REST FROM THE ISSUES OF LIFE
Text: Luke 8:42-48
Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 to come to Him and we will find rest for our souls. Luke 8:42-48 is an account of a woman who came to Jesus and received rest for her soul. This woman had an issue she had been battling with for 12 years. For 12 years she had an issue of blood, for 12 years she had a health problem, for 12 years she had no rest. For 12 years she had tried and done everything possible to find a solution to her problem. Psalm 127:2 talks about people who wake up very early and go to bed very late toiling and labouring hard but at the end of the day, they have little or nothing to show for all their efforts. This woman was a typical example of such people. In vain she had woken up early to meet up with doctors’ appointments, in vain she had stayed up late taking different kinds of medications. She had toiled for 12 years, but all that had been a labour in vain. She hadn’t found a solution to her problem; she hadn’t found the rest she desperately needed.
It is only when you come to Jesus that you can find rest from every issue that is troubling you. The woman had gone to many people for help but they weren’t able to help her. She had gone to so many doctors but they couldn’t cure her (Mark 5:26). The day she made up her mind to go to Jesus that was the day she experienced rest. Make up your mind to come to Jesus today and you will receive rest for your soul, you will receive rest from every ‘issue of blood’, you will receive rest from every issue of life.
The day the woman came to Jesus, the issue of blood in her life dried up. As you come to Jesus today, He will dry up every issue of blood in your life; He will put an end to that spiritual, financial, marital, or health issue you have been battling with.
From this woman’s experience, we see that REST means:
1. God solving the problem you have been battling with for years:
This simply means God giving you rest from every long-standing problem just like He did for this woman (Luke 8:43), just like He did for the woman who had been crippled for 18 years in Luke 13:10-13, just like He did for the man who had an infirmity for 38 long years in John 5:1-9. Like these people, you have been battling with an issue or problem for years. It could have been for 3 years, 5 years, 8 years, 12 years, 18 years, 30 years or for most or all of your life. It could be a sin, a weakness, a sickness, a financial, family or marital issue. It could be a spiritual problem or issue; repeatedly having bad dreams, being oppressed in your dreams for years. The same JESUS that gave the woman with the issue of blood rest from the long-standing problem in her life, still has the power to give rest from long-standing issues or problems. He is the same yesterday, today and forever more (Hebrews 13:8). As you come to Him today, you will receive rest from all long-standing issues and problems.
The woman touched Jesus and she received rest from that long-standing problem in her life. Today, I want to encourage you to pray in a way that your prayers will touch God, in a way that your prayers will move the hand of God to put an end to every long-standing problem in your life.
Pray this prayer like you have never prayed before: O LORD, COME AND GIVE ME REST FROM EVERY LONG-STANDING PROBLEM IN MY LIFE.
2. Rest also means God solving the problem or issue in your life that is too big for man (Mark 5:26):
There are some problems that man can handle. There are some problems that you, your spouse, your parents, friends, colleagues, or pastor can handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. So there are some things you can bear, there are some problems and issues that you can cope with, you can handle. But there are some issues no man can handle; there are some problems that are too big for man. It takes only God for you to find a solution to that problem. That was the kind of situation that woman was in. Specialists, well trained, qualified and highly experienced doctors had not been able to help her. Friends and family had not been able to help. Not because they didn’t want to help her, but because she was dealing with a problem too big for man.
When Moses had a problem in his ministry, a problem of being over loaded, over worked and over burdened, his father-in-law gave him wise counsel that solved that problem (Exodus 18:13-26). When two women came to Solomon and both claimed to be the mother of a child, Solomon gave a verdict that immediately resolved the confusion and problem and the true mother of the child was identified (1 Kings 3:16-28). But there are some problems like the kind this woman was battling with that no matter how wise, wealthy, experienced or anointed the person you go to for help is, the person won’t be able to solve it because it is a problem that is too big for man; it is a problem that is beyond man.
Do you have an issue or problem in your life that is beyond man? Why don’t you cry out to the God who says nothing is too hard for Him to come and help you with those things that have been so hard for people to help you with (Genesis 18:14). Tell the God who says in Matthew 19:26 that the thing that is impossible with man is possible with Him, the thing man can’t help you with, He can surely help you with, to come and manifest Himself in your life as your Helper. Tell this all-powerful, all-knowing God:
COME AND DO WHAT NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO HELP ME WITH.
What are those things you have gone to people to help you with and nothing has come out of it? Have you asked someone to help you with money for a business or project, to help you get a job, to help you with your promotion and you haven’t gotten any results?
David in Psalm 121:1-2 said “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”. David understood that God is our true source of help for every need, for every issue, for every problem. The woman with the issue of blood had spent twelve years lifting her eyes to people for help. But the day she decided to look to Jesus for help, she received help for that pressing issue in her life. The day she went to Jesus her true source of help, she received a blessing that was beyond the ability and capability of man.
Do you want the kind of blessing that a man can just put his hand in his pocket and bless you with or the kind of blessing that a man can’t give you even if he withdraws all the money in his account? Do you want a blessing that is beyond the ability and capability of man?
Tell God: Father, come and bless me in the way no man can bless me.
3. Rest means having an encounter with the power of God
In Luke 8:46, Jesus said someone touched me for I know that power has gone out from me. What was Jesus saying? That I know someone here has had a definite encounter with the power of God. I pray that today you will have a definite encounter with the power of God.
When the power of God comes on you, everything God has not planted in your life is uprooted. The issue of blood, the sickness God didn’t plant in that woman that wasn’t giving her rest, was uprooted when she had an encounter with the power of God (Luke 8:44). As the power of God comes on you today, everything God has not planted in your body, marriage, ministry, finances, career and family that has not been giving you rest will be uprooted by the power of God.
When the power of God comes on you, so many people will get to hear of your testimony (Luke 8:47) Why? You won’t have an ordinary testimony. The power of God overshadowed Mary in Luke 1:35 and something that had never happened in history happened to her. She conceived a child without any form of sexual intercourse by the power of God. The kind of testimony you will receive from the power of God coming upon you will be one that will become a reference point in history; a testimony people will be using to tell others about the power and faithfulness of God, to tell others that God’s Word is true, I have a friend, sister, brother, child, parent or colleague who is a living testimony of someone God gave rest from a serious issue of life. May you be that someone in Jesus mighty name.
When you have an encounter with the power of God, every yoke and burden that has been weighing you down is completely destroyed by the power and anointing of God. When you have an encounter with the power of God, your life will never be the same again.
So with all of your heart, pray this prayer:
FATHER, LET YOUR POWER OVERSHADOW MY LIFE; LET ME HAVE AN ENCOUNTER WITH YOUR POWER TODAY.
4. You enter into your rest when God removes every reproach in your life:
What is a reproach? It is a problem or issue people use to identify you or describe you. The woman with the issue of blood had a name but people had since stopped calling her by her name. She was identified and described as ‘the woman with the issue of blood’. What a horrible way to be identified by people.
Your financial status can become a reproach. A sickness or ailment you are suffering from can become a reproach. A weakness in your life such as a weakness for women or alcohol can become a reproach in your life. A scandal you were involved in can become a reproach. Even a rumour people have gone around spreading about you can become a reproach.
Luke 8:44 tells us that as soon as this woman touched the edge of Jesus’ garment, her bleeding stopped. Today that sickness will stop, poverty will stop, barrenness will stop, that attack, abuse, affliction and rumour will stop. The moment her bleeding stopped, the moment the blood dried up, the source of reproach in her life dried up.
Today the Lord will dry up whatever is a source of reproach in your life. Are you being reproached because of an ailment or sickness? That sickness will dry up from the root today. Are you being reproached because of debts in your life; because of money you owe different people? The Lord will completely dry up every river of poverty, lack and debt in your life? Are you being reproached because you don’t have a child or aren’t married? The Lord will dry up the root cause of that barrenness, the Lord will dry up every flood against your marital life.
This is why you have to pray this prayer with all of your heart:
O LORD, DRY UP EVERY REPROACH IN MY LIFE.
5. Finally, rest comes when you are cleansed from every form of uncleanness:
From Leviticus 15:25-27 we understand that for 12 years this woman was considered unclean and defiled. She didn’t have peace because of the very uncomfortable situation she found herself in. Her movement was restricted. Her relationship with people was badly affected. The issue of blood affected so many things in her life because she was treated as an unclean and defiled woman. It prevented her from doing and receiving so many things because society had tagged her UNCLEAN and DEFILED. No one wanted to employ her, no one wanted to marry her, no one wanted to have any dealings with her. The result was that for 12 years she knew no rest. But when this woman came to Jesus, He took away her uncleanness; He removed the thing in her life that had defiled her.
Many of us are not physically unclean like the woman was, we are spiritually unclean. There are sins in our lives making us unclean. Sin keeps us from enjoying the rest God has promised. Sin steals your peace. It keeps you from enjoying rest because it makes you hide from God and people; you are hiding from fear of being found out, hiding because you are ashamed (Genesis 3:8-10). Sin affects your health. In Psalm 38:3-4, David said his bones had no soundness because of his sin. He further went on to say that because of the sin he had committed, he was weighed down with guilt and the guilt had become a heavy burden he was carrying. From Isaiah 57:20-21, we see that sin can affect your sleep. It can make you toss and turn all through the night; it can give you many sleepless nights. When you are angry and bitter, there’s no way you can sleep well. Sin is also a big a hindrance to prayers being heard and answered (Isaiah 59:1-2). So we see that sin is a major cause of unrest for so many people. It is a reason why a lot of people aren’t enjoying the rest God promised his people.
But you can have your rest today. You can receive rest from every form of uncleanness. Can you go to the Lord and tell Him to:
Forgive you and purge and cleanse you from every sin that has defiled your spirit, soul and body.
Tell Him: O LORD, BREAK THE HEAVY YOKE OF SIN FROM MY LIFE SO I CAN HAVE REST FOR MY SOUL.
The Lord has heard you, the Lord has answered you. Enter into your rest in Jesus mighty name, AMEN!
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