We live in a stressful world that makes impossible demands on our lives, affecting our mood, how we relate to our families, and, most importantly, God. God knows how we are because he made us. He knows we need to relieve stress, so he gave us a stress plan. There are many places in God’s Word where he tells us how to deal with stress, and here is one that has meant so much to me.
Isaiah 30:15 “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
The secret to this plan is to develop a quiet time where you learn to trust God. This quietness, in time, becomes a way of life. It’s God’s offer that if we abandon all other hope but him and commit to the truth of his word, he will be our strength. Notice, however, the last few words of the verse, “but you would have none of it.” How do we refuse God’s offer? We do it more than we realize. We do it every time we hurry into a business decision without consulting him or every time we form a new relationship and leave him out. We do it whenever we think we can find our own happiness apart from God.
Judah said, “No thanks, God. We will ride off on swift horses” (Isaiah 30:16). How many times do we ride off in the opposite direction of God’s offer in search of our solutions? That is exactly what Jonah did and it didn’t work out too well for him. God warned Judah that their search would be futile and would end up in loneliness “like a flagstaff on a mountaintop.” We have all felt the loneliness of abandoning God’s offer of meeting with him. We often ride off in search of self-validation, but what we really long for is God’s validation.
I am encouraged to see the next verse because it tells us that although you may have refused God’s offer of communion, he still waits for you to return. God longs to be gracious to you.”
Isaiah 30:18 – “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”