The Cure For Restlessness

Gwen Smith Blog, Control, Encouragement, Faith, Holiness, Strength, Temptation, Trials 44 Comments

It’s recorded in the book of Genesis that at the dawn of creation God made the heavens and the earth, separated light from darkness, and that everything was good. Then He held the sky away from the water, established day and night, and it was good. Next He spoke the land, seas, sun, moon and stars into existence, and again all good. He went on to fill the earth with fish, birds, and animals, and fashion man in His own image … and it was good, good, good and good. Then He rested – which we ALL know is awesome. Amen? Amen.

Peace covered the earth like a warm blanket.

God had a perfect relationship with all that He created. Adam and Eve got to know Him intimately. They walked and talked with Him in the Garden of Eden in a way so pure and sacred I can scarcely imagine.

Then Adam and Eve wrecked the good with greed.

They rejected what was meant to be respected, took what was not theirs to take, ate what was not theirs to eat, and sent perfection into a downward spiral of impossibility.

After good was spoken and perfection broken God sent Adam and Eve out of Eden. And it was there in their freshly fallen, imperfect reality that they conceived their first son, Cain, and eventually their second, Abel.

These brothers were very different. Able was an animal guy, Cain a farmer. Both brought offerings to God, but they were not received the same. The offering Abel presented pleased God. Cain’s did not. We aren’t told why, but can safely conclude that it was a matter of motive. God always looks at the heart.

Cain did NOT appreciate God calling him out on his heart situation by rejecting his offering. “So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Genesis 4:5) God asked him why he was miffed and followed up with a strong question. “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” Then God warned Cain, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:7)

Jealousy, hate, bitterness, and anger filled and fueled Cain when he invited his brother Abel to go hang out in a field and then attacked and killed him.

God punished Cain for the murder by placing him under a curse. “When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” (Genesis 4:12)

Cain became a restless wanderer because he refused to heed the discipline and redirection of God. Instead, of turning his heart to the Lord in repentance and asking God to teach him the ways that are right, he allowed the crouching-at-his-door sin to master him. He let feelings of jealousy and anger lead his responses, and in doing so, brought destruction and restlessness upon himself and others.

Proverbs 3:11-12 instructs us this way, “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness.” Imagine that! You and I are invited to share in His holiness. Incredible.

But you and I can become restless wanderers who ignore correcting just as easily as Cain. Can’t we? Sin crouches at the doors of our hearts each day too. It looks like comparison and smells like envy. It sneaks like arrogance and creeps like gossip and promiscuity. Satan longs to control and master us so that our relationships with both God and man suffer.

Jesus said that our enemy is a thief that comes to steal and kill and destroy. (John 10:10) This sobering, slithering reality stirs me to take a fresh stand today.

I resolve that I will not allow the lying tempter to lead me away from the good that God has for me. I will consider the matter of my motives by asking God to search my heart and show me any ways that are offensive (Psalm 139:23-24). I will stop pretending that God turns a blind eye to any sin in my life. (That’s not who He is. God is holy and just.) I resolve that restlessness will not overcome me because I stand in the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave. I have decided to follow Jesus and there will be no turning back.

Will you take a fresh stand today as well?

Fair warning: the enemy will still crouch low trying to trip us up, but the Spirit of God within will help us to master and reject sin. The challenge is daily and the struggle is real, but the supply of God’s power is endless. The cure for restlessness is found when we turn from temptations toward Jesus. And as we call out God in prayer, His grace will meet us with strength for every trial.


Dear Lord,
Forgive me for the times I allow sin to master me.
Convict my heart of any thoughts, beliefs or actions that are not right in Your eyes.
Root out all stubbornness, jealousy, pride and rebellion from my heart so that I will no longer be restlessness, but can rest in Your grace.
In Jesus’ name, amen.




Read Romans 12, then CLICK HERE to leave a comment telling me which of the heart directives in Romans 12 speaks most to you today. ALSO tell me what you plan to do about it!

AS ALWAYS… my blog is not a monologue, but a dialogue! Please talk through your response to this subject in the comments section below. Encourage one another. Post a responsive prayer – or even a prayer need! Bless and lift up one another.

I love, love, love you and am grateful to do life with you!

Warmly in GRACE,




There are endless opportunities for us to worry, wander, and wonder. But that’s not God’s best for us. Though we remain broken and impacted by an imperfect world, you and I can get through anything in the power and hope of Jesus. Download this FREE ebook today and join me as I share Biblical truth, honest struggles, and practical help.


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Comments 44

  1. Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. I struggle with the patience and faithful. I pray to God and then I have this problem of not waiting on God to answer my prayers. I think this comes from a long life of being very dependent on my self. I struggle with trying to be dependent on God.

  2. Verses 9 through 12…this hit me hard today and I am unsure why. Will meditate and discern today and this weekend. Some quiet time now scheduled.

  3. Do not repay evil with evil. I have had a rough week with my emotions. I prayed instead of overreacting and thing went a whole lot smoother for me. Usually, I just hurt them the way they hurt me but I am getting a lot better at letting God handle it.

  4. “Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”
    I want to be a better example, I want my love and admiration for God to be apparent to all by the way I live, love, work, interact with others.
    I don’t want to be showy or above anyone, but for others to see Jesud in the way I act.
    All people, acquaintances, work associates and strangers.
    Please Heavenly Father help me to show all people your love and goodness.

  5. Romans really spoke to me through this devotion. As a single woman many times I become overcome with jealousy and envy when my friends seem to “have it all” and I’m stuck without. But verses 3-8 where it talks about how everyone has their part to play in the body of Christ was really refreshing and renewed my spirit.

  6. Romans 12:19 Vengeance belongs to me.
    I will repay says the Lord. I am still hurt & my heart is
    Broken. I had no clue that my husband wanted to not live with me anymore.
    We have had a beautiful loving marriage but one day he made a bad decision
    to go with another younger woman. Sadly, he fabricates & kept lieing
    To me that he was not attracted to her. He did just admit to me he is
    Attracted to her & is now involving Our children into her place &
    Her activities. This has ripped me apart. I don’t want to have anger &
    Bitterness in my heart. I actually saw this woman out on a trail & gave her a hug.
    God led me to give her a hug & I asked her for forgiveness as I did tell her
    She was a Home wrecker. It’s all so sad but I know Im leaning on Gods
    Direction in my life. I get so angry & I pray & know God is working on my
    Heart to let go & surrender all this unneeded pain to Him. There is nothing I can do but Surrender & pray for Gods tender mercies to shine. It’s sad to see how
    Our children are affected by this. Our children love both of us & Im truly blessed
    & loved by them. I’m comforted that Vengeance is the Lords& not mine. I have to
    Rise above this sadness & go forth in the Joy of the Lord & his mighty power.
    Romans 12 has taught me that God has my back & if I keep trusting in Him I
    will be so much more Happier. It still is the toughest hardest thing I’ve done in my
    Life to see my loving husband with another woman. Divorce is truly a death & the
    Sad part is my hubby is still walking around in the same town with his new woman
    & I just fall apart. I’m trusting in the Lord. I must Trust Gods tender mercies. I choose to live in Peace & Joy 1 day at a time. I am thankful for Our beautiful
    Children. For family & friends who support me thru this Storm. Amen

  7. Good morning
    Thursday’s verse was so clear to me that I have a restlessness in me that I pray on all the time. I feel it is jealousness over years of my friends or family members who have great careers beautiful homes and children that have grownup and have good professions. I tell god every day of my envy and pray for strength that will help me to not feel this way but to be happy not just in half of my heart but all of it for them. Tears come to my eyes and heart when I think of how I feel because I wasn’t able to finish college or have that perfect life but I must always remember that someone else perfect life is what god gave them and and the struggle in my life is a teaching one to share at some point when god feels it is needed. God bless “girlfriends in god” for with prayer and your morning word it keeps me in balance. Thank you all

  8. As Roman 12:17 says do not do evil for evil and I am a firm believer of this scripture, however when someone does things to you or your child it makes you boil and want to action into your on hands. Since I have grown closer to God and rooted in the word I can now walk away and ignore, because I have learned that people ndo things to bring happiness to themselves. You cannot bring happies by trying to make someone else miserable.

  9. We each have a gift. That gift is given according to His grace.
    We are all a part of the same member. That makes me realize that we aren’t expected to do or be everything. We need to be together!



  11. This was an eye opener today. A true blessing! In Romans, the part that blesses me the most is ” “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans‬ ‭12:1-2 ASV‬‬. Sometimes I often look at what’s going on in the world and around me and get discouraged. But I only need to please God and the rest will fall into place. My mind, body and spirit should be renewed daily. Going forward, I plan to look to God for my direction and know that all things are working for my Good because I love the Lord!

  12. Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” Sometimes I go to serve the Lord in my music ministry with little to no enthusiasm, and I act (and feel) as if it is such a chore. Shame on me! It is a privilege and an honor to be chosen. I should not be lacking in zeal, but come before God with a joyful heart.

  13. like everyone else
    romans 12:21
    don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

    I try not to jealous of some people or compare its something I am working on.

  14. In 12:1 I am struck by the part “an acceptable sacrifice to God is the reasonable service of worship” . Somehow service to God and worship are connected. How we live our lives is worship. That somehow takes my mundane day and makes it full of possibilities for God to show up in And thru me.

  15. God’s timing is Amazing. My co-worker and I have been going through difficult situations at work, she at home. This devo, and the passage Romans 12, is what we needed! I believe for me the verse 12 “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, spoke the loudest today. My co-worker says that 17 spoke to her ” Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good thins in the sight of all men.” Seeking God and His Holy presence, I cannot walk with in the way of Adam and Eve, I can however meet with Him and linger in His Sweet Spirit.
    Thank you, Gwen for listening to Him and sending this devotion today!

  16. Romans 12 is so powerful. I am really glad I came across your blog as that scripture is so relevant to me currently. I had a relationship fail and since it ended I have found myself shifting between sadness and anger. I keep asking myself why I can’t have the things I desire being that I am kindhearted and genuinely caring for others. I have felt coldness in my heart, something that I’ve never felt before because it’ s not me. I was even feeling like “maybe I should start treating people like they treat me” or “maybe I should be selfish because those type of people always get what they want”. The scripture reminded me that making others feel like they made you feel isn’t going to take the pain away from you. I have to continue to live in my purpose and hand my pain to God. If something was taken away, it was by His will not mine. Casting all your fears and worries to Him is where you will find peace. You truly have to be weary of the ways of the world because it will test your faith. I’m happy and proud to serve a just God and I am working each day to become even closer with him. I’m not perfect by any means and each day is hard but I will remember Romans 12 and I will not be overcome by evil but instead overcome evil with good. Thank you for this post!

  17. Thank you, this is very powerful and just what I needed to hear today. I will be rereading this several times and asking God for His help to overcome. God bless,

  18. The Entire Verse spoke to me however verse 21 speaks the loudest “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with Good”

    I do the next right thing on a daily basis.. I am in Recovery and have been sober for over 4 years (10-28-2012), even met the Love of my Life in Recovery or so I thought…. In the past few months I have gone through a break up of the relationship, supposed to have moved in with him in January however instead moved in with my sponsor for just a few weeks, found a month to month apartment through a friend so that I could figure out where I was going to live, then I was fired from my job, then I was told that my Month to Month rental had to end because the owner wanted to sell the property… I had already found my morning meeting, then the pastor who Baptized me in 2012 before I finally surrendered to my alcoholism was now at the same Church the meetings were, then I found a cottage located across the street and signed a 1 year Lease because the Owner was a Christian and believed in me….
    The Dream Job, once in a lifetime job was landed on my Lap through a Recruiter for a reputable Company…. All we had to do to move forward was the background check which I wasn’t fearful of since I passed one to move into my new Spiritual home with an address of “1111”…. Then the background check revealed my DUI in 2012 which I didn’t leave off of the employment application however I was under the impression the charges were reduced….. Thanks for letting me vent because I walked out of my meeting this morning in tears… Now I have my Faith back that GOD has a plan for me whether it is this job or another

  19. Liz
    This chapter is powerful. God is merciful with us. We have the answers to our problems right here in Gods word. We just need to seek Him and He will guide us. God spoke to me on not repaying evil with evil but do what is right in the eyes of everyone. As it saids in v. 18; if is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. I know that’s a tough one, but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. I am holding on to this verse with God’s help, v:21 do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    In the name of Jesus, Amen!

  20. Verse 21, it is very hard to overcome evil with good. That is what I want to work on. My reaction is usually to remove myself from that persons life. I still care about them but prefer not to interact with them in any way. I will still be there for that person if they need me but I let it up to them to reach out to me. I am referring to one person here that has hurt me many times and I have gotten to where I don’t care anymore if I talk to, spend time with or even acknowledge that she is part of my life. I know that is not how God would want me to be but after years of this my heart has hardened to her. It is a very sad thing to feel this way, This person should be a friend, someone I can confide in, someone I hang out with, laugh with, cry with. This person is my sister. ??

    1. Nikki my heart is sad with you. I have a great sister but there was a time over the last few years where she was very bitter towards me, and it hurt. We don’t see each other often as she lives a few hours away. In the past we would do anything for each other but didn’t talk very often. When she became bitter towards me I was guided to take an inventory on our relationship to see if I had any part in her acting bitter towards me. I really could not think of anything. So I asked her if there was anything I did to offend here and she told what was bothering her and I got to make amends. However, my sisters heart was burdened because of her separation from God; she has knowledge of God and Jesus but not a belief. So I started praying for her and for God to draw near to her, and He did!!! And He still is. Our relationship today is better than it ever was. In Proverbs 4:23 it says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. ” We are suppose to guard our hearts also. And we can certainly do that with love ❤️, which I am still learning! Keep praying for your sister and for God to give you discernment on how to handle your relationship; He will be glad to show you?

  21. I needed to hear this today…the entire chapter spoke to me. I am writing it on my journal and say a prayer. Then I will type it out and frame it and hang it in my house so I can see it every day.

  22. Thanks for the reminders, sister! Yes, you encourage not only sisters in Christ, but brothers as well, at least this one.

    Regarding Romans 12: There is a VERY highly-rated book based on Romans 12 that I’d encourage anyone to read. I am partway through it, and agree with the 5-star rating (see its Amazon page here: It is by pastor, speaker, and author, Chip Ingram, and is called “True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian”.

    There is no growth without great commitment and investment. Investing time in reading not only God’s word regularly, but great books by Godly authors, such as I believe this one is, are excellent investments in your spiritual (and overall) maturity and in the eternal impact you have on others’ lives, too!

  23. Comparison and also not to be proud and conceited. There are many times throughout the day I have these thoughts of comparison. And then pride to not show weakness (in my mind I see holding back from truly showing love and compassion as pride) and for what? Life is not guaranteed- so I need to love with all my heart without letting pride or comparison take over. And then there’s being conceited. Ouch. But it’s true. We all think we are “better” then this one or that one for something or other. Prettier, healthier, stronger, kinder, whatever. I need to only seek God’s acceptance. That’s it.

  24. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer lands well this morning.
    If all goes well my daughter and her husband will be receive an adopted baby girl tomorrow, my first granddaughter, and a new experience for all of us. Being joyful in hope is the understatement of the year, and faithful in prayer really speaking to me as we pour into this child all of the love we have to give. Also this passage talks about using your gifts and I will certainly be intentional about using my gift of encouragement with these young parents over the next few days.

  25. Verse 17-18 are shouting at me. It’s not that I purposely plot away to harm others but I find myself holding on to anger and then using silence to shut out the person I think has done me wrong. This then translates to negativity that spreads like wild fire. This does not encourage living in peace with others. So my intentions are to address the issues troubling me with gentleness and lovingly. I don’t want to think bad thought or spread negativity. I truly want God’s peace to overtake my heart and soul in all I do.

  26. The verse that affects me most today is Romans 12:12 — “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” It is easy for me to lose the joy of hope as I am not patient during affliction because I forget to be faithful in prayer.

    Like approximately 30% or more of Americans today, I struggle with depression. Depression is a rather modern phenomenon, since the stuggle to survive, leaves little time to be self=absorbed & depressed.

  27. The entire chapter is packed full of such good, that I will read it daily the remainder of the week. Want to be made more aware of others as stated in verse 10.

  28. This reminds me to love, pray and help one another. I would ask for prayers that my brothers cancer has left his body and that my sisters pression gets better

  29. verse 12 is exactly what I needed to be reminded of today – I was laid off from my job last week and need to pray, search and listen for God’s directions for me.

  30. Verses 9-10 really hit home to me. It is important to God we really love others, even those that seem unlovable and do wrong against us. Tall order to fill but when you think of what Jesus did for us while we were yet sinners, it is such a little thing to do!

    Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

  31. SNAP!! Verses 6-8 got me!

    When I try to help, I see how I’ve also tried to take over. When I try to give encouraging guidance, I can see when I’ve gotten bossy.

    I have to remember to do my part, then show them the path to get to God, their true source of help and loving guidance. I too often forget that.

  32. Good morning sisters of royalty … this was perfect timing, of course He is always on time right? Right … v9-10 are hitting me this morning. I am angry (more like rage). And sometimes (like now) I’m ok being there; it’s comfortable. I know that this is not a good place for me to be or for my heart to be. Once I open the door the evil one just comes right on in. If I don’t open the door he can’t come in. My pride, ego, self righteousness and anger are like a door knob, then the door swings wide open! And as the rest of the chapter talks of evil things(people). The person I get angry at the most is not the evil one. I am fighting the wrong one. It all goes back to the “door knob”, which means … I am the problem! It is my pride, fear, self righteousness and anger! The other person is not the problem. It boils down to my trust in the Lord AND I am always responsible for my behavior and to see where my heart really is and that is from the conviction from the Holy Spirit.
    Please say a prayer for me today sisters that the Lord soften and change my heart!

  33. I am asking for prayer today.. My 22 year old granddaughter is having a tumor removed from her mouth. It is about a four hour surgery. Reminded her this morning that God will be with her and the surgeons and just to relax and let God handle it.

  34. Comparison. Patient in affliction. These two seem to go hand in hand for me, as if someone who is blessed more is not affected by tragedy in the same way as those who are not. Does the handsome rich guy have an edge on the poor average Joe? Not at all, but in my mind it matters…initially- then I realize that we all hurt and money, looks, charm, etc. are not going to change the way we feel pain or experience trauma. I need to pray for a reprogramming of my mind so it doesn’t go there!!

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