Divine Rest

by | Jun 20, 2024

Dear friends,

Rest is a divine gift that is woven into the very fabric of creation by our loving Creator. From the beginning, God established the principle of rest. In Genesis 2:2-3, we read, "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." This rest was not created from exhaustion, since God does not tire; rather, it was a sacred pause, a deliberate time set apart to enjoy the goodness of creation.

The significance of this divine rest extends to us through the Sabbath commandment given in Exodus 20:8-11: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work … For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Here, we see rest commanded in the form of the Sabbath, a sacred decree to stop our labor to honor a day set apart by God.

In the hustle and bustle of our lives, rest often eludes us. We are burdened by never-ending to-do lists and weighed down by responsibilities as we are constantly connected to the demands of the world. Yet, in this madness, Christ invites us to divine rest with a gentle and loving call: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). The rest Jesus offers us is not merely physical but a profound spiritual peace that refreshes our souls.

The writer of Hebrews further clarifies this divine rest, drawing us to the ultimate Sabbath-rest that awaits God’s people. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:9-11). This passage encourages us to strive for that divine rest, to trust in God’s provision and to lay down our struggles, embracing the peace that comes from faith in Christ.

In practice, embracing divine rest is two-fold. First, by resting physically from our work, and secondly, by releasing our anxiety and resting in God’s provision. Resting in God means setting aside time each week to disconnect from our work and reconnect with God and our loved ones. It involves trusting God enough to let go of our incessant need to control and manage every aspect of our lives. It calls us to seek out a time of simplicity, quietness, and stillness where we can hear God’s voice. In our daily lives, we can start by dedicating a specific time for rest, free from work and distractions, where we can focus on prayer, reflection, and gratitude.

As we go about our lives, let’s remember that rest is not a luxury for those who can afford it, but a necessity ordered and established by God Himself. By honoring the Sabbath rest and embracing the divine rest Jesus offers, we find renewal for our bodies, minds, and spirits.

May we enter into this rest with joy and gratitude, trusting that in God’s presence, we will find true refreshment and peace for the days ahead.

Topics: #Pause, #Peace, #Reflection, #Renewal, #Rest, #Sabbath