Do you struggle to find perfect peace? Are you weary and heavy laden? In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Good news! Blessings are released when you run to the Lord for rest. Coming to Jesus and resting in Him leads you to…
- Have the peace of God that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
- Dwell in safety (Psalm 91:1-2)
- Find the Lord as your Shepherd (John 10:11)
- Lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2)
Jesus followed up His promise of rest with, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
In John 10, Jesus calls out to His beloved sheep and reminds us, “I am the good shepherd.” This is a fulfillment of Psalm 23. There we see Jesus as our Good Shepherd who guides us in troubling times, giving us peace and rest for our souls. Let us remember that Jesus’ yoke is like the rod and the staff that guides and conforms us, not burying us in burdens.
What is Rest?
The word “rest” is found hundreds of times within the Word of God. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “rest” is…
- Repose, sleep
- Freedom from activity or labor; a state of motionlessness or inactivity; the repose of death
- A place for resting or lodging
- Peace of mind or spirit
- A rhythmic silence in music; a character representing such a silence; a brief pause in reading
- Something used for support
To be “at rest” means…
- Resting, reposing
- Free of anxieties
Do you see a theme of refraining from labor, being trusting, remaining confident, and being free from anxiety? But what does rest mean in a spiritual sense?
The rest found in Jesus is what we long for in troubling times. We desire the peace of God flowing into and through our minds. When looking at the Bible, “resting in God” has a much deeper meaning.
Resting in God is ceasing to labor in ourselves. We tap into the strength and confidence of God that He graciously provides and become free from anxiety and worry.
Resting in God is a state of trust and faith. It is giving things over to Him and believing He has everything under control.
Resting in God is receiving the peace He offers and operating out of your covenant relationship with Him. It releases godly freedom and deeper intimacy with your Creator.
What Does the Bible Say About Resting in God?
Because God is infinite, the meaning of “resting in Him” is deep. But this doesn’t mean you can’t walk in and operate out of the rest and peace He offers. As a Believer, you have the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to guide you into finding rest for your soul.
The Bible tells you God’s will, reasons, and benefits of resting in Him.
One of the Ten Commandments—the fourth—instructs us to remember the Sabbath, or day of rest, and keep it holy (see Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5), just as God kept the seventh day as a holy day of rest for Himself after the six days of creation.
And, as it is one of the Ten Commandments, He placed unique importance on that rest for us. We should pay close attention to placing rest as a command in our walk with Him. As Jesus said, the Sabbath is made for us (Mark 2:27-28). We could only fulfill our destiny or daily assignment with proper rest. And true rest that restores requires alignment with God.
- “‘“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.”’”—Leviticus 23:3
We were created with a need to rest and seek God and delight in Him so He can restore and renew us. The Sabbath rest pictures resting in Him. Its purpose is to…
- Give us needed physical rest
- Be a form of worship
- Set us apart
- Provide spiritual restoration and renewal
- Deepen our intimacy with God
- Deepen family relationships
- Remind us of our freedom and salvation in Yeshua
Think about how Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. This is what resting in Him is to resemble—walking with God, filled with peace, and being confident of who He is and what He says.
Honoring God’s Command to Rest in Him
Honor is the currency of Heaven. So when you honor God by resting in Him and following His commandment to do so, you are coming into alignment with His purposes for your life, allowing you to take full advantage of His salvation, name, and very blood!
It is easy to get busy and lose sight of rest, even sleep. Yet, God’s Word reminds us, again and again, to rest in Him. His Spirit faithfully shows us how to rest in Him in our busiest and quietest seasons. But we must be willing to seek, ask, and find Him in those seasons.
Take a moment to meditate on and find rest in these promises…
- “‘Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’”—Matthew 11:29
- “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him…”—Psalm 37:7
- “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” —Romans 15:13
- “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.” —Psalm 16:9
Slowly read through Psalm 23 and receive all God has for you!
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Walk the Walk. Rest in Him.
We were created with a need for rest, just as we were created to fulfill a purpose only satisfied by serving God’s Kingdom. God created everything, and then He rested. He did that for us, showing us our need for Him.
Even in troubling times and a busy world, we can rest in Him without condemnation, finding restoration, strength, and intimacy.
Resting in Him is a choice.
- We choose to keep our thoughts on all the things we have to do, every care or worry.
- We choose to obey the loving instruction of God to rest.