IMPORTANCE OF REST
We live in a world where hustle culture is huge, we’re busier and more stressed than ever before. So busy that a lot of us may struggle finding time in our day to read the Bible and take a moment to rest. Which is interesting because the Bible talks about the importance of rest.
Well, welcome to Sunday Bible Study Basics where we provide weekly Bible study tips to help you dive deeper in your faith.
So what is biblical rest? What is the Sabbath?
Rest is defined as “peace, ease or refreshment.” the Bible speaks quite highly of rest. Its repeated all throughout Scripture, beginning with the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2. We see that God created for six days straight and then he rested on the seventh. It wasn’t because he was tired or anything, it was to set a standard for mankind to follow. And what’s even crazier is that in the book of Exodus we learn about Moses receiving the 10 Commandments from God and he makes one of the commandments about rest. Do you know what they are?
Put God first, worship only God, only use God’s name with respect, respect your parents, don’t hurt other people, be faithful in marriage, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be jealous of what other people have, and remember God’s Sabbath. It’s actually the fourth commandment. Resting on the Sabbath was a requirement of God’s Law.
He said, “Remember the Sabbath.” It wasn’t something new, it had been around since creation. All God’s people and their servants and their animals were commanded to have one day out of the seven to rest. It wasn’t an excuse to be lazy. It was actually like no, you better work really hard for six days, not just Monday through Friday 40 hours a week, but six days and then you get to the Sabbath. God takes it very serious because especially now in our culture, it isn’t natural for us. To rest means that we need to trust God will take care of things for us. We have to trust that if we take a day off, the world will not stop turning and everything will be ok. It takes faith. He’ll provide.
One of the definitions of “relax” is actually “to become less firm”, so that means we need to relax our grip on our own lives, our careers, our families, and giving them over to God in faith that He’ll provide when we aren’t working. And that’s the best way to exercise rest.
For us as believers, the ultimate rest is found in Christ. He invites all who are “weary and burdened” as he said, to come to Him and cast our cares on Him. It’s only in him that we find our complete rest - rest from the cares of the world, from the things that cause us pain, and from the need to work to make ourselves acceptable to Him.
There’s an awesome book called “Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by Pastor John Mark Comer that is honestly one of my favorite books recently. I highly recommend it. It’s helped me tremendously because my natural inclination is to be a workaholic and always be on the go. But this book taught me to slow down and actually enjoy true biblical rest. And I pray that it helps you as well. Try to work a little rest into your schedule this week and see how God transforms it. You’ll be blessed, I know it.