Get the Rest You Need, Guilt-Free

- by Joyce Meyer

Do you work hard and still struggle to rest, relax, and enjoy yourself?

I was about 50 years old when I realized God wanted me to enjoy my life. After a long day at work, I remember lying on my couch eating popcorn when a familiar feeling of guilt came over me. Immediately I began to wonder why I was feeling the way I did, and I felt the Lord speak to my heart: Because you don’t think you deserve to enjoy yourself.

You see, I grew up in a house where kids were expected to be quiet. If I was laughing or playing, my dad would say, “Stop all that racket!” But if I was working, that pleased him. So, I grew up believing that my worth came not from who I was but what I could do.

Of course, that wasn’t true. I needed to learn that our worth and value comes from Jesus Christ, who gave us life so that we could enjoy it.

John 10:10 (AMP) says, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

One of the ways we enjoy life is by taking time to rest and relax. So, if you struggle to enjoy guilt-free rest, then I encourage you to take time for enjoyment on purpose. Here are a few of the ways I’ve learned to let go of the stress of everyday life.

The 5-Minute Mini Break

Many people rush from one thing to another without taking breaks in between. But the Bible warns us to “Be well balanced….” (See 1 Peter 5:8 AMPC).

But the truth is we all function better when we allow ourselves to rest and refresh. So, I’ve learned to take five-minute “mini vacations” throughout the day.

For example, after I exercise, I’ll take five or ten minutes to sit in my recliner before moving on to the next thing. It’s amazing how those short breaks restore my energy and help me feel refreshed.

Think about the times you regularly feel stressed, and consider taking five-minute mini vacations to help you achieve a healthy balance.

The Blessing of “Abiding”

Obviously, we can’t live our lives on vacation. But in John chapter 15, Jesus teaches about “abiding” in God, which means to live in, remain in, or rest in Him…and we can do that anytime.

John 15:10-11 says, If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (NASB)

This means you can have all the refreshment you need today by giving your burdens to the Lord and putting your hope and trust in Him.

When you’re worried or worn out, your joy can be made full! When you go through hard times, you can go through them with the joy of the Lord!

Paul said in Philippians 4:11 (NIV), “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” We, too, have the ability to be content when we choose to abide in Him.

Receive and Keep on Receiving

John 16:24 (NIV) says, Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

You may be fairly good at asking for things, but how are you at receiving?

So often, we get upset with other people because they’re not giving us what we think we need. But God wants us to go directly to Him for the love, help and support that we need.

John 17:13 (AMP) says, …I say these things [while I am still] in the world so that they may experience My joy made full and complete and perfect within them [filling their hearts with My delight].

We live a natural life here on earth, but God adds a “super” to it. He wants us to enjoy it “in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (See John 10:10 AMP.)

Don’t live your life without experiencing the supernatural joy that’s available through Jesus Christ. Give yourself permission to rest in Him and receive what you need to be happy. With His help, any ordinary day can become an extraordinary one.

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