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The Cure for Restlessness

Series: Trust, Hustle, and Rest
Devotional: 4 of 4
Published: August 27, 2018

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Proverbs 16:33 (NIV)

As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, trusting is the difficult yet simple act of recognizing that we are not responsible for producing results through our work—God is. Once we have taken this critical first step, it is certainly right to hustle, to use our God-given talents to fulfill our calling. But how do we know if we are both trusting and hustling? Hustling is easy to spot. It’s found in our email inboxes, our to-do lists, and our cluttered minds. But how do we know if we are truly trusting in God, rather than ourselves, to produce results? Perhaps the best indicator is whether or not we are at rest.

Rest is what we are all craving. It doesn’t take long to realize that rest means more than simply spending time out of the office. With the lines between work and home almost totally blurred, it can seem impossible to disconnect physically and mentally from the demands of incessant productivity. Even when we are at home, we are checking email, Instagram, calendars, etc. We are always doing. We are restless.

How can we find the rest we all so desperately long for? St. Augustine provides the answer: “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.” We will be restless until we rest in Christ alone. This means that while we should certainly hustle, we must first trust in God who, throughout history, has been faithful to provide for His people. If we trust in God’s character, and steward the talents He has given us well, we can rest knowing that the results are in His hands, that He is in control and is working everything for our good. In the words of Solomon in Proverbs 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”

This is the only path to true and deep rest behaviorally, mentally, and spiritually, and it begins with our submission to the God-designed art of Sabbath. In the words of Timothy Keller: “We are to think of Sabbath as an act of trust. God appointed the Sabbath to remind us that he is working and resting. To practice Sabbath is a disciplined and faithful way to remember that you are not the one who keeps the world running, who provides for your family, not even the one who keeps your work projects moving forward.”

Why is it so critical that we manage the tension between trusting and hustling well? Because at the end of the day, when we rely on our hustling without trusting in God, we are either trying to play God or steal His glory, either of which leads to restlessness. Christian, take heart! These Biblical commands are not in conflict with each other. You have been called to trust your God and work hard. And when we embrace this tension, we can rest well knowing we are in right partnership with our Caller.

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