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Inspiration

Do Your Best, Then Rest
By Joel Osteen - Sep 24, 2021
It's easy to go through life thinking we have to make everything happen--make our business grow, make ourselves get well, make our child do right. There's this constant pressure to fix something, to improve in some area, so we live striving, trying to force doors to open, to do better, to work harder. It's as though there's a war going on inside: no rest, no peace. You weren't created to live that way. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God." One translation says, "Stop your striving and recognize that I am God." As long as you're in this striving mode, trying to fix everything, thinking that it's all up to you, you're not going to know that He's God, and you're not going to see His favor and His goodness as you should.

It's very freeing when you realize that you don't have to make everything happen. If you keep God first place, He'll bring what you need. All the striving does is to wear you out, causing you to feel overwhelmed, keeping you awake at night, giving you digestive problems. Take the pressure off. You can't make people do what's right, make your co-worker like you, make your finances turn around. Your job is to be your best each day, to honor God, and He will bring dreams to pass.

Jesus told His disciples, "I am the vine, you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). He was saying, "This is how you're going to be successful, overcome challenges, and fulfill your destiny: 'Abide in Me, and you will bear much fruit.'" The word "abide" in the original language means "to depend, to rely on, to relax." He was saying, "If you depend on Me, if you rest in Me, then you can relax."

You don't have to strive. You don't have to force things, live worried, pressured, wondering how it's going to happen. When you're abiding, you're going to bear much fruit. Jesus didn't say that if you work harder, you'll see the dream, get the promotion, or see the problem turn around. No, if you abide in Him, you'll see increase and favor. Remember that faith has a rest. When you don't see how something can work out, don't fall into the striving trap. Quit trying to do what only God can do. Start abiding. Live from a place of peace. Do your best, then rest. God is saying to you what He said to people thousands of years ago: "Stop striving, be still, and you will know that I am God."
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