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Where Do We Find Rest?



Ahh, rest! Rest alludes to many. Perhaps it is because we often look in the wrong places for rest. There is no shortage of things that people are willing to try in hopes of finding rest. In 2020, the sleep aid industry was $80.2 billion. That number is expected to rise to around $112 billion by 2025. These staggering numbers reveal our desperation to satisfy our need for rest. While there are many reasons why we lose sleep, we can always find rest in Christ.

            The Sabbath is about rest, but it is not just physical. God created us to need Him because He provides what we need, like water, air, and even rest. God wants us to rest in Him. Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (Mt. 11:28 NASB)." A Sabbath is about taking a break. The word means an intermission. Sometimes, an intermission is all that you need. Kristyn and I celebrated our anniversary in New York a few years ago. Of course, she dragged me to a show on Broadway.

The show was Wicked, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Wicked reveals how the "Wicked Witch" became wicked. The show was presented at the beautiful Gershwin Theatre. Unfortunately, the seats we purchased were not on the aisle and were not designed for someone of my stature. My legs were smashed into the seats in front of me; there was no elbow room, and the place was packed. After a while, I became miserable, and all I could think about was how to get out. Every note that was played and word that was song became less and less enjoyable, not because the show was not good, but because my behind could not take it any longer. I was almost at my breaking point, ready to go "Wreck-it Ralf" in that gorgeous theatre, when the curtains came down, and we had arrived at intermission. It would be an understatement to tell you I was ready for a break. During the break, as I stretched my legs, walked around, and enjoyed sweet relief, I realized that I had to go back in there for the other half of the show. It was challenging to take that seat again, but I quickly learned that the second half was not as bad as the first half because that intermission gave me just what I needed. God created us to need an intermission from all the pains, stresses, struggles, and joys in life to find rest in Him. Somehow, we have reduced that much-needed rest in God to a few hours lying around in a recliner watching television.

            The writer of Hebrews tells us, "So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience" (Hebrews 4:9-11 NASB). The author reminds us about this rest that we need. He warns us that disobedience can cause us to lose out on the rest we find in God. Usually, we have a hard time resting when we allow the stress, worries, and pains of this life to fill our minds. Some of those stresses we bring on ourselves are because of disobedience to what God tells us. How do we overcome those? The writer offers us the things we must remember and hold onto so that we can rest in God. First, he tells us, "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword…" (Hebrews 4:12 NASB). While many are familiar with this verse, we forget that this is concerning the rest we need. God's word is sufficient for whatever we are going through. The answers we seek, the example we need, guidance, and even the Truth are found in God's Word. The writer reveals another thing about His word in this passage. His word can discern the heart's intentions (Hebrews 4:12). God knows what we think, how we feel, and whether we have the right heart. Having the right intentions will help us to find rest. We then are reminded that God can see everything and that it is all open and laid bare for Him to see (Hebrews 4:13). God can see what we are going through. He is a witness to the actions that cause us to lose rest. However, he also knows where we are and how to give us rest.

            The easiest way to find rest in God is to remember who He is. We can rest comfortably and confidently when we understand who gives us rest. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:14-15 NASB). This valuable reminder of our Savior reveals that He knows what it's like. He knows and understands exactly how you feel. He can sympathize with you and for you. While many do not like to do that for others, He does that for us. Because of that, we can "draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16 NASB). Because of what Christ accomplished on our behalf, we can go confidently to the throne of grace. We can draw near and find rest at the throne. It is there, in those times of need, that we find mercy and grace to help us. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they can find rest in you" (Confessions). You can find rest in Christ. Draw near and take a break or a much-needed intermission in Him.

 

Resting In Christ,

Pastor Josh May

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