The following text has been made up of some excerpts from a longer article by T. Austin Sparks which is called The Rest And The Courage Of Faith.
“Many of us have not really entered into Christianity yet. What do I mean? Well, for one thing, the very door into true Christianity is the door of rest, the rest of faith. The very simple way in which the Lord put it in His appeal was – “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 – emphasis added).”
[…] “Do not let us put that into the future, that is not the meaning at all; that afterward, when we get Home to glory, then we will arrive at the Sabbath day rest, we will enter into rest. It is not something for the tombstone – he or she entered into rest. It is something which remains now as a present thing for the people of God, not in death, but in life. The rest remaineth.”
“You will not think me too elementary, for you know in your heart, as well as I do in mine, that this matter of heart rest, the rest of faith, is a live question continually, it is coming up all the time. One of the things which is lacking in so many of us is this rest, or, to put it the other way, the things which characterize us so much are fret, anxiety, uncertainty, and all those things which are just the opposite of calm assurance, quiet confidence, the spirit and attitude and atmosphere which says all the time, Don’t worry, don’t fret, it is all right. One thing our great enemy is always trying to do is to disturb that, destroy that, rob us of that, churn us up, fret us, drive us, harass us, anything to rob us of our rest or to prevent us from entering into rest.”
“It is the rest of faith, not just the rest of passivity, indifference, carelessness. There is all the difference between carelessness and carefreeness. There remaineth, there is still to be had, there still obtains, there still exists, there is still preserved a rest for the people of God – for the people of God. We have no right to go to the unsaved and bid them come to Christ and find rest until and unless we ourselves know that rest. Our testimony and our ministry is jeopardized; weakened, limited and discredited if we are not ourselves in rest; and this is the object of the enemy’s activity in this matter – to discredit us by taking from us that very birthright of our union with Him Who is never perturbed, never anxious, never in doubt as to the issue, the One Who reigns. You see, rest is the practical outworking of our belief that He is Lord, and the very Lordship of Christ is struck at by the unrest of the people of God.”
[…] “Every day brings hundreds of ways in which there is the opportunity to stand into the rest of faith, into that faith in the Lord which brings rest. So subtle are the ways of the enemy that he will even tell us that that is too small a thing with which to trouble the Lord; that is a mere incident, why take that to the Lord? He has bigger and more important things than that on hand! Why try to make the Lord your errand-boy (I say that reverently) just to do all the little things you want done? If in this the testimony is preserved in rest, then it is a big thing to the Lord, not a little thing. If in this matter the Lord’s glory stands to suffer, then it is a very big thing. It may be an incident in daily life, yes, in many, many ways every day, you and I can so lose our poise and our rest and our quiet confidence as to lose out spiritually, and the Lord lose much, so that it is proved that somewhere faith has been lacking, and with it the rest has gone. “
[…] “What are you looking for? – an easy inheritance, a nice, workable cabbage-patch, something that is going to respond to your touch immediately and give you satisfaction? Are you looking for the flourishing land? The faith which brought Joshua and Caleb into rest of heart before they came into the rest of the land was this kind of faith – Give me a tough proposition! Here is a situation full of difficulties, full of threatenings, full of adversities; why, it is almost an appalling prospect, yet nevertheless give me a chance there! You see the challenge. Do difficulties appall you or do they at once present a great opportunity for the Lord? “It may be that the Lord… as the Lord spake.” How are we facing the big difficulties? – and there are difficulties! there are problems! and these mountains seem to pile up upon one another as we go on. Sometimes it seems an impossible outlook and prospect, a hopeless situation. Perhaps for our own lives individually for some reason within ourselves or outside of ourselves, or for the work to which we are called, the ministry, the testimony that is laid upon us, it seems so utterly hopeless, the mountain is impossible. Well, what about it? Is it – Give me this mountain! Nothing but a real faith in God can take things on like that, and say – All right, it is difficult, there is no doubt about it, it is an appalling prospect naturally, a hopeless outlook, nevertheless let us take it on in the Name of the Lord; it may be that the Lord… The Lord – looking at the mountain through the Lord, and not at the Lord through the mountain.” […]
The Lord give us that faith!