How can you exchange the world’s anxiety for God’s peace?
R.B. Thieme, Jr. called it the faith-rest technique (see here), but he invented the name, not the practice itself.
The method is simple. In the face of trouble, you put your faith in God. More specifically, you put your faith in a Bible promise or doctrine that applies to your situation. When you do that, you are adopting a divine point of view on your problem and walking by faith, instead of by sight. Instead of anxiety, you will have rest. Faith + Bible truth = rest.
As I was teaching through John 16, it struck me that the entire chapter is an example of the faith-rest technique in action.
Trouble. Jesus told the disciples that trouble was coming. They would be persecuted (, cut off from society (v 2a), and killed ( v 2b). They would also see Jesus die (vv 16-17) and ascend into heaven (v 17).
Reaction. In the face of these troubles, the disciples would have a very human reaction. They would have sorrow in their hearts (v 6), they would weep (v 20), lament (v 20), be filled with grief (v 22), be scattered (v 32), and may even fall away from the faith (v 1).
Truth. Given this pastoral situation, what does Jesus do? He teaches them “these things,” i.e., Bible doctrine! Jesus teaches them: that God knows all things, as does He (v 30); that He must depart so the Holy Spirit can come (v 7); that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (vv 8-11); that the Holy Spirit will teach the disciples more doctrine (v 13); that the Holy Spirit will deliver prophecy (v 13); that Jesus has authority over all things (v 15); how to pray effectually in Jesus’ name (vv 23-26); that the Father loves them (v 27); that He will die, and rise again, and will ascend into heaven (vv 16-19, 28); about the new creation (v 21); and about Christ’s victory over all (v 33). Each of these doctrines sheds light on their future troubles by putting them in divine perspective.
Rest. If the disciples remembered these doctrines (v 4), and put their faith in them (e.g., exercise the faith-rest technique), instead of the sorrows mentioned above, they would be kept from stumbling (v 1), and would have joy (v 20, 22, 24), a rejoicing heart (v 22), peace (v 33), and courage (v 33).
If you want to have God’s peace and joy, and to live the abundant Christian life (John 10:10), then learning Bible truth is not optional.