Rest for Your Mind

by Todd Veleber, Student Pastor
For the last few weeks, we’ve been exploring the Sabbath or for practical purposes… rest.  In the season we find ourselves in, you may be thinking your time has been anything but restful. In fact, you may find that anxiousness has replaced any hope for rest.

It’s interesting that when we hear the word rest in our Western context, we think of sleep or laziness. We’re collectively a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make it happen” kind of culture. We thrive on pace… especially fast-paced living!

Yet, we find ourselves sidelined from our normal frenzy of activity by COVID-19 and it has forced all of us to slow down… at least in our regular routine and practices. What about your mind? Has your mind slowed down? Is it plagued by angst, restlessness or even stress?

We don’t tend to think about our minds when it comes to rest, but Jesus sure does. We know we are created beings–body, soul and mind. All throughout Scripture, we’re encouraged the place to begin–the place that affects every other piece of us–is our mind.

Consider Paul’s words to the church at Rome, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2a). Or his words to the church at Colossae, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2).

But possibly most helpful to us in this season would be his challenge in Philippians 2, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” (v. 5) And what would that mind be?  He tells us how best to “rest” our minds in chapter 4, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (emphasis added, v. 6-7).

We see pretty clearly from Scripture that the key to rest is in a restful mind. Could it be that the endless worries and stresses that are consuming your day are not helping you to be better at what you do, or to become a better person? In fact, they could hijack your relationship with Christ by stealing your peace and distracting you from finding your satisfaction and rest in Christ alone.

How do we rest our mind? This is a great challenge. I know full well just how hard it can be to stop the flow of anxious thoughts, concerns, worries or even stress that assaults my mind. While we can’t completely shut down these thoughts and feelings, we can tap into the power that God gives us to have the mind of Christ more fully formed in us. It begins by training our minds to slow down and replace our anxious thoughts with the promises and truth of who God is and what He speaks to us in His Word.

As you do this, you will see God exchange your problems for peace. Acceptance in place of anxiety. Chaos lifts and you find a calmness. There’s a tranquility found during trials. A serenity from your Savior in the midst of your stress.
Take some time today to get alone with Him through His Word. Breathe in the words of life while you exhale the worries of your mind. Get out in nature and relish in His majestic, sovereign rule and reign. Turn on some worship music and soak in the promises of who He has been and will continue to be in your life. Quiet your heart and mind as you communicate your requests to Him through prayer. You will find peace and rest!
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