Actually, the problem goes deeper than that. For many of us, we struggle with finding rest because we have a hard time saying "no". For many reasons, we take on more and more, obligating ourselves to more and more, and eventually end up becoming so overwhelmed we have a hard time finding peace and rest in our souls. Yet Jesus promised us peace and rest if we would simply come to him.
I was amazed to discover how much the Bible talks about the blessing of finding rest:
Genesis 2:2-3, “By the seventh day God had finished all the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
Exodus 20:8-10, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath (Sabbat – to rest, to cease, to keep) to the LORD your God…”
Psalm 4:8, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 127:2, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat – for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Psalm 23:1-3, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.”
Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 4:9-11, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their (v.6 – those who did not enter God’s rest) disobedience.”
So how do we overcome our struggle with finding rest? The answer is simple and given to us in Scripture:
- Be still (Psalm 46:10). Get in a position to grow in your faith and learn more about God's love and goodness towards you. It's impossible to teach a child that is distracted or throwing a tantrum. In order for a child to learn, he must be in a position to learn. The same is true for us. Get rid of distractions that keep you from growing in your faith.
- Know that he is God (Psalm 46:10). This is more than just knowing with your mind. To know that he is God is to know it at the deepest level of your being. To know God is to have an abiding faith in Jesus. Reject the lies from the enemy about God. Know that God loves you and has a plan for you. Know that God cares for you and is your provider.
- Pray. Just as Jesus often withdrew to solitude places to pray, so should we. If we're too busy to pray, we're too busy.
These simple steps protect us from getting overwhelmed in life and keep us focused on what really matters. There is peace and rest to be found in Christ. His offer is there, we just have to accept it. For more on this, watch the full message.