Rest seems luxurious nowadays. During this pandemic season, anxiety, depression, and stress are rapidly creeping into our minds. Due to these inevitable emotions, most of us are experiencing: sleeplessness, exhaustion, and restlessness. Truly, we are in need of rest.
But what does the Bible tells us about resting? Lay Pioneer Minister in the Diocese of Oxford Emma Major says, “God gives us permission to rest, in fact, we are instructed to rest.”
Let us mine gems of truth in God’s Word.
First, after the creation, God rested. In Genesis 2:3, “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
God rested and made that day holy. The text implies that rest is holy because resting is to worship God. In this text, the sacredness of rest (Sabbath) has an emphasis.
Next, Exodus 33:14, “The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.‘” God comforted Moses with assuring rest amidst his struggle leading the Israelites.
Mark 6:31-32, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest…So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” Jesus ordered his disciples to rest after their labor in the ministry. Moreover, Christ modeled rest (Mk. 1:35, 4:35-41).
Christ invited us to rest in Him. Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Indeed, the ultimate rest is entering Christ’s rest (Hebrews 4:1-11).
Lastly, rest in God’s peace, John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
God rested, hence, you ought to rest. In a word, we are–also–made to rest.
Emma Major, “A Blessing From Emma,” Premier, February 9, 2021, tinyurl.com/yud9wh1q
Read Richard J. Foster’s chapter on “Meditation” in Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth (NY: HarperOne, 1998)