Give Me Rest
I am tired. Exhausted. Maybe it is because I am at home a lot more. Perhaps it is because I am stressed about work, my family, getting sick. Many of us are probably spending a lot more time in our houses with our families, while still trying to work the same as we were used to. But things have changed, and it has certainly made me a lot more tired. I am certainly ready for a break and vacation. I need rest. The question for us is, how do we find rest?
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says, 28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Many of us are carrying burdens right now, maybe more than we have been. I know I am weary. I feel like there is just a weight on me each day. Fortunately, this passage tells us that Jesus knows we have them, and He is willing to carry them for us. So, we have to give Him our burdens and worries and then pick up his yoke, and it is there that we find rest for our souls. So, the answer to where we find rest is in Jesus.
We find rest in Jesus. And if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking sounds good, but what does that mean what does rest look like? Does it mean I just sit around and be lazy and do nothing? Sometimes I wish it does, especially when my wife has a big to-do list that she wants to be accomplished. But actually, that isn’t true biblical rest. True rest is only found in Jesus, so we have to look at what He did. But to get there, we also need to start at God’s design for rest.
In Genesis 2:2-3, we see that God rested on the seventh day Himself. “2 On the seventh day God had completed his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation.”
We read this and immediately think that it means God stopped working, but actually, God only stopped His creating work on the seventh day. What He did on the seventh day is what He does continually to this day: He took His place as King of the universe and now sits on His throne ruling and reigning.
This is important because Adam and Eve are there on the seventh day. In fact, they are invited to participate in this day. Now without going into too much detail, the ideal rest that Adam and Eve experienced was dwelling in a safe place free of worry, burdens, and death. It also meant working in His garden and ultimately enjoying God’s presence. But this was taken away when they sinned. They lost the seventh day.
Now all through the Old Testament, we see the celebration of the Sabbath (the seventh day), it’s even one of the Ten Commandments. The Sabbath was a time for Israel to cease from doing the day to day tasks and spend an entire day focusing on and enjoying God’s presence. So when we get to Matthew, and Jesus tells us the only way to really experience God’s presence is through Himself, we need to be thinking about what was lost when sin entered the world. We lost the opportunity to dwell in safety, to do the work God designed for us to do, and to enjoy His presence forever. Jesus now tells us the only way to have those things is through Him.
Now my favorite book of the Bible also agrees. Hebrews 3:7–4:13 tells us all about that rest. And the author of Hebrews tells us we can enter into God’s seventh-day rest today. The way we enter is through following Jesus because He has already entered into that rest. And he encourages us to strive to enter that rest right now, meaning we can experience it in our lives presently.
Right after this, verse twelve tells us, “12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
I know that may have been a lot, but stick with me. Matthew tells us that through trusting in Jesus, we can experience rest. Genesis tells us rest is dwelling in God’s presence, free of worry, and doing His work. And Hebrews tells us we can enter into and experience that rest today. Then Hebrews ends with talking about the word of God. If we link these thoughts together, we realize that rest is currently experienced through trusting in Jesus and spending time with Him daily.
My challenge to each of us today is actually pretty simple. Spend time in God’s Word today, maybe a little extra time than usual. We will find rest and peace when we sit and spend time with Jesus. It may surprise you how refreshed you are after meeting with Jesus. If you don’t have somewhere you are already reading, I encourage you to read through Psalm 91. Know I am praying for us today that we may experience God’s rest in Jesus.
If you’d like a great resource that goes deeper into this idea of rest and Sabbath, click here.
In His Name,