fashioned words and ideas like sin, evil,  and rebellion capture quite well what is going on in the world today. Just pause and be honest: It seems like the world is falling apart, doesn’t it? There’s a good reason why it feels that way; because it is. But I invite you to be a part of a continuing story, one that is being told even as I type and as you read. You enter into the New Story by agreeing with God that you have been trying to run your own life and you are now ready to trust Him with a New Life – the Life of Jesus in and through you. Ask God to forgive your sin and then trust His Word when it says, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them . . . God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:19-21). That’s a pretty good exchange!  You see, the rest we all need, can ultimately only be found in Jesus who invites us to His kind heart to find the rest we need for the rest of our lives.

Jesus took our sins on the cross, paid the penalty of death for what we had done, and we get His righteousness. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life (I John 5:12).  Oh yes, apart from Jesus we have a physical life upon kingdoms that can be shaken, but Jesus invites you to Life eternal (John 5:24; 10:10). Finding rest for our souls.

Won’t you follow Him today? It’s the best invitation you will ever receive, to live with Him in His Father’s House (John 14:1-4) regardless of who, or who is not in the White House after tomorrow’s election.