The Importance of Rest

Everyone who has ever read the Bible at all is familiar with the creation narrative. On day seven God rested from His work and called the day holy: “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (Genesis 2:3 ESV). Hebrews echoes the holiness of resting with God: “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9, 10).

Jesus, of course, invites people to enter into his protective rest: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). There is ample evidence that rest is not only beneficial for our walk with God, but it is actually commanded.

God designed us to rest from our work. When we do, there is a clear link to peace. Over and over again the scriptures tell us that we will find peace when we rest. Psalm 23 is a very clear example of this. A huge part of working on our relationship with God entails resting both with and in him.