Refresh (Dictionary): To restore strength and animation to revive, to freshen up, renovate, to restore or maintain by renewing supply, replenish, arouse, stimulate.
Refresh (Bible): Make to rest, give rest to, rest, take my ease, refresh, revive, comfort, to be full, to fill, to drink.
We have all attended or watched sports events. In most cases, there are referees with a whistle used to stop play. Sometimes a player will call “time out”. Regardless of how or why the time out is called, it is a break in the action. People seem to be going “mach 2 with their hair on fire!” Sometimes just stopping is the best thing to do. We definitely need to learn how to apply “time outs” within our hectic culture. One of the things we have learned to do is to take a vacation as our “time out”. However, our hectic lives really demand rest on a daily basis! The Bible reveals guidelines for times of refreshing.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26: 23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (NASB)
Figuratively, this Scripture means to “receive into the soul what serves to refresh, strengthen, nourish it unto life eternal.” Communion is definitely a place of refreshing! We remember what our King did for us and our times of stress are forgotten. In Peter’s second sermon he calls out for repentance as the way to enter into times of refreshing:
Acts 3:19: Therefore repent and turn back, so that your sins may be wiped out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, (NASB)
God has provided for refreshing of His children. Paul wrote the book of Romans and asked them for a prayer covering as he traveled and for the need of “fellowship refreshing”.
Romans 15:32: …so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. (NASB)
We see that refreshing can come through fellow believers through prayer and just meeting together. In fact, the writer of Hebrews warned about not meeting together:
Hebrews 10:25: …not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (HCSB)
Avoiding fellowship is dangerous spiritually. I am reminded of a modern-day parable:
Remember how we cooked on charcoal briquettes? It seemed that the red-hot briquettes were best. But if you take one of the briquettes out of the fire and place it off to the side, it will lose its red-hot glow and soon cool. It has lost its purpose. But if you return the coal to the red- hot bed of coals, it will become red hot again and glow!” Maintaining fellowship in an atmosphere of worship and prayer is so very important! We need to remember that Jesus also maintained fellowship with His Disciples and others. It was where He taught and ministered! It also was where He fed people and, if needed, He corrected and encouraged.
In summarizing the above, we find that God had His rest during creation but He also wanted to be sure there were times of refreshing available to His creation! So, we seem to experience more stress than ever before. As a result, see there are times when we need to call out a “time out.” We may even get to a place of “enough is enough”! So, what do we do? We follow Jesus example of rest through His word, communion, prayer and fellowship.
Psalm 16:8-9: I keep the Lord in mind always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. (HCSB)
Psalm 23: 23 Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!2-3 He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most. 4 Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way a You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies. You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow! 6 Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.
Take a time out this week to spend in fellowship with the Lord. Take the time to take a walk and talk to God or just rest in your car and meditate on Scripture. Even a brief time-out can be all we need to gain rest!