Rest is a good thing. We all appreciate rest and are grateful when we feel rested. No one ever says, “I wish I was more tired.” Truly, rest is a gift from God, and we were created to need rest. Even God, who does not need rest, rested on the seventh day after creating the universe in six days (see Genesis 1:1 – 2:3). God rested in order to model for us the gift and blessing of rest. Praise the Lord for rest!
REST MAKES LIFE BETTER
Life is always better with rest, is it not? Without enough sleep and rest, my children are crabby (and so am I). Without enough rest, we get tired. Without enough rest, we struggle to focus. Without enough rest, we are more forgetful. Without enough rest, we make more mistakes.
You ever wake up refreshed and energized in the morning after a great night of sleep? If/when that happens, you feel so much better about the day ahead of you, right? I sure do.
Rested, we are much more equipped to handle the ups and downs of life. Children are better behaved when rested (as long as hyperactivity does not take over – so let us not confuse rest with laziness or lack-of-activity). Parents are more patient when rested. Employees are more productive when rested. Leaders are wiser when rested. Athletes are more successful when rested. The list could go on and on. Rest makes life better.
REST MAKES LIFE MEANINGFUL
When you understand and experience your need for rest, life is more meaningful. In other words, if you are busy and working hard, you cherish the rest you get. Needed and earned rest makes life meaningful. Those who are lazy and lethargic, on the other hand, will not appreciate rest because they will not understand their need for it nearly as much.
Crawling into bed after a hard day’s work, though, feels great. Resting on a day off after a productive week of work is rewarding. Resting with your family after getting your to-do list done (or most of the important things done) is refreshing. Rest makes life meaningful because it reminds us that we were created to work and then to rest. We need both.
JESUS OFFERS BETTER REST
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will preach through Hebrews 4:1-13 and discuss how “Jesus Offers Better Rest.” You see, in and through a relationship with Jesus Christ, you can experience purposeful rest now and have great assurance in perfect rest for eternity.
“Therefore, while the promise to enter His rest remains, let us fear that none of you should miss it... for we who have believed enter the rest” (Hebrews 4:1…3).
Only Jesus offers the superior rest – the rest that comes with great purpose and hope now and the rest that perfectly endures for eternity. None of us, sinners who have earned God’s judgment, deserve this rest, but this rest is freely given to all who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. What a gift!
PURSUE THIS REST
In my Sunday morning message, I will discuss how we can (and should) pursue this kind of rest. Simply put, though, we must recognize that we cannot earn it but rather must receive it by trusting in Christ’s substitutionary death for our forgiveness and resurrection from the dead for our salvation. Only as His Spirit changes our hearts and lives can we experience the ultimate rest He offers. Then, we will work hard to live for Him, serve others, and build up His church, resulting in God’s great, fulfilling design for us – satisfactory rest with comfort and assurance now and hope for eternity.
Are you pursing this rest? Are you pursuing Jesus?