Summary: 5th in series on restoring joy to life. Deals with the importance of resting & observing a holy day each week.
RESTORING THE JOY
Part 5: Finding Rest in a Restless World
For the past few weeks, we have been looking at reasons why so few Christians have joy in their lives. Jesus said He came to give us “abundant Lives,” and yet we see very few people living abundantly. The Devil has a plethora, an arsenal of weapons he uses to destroy our joy. He uses discouragement, causing us to forget God is in control. He uses a lack of purpose, causing us to forget our first purpose is to love and worship God. He messes up our perspective, causing us to become ungrateful. All of these are great tools for joy-stealing. But, I believe one of the major tools the Devil uses in America, to rob us of our joy is a lack of rest. He simply keeps us so tired, so weary, and so stressed that there is no joy left.
The most notorious industrial accidents in recent years - Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the fatal navigational error of Korean Airlines 007 - all occurred in the middle of the night. In the Challenger space shuttle disaster, key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to go ahead with the launch after working twenty hours straight and getting only two to three hours of sleep the night before. Their error in judgment cost the lives of seven astronauts and nearly killed the U. S. space program. (Martin Moore-Ede. In The Twenty Four Hour Society, quoted in Sermon Central PRO)My friends, lack of rest, lack of sleep, can make you a danger to the people around you, and it will rob you of your joy.
We live in a society ruled by hurry and worry. We spend our time talking about how busy we are, how tired we are, and about how little sleep we get. In the frontier days, if a person missed a stage, they were content to wait 2 or 3 days for the next one. Today, we get upset if we miss a light.
We hurry, we rush, & we skimp on our sleep. My friend, a lack of sleep, a lack of rest, will rob you of your joy. Turn with me this morning to Exodus chapter 20 and verse 8 as we see together one of the most important joy-protecting commandments God ever gave, but the one even Christians so easily forget.
- Read Exodus 20:8-11
Did you notice how many verses, how many words, God used in this commandment? God used an awful lot of room on that first stone tablet to record this commandment. God said, “Set aside a day when you do no work.” He didn’t stop there however, He also said, “On that day, you’re not to work, neither is any of your family, neither are any of your employees, nor is any of your livestock.”
My friends, you and I are to have 1 day a week that is different than all the other days. One day in seven we are to set aside and make it special in our lives. It is not a day to catch up on chores. It is not a day to finish the laundry. It is not a day to plan out the coming week. It is not a day to balance your checkbook. It is to be a special day, different than all the other days of the week.
Now, what are we to do on this day?
ACTIONS FOR OUR SPECIAL DAY
1. On our special day we are to Remember
This commandment begins with the word “Remember.” On our special day we are to remember.
a. Remember God is in Control - In verse 11, we are told that God made the heavens, and the earth, and everything that is in them. My friend, you and I are to have a special day each week when we stop to remember that God is still God. We are to remember that God is still in control. It is very easy to get so busy with daily living that we forget God is still sitting on the throne of heaven. It is easy to get so busy with the chores of life that we get wrapped up in ourselves and our situations to the point where we lose sight of the big picture.
God says, take a day a week and remember. Remember that I created all of this. Remember I see it all, and I am still the Lord of all. There is nothing beyond My power and My ability. Take a day and remember, I am in control.
One of the primary ways we remember God and remember He is in control is through worship. Our special day is a day to worship God. To praise His name. To sing and celebrate His goodness, His mercy, His power, and His love for us. Our special day is not just to be spent any way we want to, but on our special day we are place a special emphasis on remembering and worshipping our God, for “worship renews the spirit like sleep renews the body.” (Richard Clarke Cabot)