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Stress and rest
Pastor Mike Novotny
by Pastor Mike Novotny
September 26, 2023

Set down your devices and devotional booklets for a second and flex with me. Feel that bicep as you curl your fist close to your ear. Do you know, mechanically, how that muscle gets bigger? Two things have to happen—stress and rest.

First, you need to put your body under intense stress. Curling your phone up to your face won’t do it. The exercise has to be the kind of new pain that shocks your system and causes microscopic tears in your muscles. Second, you need rest. A day or two away from the gym and lots of protein and sleep allow your body to fix that tear in a way that makes you stronger than ever before.

Your soul works the same way. In order to grow spiritually, God has to put you through stressful situations you’re not used to. He has to stretch you and force you into uncomfortable positions. But then—and this is a massive truth—God has to give you rest, the kind of relief that comes through knowing Jesus is with you, for you, and working through you.

Paul describes the two parts of growth like this: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (in Romans 5:3-5). 

Stress and rest. That’s how you grow with God. Remember that and you’ll be able to thank God on good days and bad.

Posted in Living My Faith
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