The Importance of Taking Time to Rest During Hard Times

It’s important to take time to rest during the difficult seasons of life so you don’t become battle weary.

Do you know that rest is an act of spiritual warfare? Stay with me. I am a doer by nature. It is so hard for me to do absolutely nothing. I feel like I’m missing out or I’m failing, and that doesn’t feel right. I have to be doing something or I just can’t stand it. 

A few years ago I was in a really hard situation and I kept trying to fix it. But every time I tried to fix it, I made it worse. Every single thing that I tried, every single plan that I tried to put into action blew up in my face and made everything worse. 

I kept looking for help but time after time I was told no. I never found any help. So eventually I realized that there was nothing that I could do. It was completely out of my control. I had to take my hands all the way off the whole thing. 

It was scary. If I wasn’t doing anything, what was gonna happen? End of the story, things worked themselves out. Probably because I finally got out of the way of God’s will. A mentor gave me some wonderful words of wisdom. During that time she pulled me aside and she lovingly said, “LaToya, you sometimes rest is an act of warfare.” 

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Does that ring true in your heart today? She was reminding me that I did not need to run myself into the ground and be battle-weary all the time from fighting. I could rest knowing that God was in control and I just needed to be ready to move when he said so.

Thankfully I have learned most of my lesson and I am more apt to rest than to get battle-weary in situations, but it took me some time to learn, embrace, and walk that out. I want to dig into scripture for just a few minutes to look at the prime example of resting when hard times come. 

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”

Matthew 8:23-27 NLT

I love this account in scripture because it has an amazing lesson. We see Jesus and his crew in the middle of a storm. Jesus is taking a nap. The disciples are losing their ever-loving minds. They were focused on the scary storm. Jesus was focused on his father in heaven. 

When you are walking through hard times you have a choice to make, are you going to be like the disciples or Jesus? Can I encourage you to be like Jesus and take a nap? There is a big temptation to try and do all the things during hard times to check all the imaginary boxes so that everything will turn out. 

Listen, that is a trick of the enemy. Trying to do all the things is just a distraction meant to make you so exhausted and frustrated that you don’t have the energy or strength to fight back. 

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How to Take a Rest During Hard Times

What can you do to rest when it seems like life is out of control? I have 4 practical things that you can do today. Number one, remember who’s actually doing the fighting. You take more on than God intends for you to. God is the one who fights your battles once you learn to get out of the way. 

If you can remember that God is the one in control you are not going to wear yourself out by doing something that you’re not supposed to do in the first place. Which brings me to number two, don’t pick a fight. Not every fight is meant for you. 

I have seen this many times in my own life, I rush into spiritual warfare and try to fight things that God hasn’t told me to fight. If you want to avoid this, stay in prayer and listen for God’s direction because he’ll let you know if it’s your fight and when it’s time to engage in the battle. 

Number three, stay in community. There is a reason scripture commands you to gather together in fellowship and worship. You need other people to walk with you to hold you accountable and to pray with you. 

When Israel goes to war in the Old Testament Moses tells them that as long as his hands are held up high, they’ll win. It was a long battle, and there was no way that he was going to be able to hold his arms up the entire time. He had to have help. 

Someone to bring him a rock to sit on and then one dude on the left and one dude on the right to hold up his arms for that victory to happen. Likewise, you cannot walk through hard times by yourself. You have to stay in community. We’re not meant to fight by ourselves. 

Number four, take a nap. I’m serious. Get into bed or on the couch, grab a blanket, close your eyes, and get some rest. Rest is an act of warfare. Why? Because it shows the enemy that he isn’t worth your time and energy.

He’s so unimportant that you are going to completely ignore all the foolishness he’s doing and you’re gonna go to sleep. It also keeps you from messing things up because you’re not picking fights that aren’t yours and you’re not trying to fight the battle that God’s going to fight for you. 

When you are walking through hard times and you feel exhausted, it’s probably time for you to sit down and rest. Remember in wartime, even soldiers and men and women who are serving in the military get time off for R&R. 

They know that they need that time to get away from the battle to rest, to relax, and to recharge. The same thing goes for you and I. Rest and allow God to restore your strength. Let him renew your hope. Let him whisper into your ear and pay attention to what he wants you to do and doesn’t want you to do so that you can stay in the fight all the way to end all the way to victory.

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