Recently a commenter asked me how she could rest in God and find peace in her life. It’s not an easy question to answer. Today, I give you a step-by-step process to finding peace in your life. It’s important to note that this isn’t an instant process. Instead, it takes dedication. Above all else, it requires you to keep your focus on God.
“How Can I Rest in God?”: 5 Steps for Moms to Find Peace
Step #1 – Recognize What is Important
It doesn’t take long into a new Christian’s walk before they feel convicted over something that isn’t traditionally a sin:
- “What do you mean I can’t go out with my friends anymore? Yeah, they aren’t godly, but I’m not sinning.”
- “Sugar isn’t prohibited in the Bible! I want to eat it. Why should I stop?”
- “Why do I need to start limiting my make-up usage? Is there anything wrong with looking pretty?”
Note: Hopefully you understand that I’m stressing the emphasis of personal convictions. I’m not labelling any of that as wrong.
These convictions aren’t just a matter of faith; to successfully work your way through these things, you have to recognize what is important. When we keep the gospel in perspective, our focus isn’t on what our friends think about us, on the inconvenience of limiting sugar, or society’s view of prettiness. Our focus is only on our relationship with God.
In Philippians 3:8, Paul writes, “I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
This mentality goes beyond convictions in our lives. It’s also the understanding that nothing, not chores, not finances, and not societal pressures to do certain things, is more important than our relationship with God. I’ve written about the need to rest before. I’ve written about how stress keeps us distracted from this rest.
Recognize your faith as your most important priority, and you’ll set the foundation for resting in God.
Step #2 – Learn to See Past the Physical
We can’t represent our Christian faith on a pie chart of our lives because a Christian lifestyle should be evident in every area of our life.
Learn to see past the physical of your actual actions so you can become aware of their purpose in the larger scheme of life. This is especially important for moms, who struggle with contrary opinions everywhere they turn. So let’s lay out a few things very simply:
- When you rest, you’re not being lazy. You’re allowing your body and mind to recover from the rest of your life so that you’re able to respond when God calls you to do something.
- When you do chores, you’re not stuck running on a proverbial mouse wheel. You’re cleaning out the dirt and filth while you have the time so that other tasks are simpler later. More efficiency means more time to spend on resting, God, and your family.
- When you smile at a stranger in the store, you’re not just being nice. Instead, you are living out Romans 12:2 which tells us not to “be conformed to the world,” which includes the nasty attitudes that others display in the store. You are demonstrating that there is love and hope inside of you.
- When you do all of these things in front of your children, you’re not just being a good Christian mom. Instead, you are a living testimony of the power of God in your life.
This isn’t to shame anybody who struggles to see past the physical effects of their behavior. It’s simply a skill that we all have to learn at some point. When we learn to see how our relationship with God influences everything about our lives, it becomes easier to worship throughout the day.
Step #3 – Build Faith Habits
This is probably one of the biggest steps I could list. If you want to learn how to rest in God, then you need to work on building faith habits in your life. This means you need to learn how to pray, learn how to study your Bible, and learn how to incorporate these things consistently in your faith.
These habits are crucial for so many different reasons. They’ll help you learn Scripture which will guard your faith even when you’re not in front of your Bible, they’ll help you learn to rely on God, and, eventually, they’ll let you hear God’s voice in your life.
Building habits can be tough even when there’s not an element of spiritual warfare at play. Fortunately, I have a tool to help with this:
Step #4 – Seek Contentment in Your Life
Contentment happens when we stop seeking for more in our life. Don’t misunderstand: dreams and goals do have a place. However, when we allow those dreams and goals to make us miserable in the present, there is a problem.
I am a very prideful person. I would love to become a super blogger, a well-known author, and to have people tell me every day how much my words helped their lives and faith. (Let’s play: can we spot the error in that last sentence from a perspective of Lordship?) These dreams motivate me to do a good job, which helps me spread the messages that God gives me to share. However, when those dreams cause me to look disdainfully on what God has helped me to accomplish (which pales in comparison to a 1,000,000 copies sold), then I need to stop seeking for that more.
I’ve written before in this post that we need to meet our children where they are in life. The same goes with our relationship with God. There comes a point where we need to find contentment in what we have rather than entertaining our ideas of what God needs to do.
If you’re struggling with contentment, then it’s time to take a step back. Stop looking at what you don’t have and instead practice gratitude for what you do have.
Step #5 – Meditate on Scripture
Meditation is not a dirty word for Christians. It’s something we’re urged to do all throughout the Bible. As you develop faith habits, you’ll encounter certain Scriptures that speak to you. Here are some examples from my own life:
- Proverbs 3:5-6 is my life verse that helps me find balance when things get crazy
- Psalm 1 is my go-to when I’m searching for a tranquil kind of strength
- When I’m feeling cowardly, I meditate on the verses that speak about God as a strong tower and refuge
If you’re trying to learn how to rest in God, then the easiest thing is to make a note of the Bible verses that calm you down, put you at peace, and strengthen your convictions as a Christian. Memorize them if you can, but even just writing the references down allows you to quickly access these verses.
Meditating on what the Bible says is a form of rest and a form of worship. If you want to learn how to rest in God, then this is a must.
Bonus Advice Round!
My friend Kayla Nelson from Accidental Nomad Life recently answered a couple of questions that I asked her. Since it fits with this post, I’m going to share her responses with you here.
What do you tell somebody who says, “Hey, I feel like I’m struggling with my faith. What’s something I can do to fix it?”
I would suggest sitting down with a notebook and beginning to journal a prayer. Ask God to search your heart, speak to you, draw you near. Write out your struggles/doubts and ask God for truths to cover them with. If you need accountability, please let me know, I’d be more than happy to help you!
Kayla’s advice is almost identical to what I would also tell you. The only difference is that I would tell you to confess any emotions you’re trying to hide from God, like anger or sorrow. If you’re interested, you can contact Kayla by clicking here.
Fill in the blank: “I believe that all Christians need to do…
…their part of ministry. We are not all created the same – we are not all gifted with the same gifts. I think we forget that and we expect every Christian should be XYZ, because we are, or because that is what we are burdened with. The truth is that each believer is different, each walk is different, and we have each been created for a piece of the ministry.
I love Kayla’s emphasis on ministry. A lot of times we can be guilty of saying no to ministry because we feel like it’s not that important to our faith. Not only is it important, but it was Jesus’s final command to us while He was on earth. If you’re struggling to find peace in your life, then maybe you need to ask yourself, “Have I told God no on anything that I needed to do?”