One of my favorite Bible stories has to be when Elijah had a mental breakdown and God responded by telling him to eat and take a nap. (1 Kings 19 NLT) Elijah was fleeing for his life and cried out to God. God heard him and provided what he needed. The answer just happened to be a nap and some bread.
When I was praying the other day I found myself reflecting on this question: Am I at rest?
As Elijah has shown, there is no doubt about power that can be found in physical rest. But this question goes beyond that– is my mind at rest? Is my heart at rest?
When I really thought about it, God gives Elijah a piece of bread and some water. Elijah needed the bread of life (which is Jesus, John 6 NLT) and living water (Guess what– it’s Jesus again, John 4 NLT). Just in the same way that we need food and water to sustain us physically, we need Jesus to sustain us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t know about you but that just gave me a whole new perspective to eating a snack.
There is a concept thrown around by theologians called doctrinal weight. And the idea is, the more times that something is mentioned in the Bible, the more importance or “weight” it holds. The word rest is mentioned 400-500 times in the Bible depending on the version you’re reading. So…yeah, rest is kind of a big deal.
Let’s visit some verses where the Bible talks about rest.
1. God Promises Us His Rest
“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world” | Hebrews 4:9-10 NLT
2. God Takes Away Our Burdens So We Can Rest
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” | Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
3. God Says We Shall Run and Not Grow Weary
“The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of all the earth.He never grows weak or weary.No one can measure the depths of his understanding.He gives power to the weakand strength to the powerless.Even youths will become weak and tired,and young men will fall in exhaustion.But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.They will soar high on wings like eagles.They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.” | Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT
4. God Told His Disciples to Rest
“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.'” | Mark 6:31 NLT
5. God Rested During a Storm
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” | Matthew 8:23-26 NLT
6. We Should Rest as God Rested After Creation
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” | Exodus 20:11 NLT
7. When We Walk in What God Has for Us, We Find Rest for Our Souls
“This is what the Lord says:‘Stop at the crossroads and look around.Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.'” | Jeremiah 6:16 NLT
8. No Need to Worry, Rest in God’s Peace
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” | Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
9. Rest in the Fact That God Has Already Won
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” | John 16:33 NLT
10. God Gives You Rest on Every Side
“But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.” | 1 Kings 5:4 NLT
It doesn’t matter if you’re laying on the beach, in the middle of a hectic meeting, or on the road– God wants you to find rest in Him whenever and wherever you are. He goes before you, behind you, beside you, and He is for you! Rest in Him, and He’ll handle the rest.
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