Times of Refreshing
Living in this world grinds us down, no matter who we are. We can only take so much, then we are exhausted. It is even harder when there seems to be no end in sight. I can vividly remember what that was like, living this life as an atheist, with no hope beyond what this dead-end world offered. I didn’t come to Jesus just for the soul-rest in this temporary world, but it has been a great fringe benefit. Now when my heart and mind are exhausted, I have access to the One who created my soul and Who has the remedy for whatever ails me.
In Acts 3:19, Peter tells the crowd, Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord... Peter had just accessed the power of God to heal a man who had been lame from the day he was born. The crowd had been seeing this lame beggar for years, and now he was walking and jumping and praising the God who had healed him. The people came running to see this man for themselves, so Peter took advantage of the opportunity to share the Gospel with them. As Peter spoke to them, many recognized their need and turned their lives over to the God who had made them and Who knew how to fix their spiritual exhaustion.
In Psalm 23 David uses the metaphor of God as his shepherd. He describes how God leads him to green grass for nourishing food, and to still waters so he can drink peacefully. Then in verse three, David takes it a step further, he refreshes my soul. David now describes something no earthly shepherd can do for his sheep: God refreshes our souls, supernaturally, with His peace, wisdom and healing.
In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. All those same promises hold true for us today. In Him we find rest for our souls.
In Isaiah 39, the prophet tells Hezekiah, the Israelite king, that soon all his people would be either killed or taken as slaves by the Babylonians. In the next chapter God is speaking to the children of Israel, letting them know their suffering would not go on forever, that He would revive them and restore them, so they should not give up hope. In verses 30-31 He tells them, Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The Bible begins with the Garden of Eden and ends with a return to Eden. We live in the in-between, and life is always hard, but God provides times of refreshing to get us through until the end.
All Scripture from the NIV.
© 2017 Darvis McCoy