Rest is something that we all hear and read about and we understand is important in our lives but for a great number of people, it is something that’s regularly missing from. We have busy schedules and things that must be done before we can rest so more times than not, we put rest on the back burner until we feel burned out.
When we start something new, typically, we embrace the new challenge(s) and tackle it head-on with enthusiasm but somewhere along the lines, we begin to lose satisfaction especially if there is a lot of stress involved. This goes for any part of our lives and one of the basic, most fundamental ways to handle and balance out such stress and chaos is through rest and sleep.
This is especially true for Christians as we tend to take on a lot of activity to spread God’s word but also, to be the type of person God calls us to be. Unfortunately, in doing so, we tend to neglect the small things that God has given to us like rest and sleep. In fact, this small thing was so important that God Himself, after creating all things, He rested.
Sometimes, this may confuse people because they have the idea that God doesn’t sleep and this is true but Christ, in His physical body, faced the same physical limitations that we do. He got tired and was limited in different ways as we are. He became hungry and tired and was angered at different times within scripture. One of the most important lessons that Christ taught was to rest but to do so on God’s word.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 reassures us Christians that if we die before Christ comes back for His bride, we the people, that we may be separated for a period of time but we will rejoin them again someday: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” The sleep referred to here is death and while we all will face this sleep someday if Christ has not returned, we should not focus our attention on this event and rest our minds, bodies, and spirit here in the present.
The importance of citing 1 Thessalonians is not to make people aware of something that is coming but rather, to make people aware of our physical limitations and the sincere need for rest. There have been multiple times when I have talked with family members and friends who were really down on life not because of the way life was going but because they were not getting enough rest. They were literally pushing their bodies to exhaustion and when we do this, we are not the same. God rested on the seventh day of creation; note that He rested, it does not say sleep, but He does instruct us to rest on a certain day of the week.
Scripture does tell us to keep the Sabbath day holy but let’s face it; too many people are unable to take off each off a specific day to rest. Many, many people have to work on Saturday and Sunday so they rest whenever they are able to. No longer do we live under the Mosaic law as God ended this so those who tell me that we have to rest on a specific day of God is upset with us, well, they’re wrong. We are instructed to rest, absolutely, and we see that when Christ was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, He quoted scripture. He knew what Satan was up to and Satan never had a chance and while Christ did rest, physically, He also rested on the word of God and this is how each of us should live our lives.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.“—Psalm 62:5-7