Sadness, hurt, shame, fear. Emotions like these characterize so much of our lives. We live in a broken world, where all around us, we see suffering and fear, people hurting and in pain. In a world like this, full of strife and tears, however, there also come times of peace and rest. Instead of struggling through each day, we find ourselves at ease and filled with joy.
These moments are wonderful blessings, allowing us to rest and regain our strength. No longer constantly on edge, we’re able to relax and truly enjoy life, and the blessings God has given us.
More than just rest time?
“And God is able to bless you abundantly,” – 2 Corinthians 9:8 Our God is a wonderful, loving Father. He knows what we need, and he provides us with it. When we need rest in our lives, he gives it to us. When we are hurting, he provides us with strength, and eventually, peace.
That is not all that God does, however. There come times in our lives when he blesses us beyond the rest that we need. He gives us, instead of just a short time of rest, a season of rest. A longer time in our lives – be it a few months or a few years – where we are truly at peace.
Seasons of rest are incredible blessings in our lives. More than that, however, they are times we need to be actively putting to use. 2 Corinthians 9:8 goes on to say “so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” When we are blessed, it isn’t just so we can sit back and relax. God blesses us so that we can in turn bless others and abound in every good work.
It’s important to rest, and allow ourselves to recover after difficult times. We need to be able to take a break from everything that is stressing us out, and regain the strength we have lost. When we are blessed with a season of peace, however, it becomes equally important to turn that good around and use it for God.
The problem with seasons of peace.
Unfortunately, longer seasons of peace have a tendency to make us lazy. We allow ourselves to rest for too long, and end up missing the chances God gives us to bless others and share His love with them.
When our lives grow peaceful, it becomes far too easy to focus on ourselves and what we want, when we should focus on God and how we can serve him. This shift of focus causes us to become lazy. Our desires and feelings become our top priority, and we no longer care about God’s plan for us.
These habits are difficult to break, and are things we must do our best to avoid. If our seasons of peace are meant for more than rest, however, what are we to do with them? When God blesses us with free time, and days empty of stress, how are we to honor him with such times?
Build godly habits.
Instead of allowing ourselves to grow lazy, we need to use the time to focus on God and strengthen our relationship with him. These seasons of peace are the perfect time to build godly habits and refocus our lives around our Heavenly Father. 1 Timothy 4:8 tells us of the importance of this kind of work, saying, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
These habits are things we should always be cultivating. They are vital to our lives. When we encounter struggles, however, it can be difficult to try and build these habits. Other things get in the way, and if we aren’t already firmly rooted in godly habits, we may begin to drift away from Him. If our lives are peaceful, however, we have much more time we can devote to deepening and strengthening our relationship with God.
In addition, when struggles come again in our lives, we will be able to rely on the habits we have built. If we strengthen our relationship with God while we are at peace, then when the storms of life hit once more, it will be easier to rely on God. These habits will stick with us, and enable us to focus on our Savior as life grows difficult again. And one of the easiest times to build these habits is when God gives us peace. The challenge, however, is to put aside the desire to be lazy, and to focus our lives around God.
Bless others the way you have been blessed.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Our seasons of peace provide an incredible opportunity to bless those around us, to comfort them with the comfort we have received. Freed from our own struggles, we are free to encourage those around us who are struggling.
Blessing others, however, is something we have to consciously work towards. It can be tempting to simply let ourselves relax and tell ourselves that we’ll try and help people later. We can get so caught up in our own lives that we miss the opportunities God gives us to encourage others. So when we’re blessed with a season of peace, we need to fight to use it for God.
Don’t let these seasons slip away.
God has a purpose for our times of peace. He gives them to us for a reason, blessing us with the chance to do so much for Him, and to deepen our relationship with Him. These are valuable times in our lives. Let us use them, and not wast them.
Put these seasons to good use, Roses. Use them to grow closer to God, to prepare for the storms that will come, and to bless those who are going through the storm right now. Don’t let yourself be blind to the opportunities God sends your way.
Ever since she was little, Julia has loved to create things with words. As she’s grown in life, she’s seen and experienced how God’s love can restore and give hope. She writes with the goal of shining God’s light for others and pointing them toward a greater hope. As a contributing writer for the Wilting Rose Project, she hopes to encourage other young women, reminding them of the one who gives us our worth.