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Resting in Christ


When we are on this journey, seeking to become godly women/wives/mothers… it can feel very overwhelming and we may drive ourselves insane sometimes trying to be perfect and trying to evaluate ourselves constantly to see if we are “getting an A+ on our godly wife report card.”

The more you get into this journey and the closer you are to Christ, the more you realize – it isn’t about me trying harder. This isn’t about me being perfect. It isn’t about me making myself crazy with impossible expectations. It isn’t about me beating myself up. It is not about checking off a bunch of boxes on a list. It is not about legalism.(I’m going to share a number of gems from Andrew Murray’s book, Absolute Surrender in this post that I hope may clarify what I am saying.)

This journey isn’t about self-effort or self at all.

This is about yielding control to God completely. It is about resting in what Jesus did for me on the cross to make me right with God. It is about resting in what He did when He was raised from the dead and His Spirit flooding my soul to empower me to live the life He wants me to live. It is about Christ breathing life into me.

If you are getting really anxious about not being good enough or about feeling like a failure – just take a deep breath. Turn from anything God calls sin – confess it to Him as sin and receive His forgiveness, mercy, and grace. Come sit down at the feet of Jesus and rest in His love, provision, care, and sovereignty for you. Stop frantically studying for awhile. Stop reading about marriage if that is stressing you out. Stop “worry-praying” constantly trying to get God to do what you think He should do. Stop trying to fix everything to make it all work out “right.” Just be still for awhile. This is not about you trying to live a perfect life. That is impossible! You can’t do this thing in your strength.

Picture yourself trying to push a car across a 3000 mile journey. It would be ridiculous to even try such a thing. Instead of pushing the car, get in and sit down beside Jesus. God’s Spirit provides the fuel so that the car will go in His power, not yours. Picture Jesus driving and you just enjoying the journey with Him. He knows how to get to the destination. He does all of the work. You get to be along for the ride. But it is all His strength that moves you.

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Only He can live this life in and through you. As you cling to Him and focus on loving, praising, and trusting Him – and as you allow Him to have control and you desire Him above everything else – He can change your heart, your mind, and your desires. He does the work, not you.

He can give you the power to live the life that He wants you to live. Focus on doing what a branch does. Abide in Christ. Just receive from the vine. The vine provides all of the sap, strength, and nourishment the branch needs. The branch only clings to the vine – and fruit appears without striving or effort on the part of the branch. Jesus talks about this in John 15, and Murray elaborates on the concept, as well.

Be still before Him. Worship Him. Praise Him. Sing to Him. Drink in His goodness and His Word. Seek to be close to Him. Give Him access to everything in your life and allow Him to lead you baby step by baby step.

No need to freak out. No need to stress. No need to be afraid. Just rest in His strong arms, His wisdom, and His care. Let His love and His truth overtake you and consume your heart, mind, and soul. Focus on receiving all that He has done for you and all that He has already given you if  you are His. If you are not His, I invite you to come to Him today and follow Him for the rest of your life as your Savior and as Lord of your life.


Empty yourself of all of your old worldly ways of thinking. Empty yourself of your old self. That old self is now dead with Christ and buried. Allow God to cleanse the darkest corners of your soul. When you are totally emptied of self, you are like a clean tea cup. God can pour His Spirit into you when you are fully His. No one pours tea into a teacup that has something else in it already – like ink or vinegar (a helpful illustration from Murray). Once a teacup is totally devoted to its purpose – and nothing else – it is ready to be filled with tea.


Another illustration by Murray is that “We all know what absolute surrender looks like in daily life. A pen must be totally devoted to the task of writing. And it must be totally yielded to one person’s use. If more than one person tries to hold and use a pen at the same time, it can’t possibly accomplish very much. But if the pen is completely given over to one person, that person can use the pen to write much and accomplish great things.” (paraphrasing)

We are like that pen – we must be totally given over to God and His control. Nothing and no one else must have a hold on us other than God in order for Him to be free to accomplish His good purposes in us and through us. We yield control to Him and allow Him to do the work.


Jesus is your Good Shepherd. Run to Him. Allow Him to take you up and hold you close against His heart. He knows how to provide the pasture, water, protection, care, and leadership you need. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You can’t figure it all out. All that is necessary to do is to follow Him and draw near to Him.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.… Matthew 11:28-29

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, Hebrews 4:9-11 (Hebrews 4:1-11 is about the Sabbath rest that believers in Christ enter into in Him)

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30

Verses about Rest

One of the best descriptions of how to do this that I have seen so far is in the book Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray.


How do you rest in Christ? What do you do when you realize you are anxious and stressed about this journey or about life in general to get your eyes back on Jesus and to sit at His feet and just receive His goodness, love, provision, and care for you?

What are some Bible verses and worship songs that help you remember to rest and trust fully in Christ that may be a blessing to others who are struggling?


Victory over Perfectionism – Peacefulwife video“>

Something that helps me is to focus on God’s character and who He is:

38 thoughts on “Resting in Christ

    1. Bec D.,
      Yes! It can be so tempting to revert back to the flesh and to works or legalism. But that will never work! When we are feeling exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, and like we are running on empty spiritually – it is our sign to go sit at the feet of Jesus and just receive from Him and to stop depending on our own strength.

  1. How does rest appear? What does it look like in our daily lives? Can those around us see God’s rest? How can a wife put away the cutting comments spurned by hurt and unfaithfulness? I want God’s rest. I want to be Christ’s conduit to my family! Oh, Blessed Savior help me. I seek you daily. Let me change. Set apart because of you! Make a difference in my life that’s real and permanent.

    1. Dear Vickie, The Bible says that God is the restorer of your soul…Go to Him, let him heal your hurt…sometimes it helps to just sit in his presence quietly, allowing him to touch and speak to you…put on worship songs and just be in his presence…choose to forgive and let go off the pain…you will come out of his presence changed and free…
      Love you sis 🙂

    2. Vickie,

      When we are resting in Christ, we have spiritual energy and strength that is beyond our ability. We have His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We have His Spirit in abundance. We have His wisdom. We hear His voice clearly. We have His love and His perspective. His love compels us to move and act – it is a joy and a delight, not a burden or a chore to walk in obedience.

      In you particular case, I think that as you acknowledge that your husband is help captive by the enemy and that he is not able to say godly things or life-giving things, but that he needs deliverance in Christ – you can say along with Jesus, “Father, forgive him, for he does not know what he is doing.” If he knew Jesus intimately and was living in His power, he would be mortified at the sin in his life. He would be apologizing and seeking to rebuild trust. Right now, he is blind and he can’t see.

      Much love to you! and the biggest hug!

    1. Mary,

      Exactly! I must decrease down to nothing – and He must increase and be everything! One thing Andrew Murray says is, “As long as I think I am something, God can’t be everything.”

  2. It helps me to focus on God’s character and who He is. I love David Platt’s Secret Church series – Who Is God? And Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology podcasts “The Attributes of God”


  3. The illustration about the 3000 lb car was amazing! That really spoke to me and helped me, and just thinking of getting INTO the car and letting JESUS drive while we just relax and rest in his presence and being with Him, will stick with me forever. <3
    So thankful for the constant wisdom that comes from this blog.
    Bless you,


    1. LearningWife,

      Yes! It is all about what Jesus did on the cross and what He is doing in and through me every moment. My own attempts at righteousness are like “filthy bloody menstrual rags” Isaiah 64:6. It has to be ALL Him! I just receive what He did for me – and then – miraculously – God credits all that Jesus did and all that He is and all that He has into my account. It is crazy!

  4. I believe in God, His Word and power, in Christ. However, I think saying that I Love the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength is dishonest as I also have a sin nature. If I were to think that, I would feel like I was striving towards legalism.

    Am I missing something here?

    1. Deborah Mangini,

      Thankfully, God counts our sin nature as if it was crucified and buried with Christ. Romans 6. We are now dead to sin and our old nature and this world. We are now alive to God in Christ!

      Three stages of salvation:

      1. Justification – The penalty of sin is removed.

      The moment we trust Christ as Savior and Lord, God puts our sin in Christ’s account and Jesus’ holiness in our account. God counts us as having been crucified with Christ, as if we are dead spiritually to our old self and this world. He gives us a new spirit and a new life.

      2. Sanctification – The power of sin is removed.

      We learn to live out our justification in real life in a process of maturation and growth that goes on all of our lives called sanctification. We are no longer slaves to sin. We can still choose to sin. But we are not slaves to sin. We can choose to be under the power of God and filled with His Spirit. God’s Spirit working and living in us can empower us to walk in obedience and holiness. God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. When we are filled with His Spirit, of course His commands are possible for us to carry out. 🙂

      3. Glorification – The presence of sin is completely removed.

      We receive our glorified bodies in heaven and we are no longer able to sin.

      If you are trying to love God in your own power, that could be legalistic. But if you are loving God out of joy and thanksgiving for all He has done for you and you are abiding in Christ and He is overflowing in your life – that is not legalism to love God wholeheartedly – it should be the normal Christian experience.

      Our old sinful nature can’t love God. But it is dead! PRAISE GOD! When it rears up, we can crucify it and remember to count ourselves as dead to sin and this world and alive to God in Christ.

  5. ” Stop frantically studying for awhile. Stop reading about marriage if that is stressing you out. Stop “worry-praying” constantly trying to get God to do what you think He should do. Stop trying to fix everything to make it all work out “right.” Just be still for awhile”

    These words stopped me dead in my tracks this morning! This weekend was a very difficult weekend with my husband, who reacted hurtfully to what I thought was a respectful, loving, harmless question. As he vented, I heard myself thinking (the Holy Spirit’s voice??) that he’s coming from a place of hurt, he obviously feels unsafe with me, and I just need to BACK OFF and not say a word. I didn’t quite succeed perfectly, but by the end of the weekend, we were back in harmony.

    This morning I’m giving my thoughts to God- those thoughts of “I was the only humble one, I was the only reconciliatory one, I was the only one that took responsibility for my part in the ‘episode’.” I am choosing to let God speak to my husband. I am choosing to keep the peace that surpasses all understanding. I am choosing JOY IN THE LORD!
    And I am praising all my sisters in Christ on Peaceful Wife, who have supported and helped me get here by their comments and sharing! Praising God we have this forum to guide us through this wonderful sanctification that is marriage!

    This weekend’s scripture was 1 Peter 3, Psalm 19:14 and Phillipians 4:8- also sung by Fernando Ortega. They were a balm to my soul!

    1. senterwife,

      SO thankful that you were listening to God’s voice this weekend. That is what we ALL need! Sensitivity to God’s Spirit and wisdom to hear and obey His every prompting.

      I’m so glad you are giving up those thoughts and any pride. I’m so glad you are trusting God to speak to your husband and that you are choosing Christ over sinful thoughts. WOOHOO!

      Thank you for sharing this and for the Scripture references. 🙂

      Much love to you!

  6. Thank you April. As always, your timing is just impeccable. I can’t believe how much wisdom comes from each and every one of your blog postings. Thank you so much for continuing to take the time and energy to put this together for all of us! You have been such a blessing in my life!

    I’ve discovered a new artist, Lauren Daigle, and I can’t stop listening to her music and singing her songs in my head all day. I wanted to share her with you ladies today…enjoy!

    1. Jess,

      My prayer is that God’s Spirit would blast through me like a big open pipe to all of my sisters (and brothers). It has to be ALL Him! Thank you for sharing this song, can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

      Much love to you! So glad this was a blessing and encouragement.

      1. Well, I think your prayers are being answered my friend, b/c he has been using you in an incredible way! I think you will really enjoy Lauren’s music if you haven’t heard her yet. Much love back to you sister!

    2. This is my seven year olds favorite song , we sing it at the top of our lungs in the car
      My Husband left a couple of months ago and when she is having a hard time while we wait on God to restore our family she always ask if we can play this song

    3. Jess,

      Ooh! I love I Will Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. I hadn’t heard of her before. What a beautiful voice and even more – what a powerful message of trust in God! Love it!

      1. You’re welcome April & Elizabeth! So glad you enjoyed it as much as I do. Check out, “I’m Yours” “First” “How Can It Be” all by Lauren also. That girl is just amazing and I can’t get enough of her right now!

        And Jessica, I do that when I’m listening to Lauren Daigle in the car too! 🙂 Now when I hear that song, I will think of you and your little girl and pray for restoration in your family.

        Much love and hugs to all you wonderful ladies…and the few gents too! 🙂 You all mean more to me than I can put into words! <3

  7. When I’m overwhelmed and need to rest in the Lord I go and read your old posts, April. I also read on Absolute Surrender, anything by Michael Wells (his books), I journal my thoughts then my prayers of confession and praise, I also listen to Sovereign Grace Music on Pandora or this playlist on YouTube

  8. This is an awesome song by Kari Jobe about God being our rest and refuge that really encourages my hearts and leads me to a place of rest and trust in Christ

  9. DW,

    You have had quite the fiery trial for a long time, my dear sister. But how I praise God for what He is doing in your life!!! Thank you so much for sharing what is helpful to you and how you rest in God. That is the place we must all end up – total and utter dependence on Christ.

    Much love, my precious sister!

  10. HI April,

    I am so thankful you directed me to that book by Andrew Murray. It was such a terribly important step and milestone that if you had not shown me his book at that time I would not have got. It really articulated so well the different levels of growth and how even though we are filled with the Holy Spirit we are still living by our effort.

    His breakdown of Peter was exactly that of my own life to a T and Jesus recognised that self was still so evident in Peter that He said “get behind me satan”. The life I live now is SO different now, I promise it is ridiculous.

    The great thing now is that I recognise quite quickly when I am stepping back in to self because the syptoms are easy to read. I can now fully appreciate the position in God of rest when we are overwhelmed, the mountain is too high, whatever the situation. There is not one single miracle or turnaround in the Bible where self effort was a contributor, not lone, not even close. God is a God of total absolute miracles. Sea parting, city collapsing, Saviour raising miracles.

    I did not realise how much I have depended on myself for all my life and what a travesty that was from His point of view. I actually thought I was doing the right thing even in how I would get so active about repenting. I still work hard, super hard but the trust is with Him and in His mercy the Holy Spirit will direct me when its not. Finally, I understand why people who have really lived the so called “sinful” life are such amazing Christians – because they “get it” – it is a seriously weird illogical and amazing life in God, why would you be anywhere else?

    1. Gary,

      EXACTLY!!!! This is what I long for everyone to understand and get to live out day to day!

      I’m so thankful God used Murray’s book to bless you. Thank you for sharing what God is doing in your life, I know God will use His power in you to bless many others, as well. 🙂

      We do so much “self living” and “self-effort” even in our churches that it is “normal” in our culture. But that is not at all what the Christian life is supposed to be. May God open our eyes, bring us all to repentance, and change our lives for His glory by His power alone!

    1. In Christ Alone,

      It can be counter-intuitive to rest in Christ when we think our worth is in what we DO. But – how desperately we all need to stop running around like crazy in our own power and to just be still and soak in God’s presence, His love, His Spirit, and His power. It is ALL about Him!

      Praying for you to get away with God and for you to have a time of allowing Him to restore your soul, my dear sister!

  11. What helps me to rest in Christ is when I take time to really meditate on what he has done for us through his suffering. I then start to feel his love for me. The verses I read in the moment are:

    Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus;

    Isaia 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed;

    John 14:1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

    What helps me going are your blogs April also. Thank you so much for your ministry.

  12. Hello April and ladies,
    Because I read this particular post (resting in Christ) regularly I thought I would update here. My husband and I are still separated. I’ve caught him several more time with her. I’ve even confronted her. She has no soul.

    To be honest, I am at such peace since he has been gone. God has been cradling me in His arms as I reach out to Him and surrender my will to His. Several people have come up to me lately and said, “You are so beautiful, I could just stare at you all day. You radiate such joy that I can’t help but look at you.” This coming from 2 young ladies in my church who did NOT know I was separated…so they were shocked when I told them…shocked because I SMILE all the time.

    I am attending Al Anon now and really loving it…the women and men all comment on the fact that I’m always smiling and that I “inspire” them. I KNOW that is because I seek God’s presence daily. He is changing not only my inward life but also my outside.

    I’m enjoying this time focusing on peeling back all those nasty layers of “self” and letting God heal and prune me. My relationship with the Lord is so sweet. 2015 was a tumultuous year but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. THAT is how God works….all things working together for good.

    Loving my Savior,

    1. DW,

      It is SO WONDERFUL to hear from you!!!!! I’m really thankful that you and your husband are separated right now. I think that is necessary at this point considering all of the unrepentant sin he has going on.

      How I praise God for what He is doing in your soul! Brings me tears of such joy!!!!!! If there is anything you would like for me to share with other wives who are experiencing tough times or separation, please let me know. I’d love to share it – God-willing. 🙂

      Sending you the biggest hug, my beautiful sister!


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