There are two important themes when we think about what the Bible has to say about rest. The first is Sabbath rest. One of the tend commandments is to “remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” – right up there with “Do not kill, steal or commit adultery.” Just as God worked for seven days and rested for one, we too are called to imitate Him and rest. He stopped and enjoyed what He had created, what He had worked for. We, too, should stop and enjoy God and His creation.
The Sabbath principle is one of the hardest principles in Scripture for me to integrate into my life. I’m busy, distracted, and always have at least one more thing on my to-do list, and so finding time to rest – and actually rest – is really hard for me. What I need to remember is that the Sabbath is God’s gift to me. I’m a weary human being, and He graciously gives me a break. He gives me time to recharge my life and my soul by spending more time with Him, my family and friends, and myself. This is time that I have come to realize I need. Life so easily overwhelms, but incorporating time to rest in my life is key. I urge you to find time in your life – maybe a day, maybe a few afternoons a week, whatever that is for you – and rest in what God has given you.
The Sabbath also reminds us of Christ’s work. Not working is a reminder to me that I’m not saved by my works and all the things I can accomplish in a day, but saved by Christ. So I can enjoy a Sabbath rest: “There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his” (Hebrews 4:9-10).
Another kind of rest is a spiritual rest. Veith states, “Though we still have to work by the sweat of our brows, and though our work still may yield thorns and thistles, those who rest in God’s grace can know that He, in His creative power and loving providence, is the One who looms behind the work that we do” (65). Instead of worrying about the value of our work and what we are doing, we are free to see our work as service to the Lord. We can rest in satisfaction, knowing that we are leading lives that the Lord has assigned to us, and to which God has called us. God provides the earth, and calls us to work it. We can be confident that we are doing God’s work in whatever field we have been placed in.