The Bible says that Jesus came to give us rest. In His own words, Jesus promised that, in Him, we can find rest:
Mat 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
So how do we find this rest that Hesus spoke of? It’s readily available and freely given to all who come to Jesus. There is a certain and permanent rest for the soul that is received when we come to Jesus in faith and we receive HIs forgiveness and saving grace. We are redeemed and made new and our souls are forever freed from the bondage of sin and death. That’s rest. But there’s another rest in our sanctification (The time from when Jesus saved us until we go to be with Him. Read: What you need to know about Sanctification & Glorification)
Rest for the Redeemed
Sanctification is a journey to our heavenly home. And, very seldom is it an easy road. Amidst the trials, tests, and tribulation in life, we are called to live in a way that always reflects Jesus and to share His love with others. Everyone would agree, that’s not always easy. We search to find answers to our questions; we strive to do the right things; and we work to fix problems, all too often thinking that answers, right behavior, and problems-solved will give us the rest we seek. But the rest that Jesus gives is available BEFORE the answer comes and BEFORE the problem is solved. And, while the rest in our sanctification is not permanent, it is guaranteed. Jesus promises to give us rest and He gives it to us freely…but this rest must be received.
How Do We Receive His Rest?
Jesus clearly told us how. “Come to me, “ In Hebrews 4 we are told that when we come to Jesus we enter into His rest and we are also told that coming to Jesus is by faith, by believing, and by trusting that He is who He says He is and He is faithful to do all that He has promised. Trusting is true faith that brings us to the cross and it is true faith that gives us rest in all things.
Receive Rest in Knowledge
Finding rest in Christ is not doing or seeking something. It is received by faith. And one way to receive rest is through knowledge. This is what Paul meant by renewing the mind:
Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Renewing our minds is accomplished by increasing our knowledge of the Word of God. When we know more about God’s truths, His will, and His ways, we are able to apply it to our own lives and “prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” “Prove” means that we will be an example. It means that by the way we live, we will show that we belong to Jesus. From the time Jesus saved us until the time we go to be with Him, we are being conformed to His image (Ro 8:29) and therefore we are able to, and should always desire to, reflect His love, His light, and His goodness…and tell the world of the rest that is available to all.
Receive Rest in Communion
Communing with God through prayer will bring rest. Remember that God hears. He cares. He loves. And, He responds. Talking to God in prayer is a way to unburden a troubled soul and find rest. God already knows what you are going through, so you might wonder why you need to tell Him. It’s really more about giving Him your troubles (casting your cares on Him 1 Pet 5:7) and trusting HIm to work in all things. It is a release of your burdens that Jesus spoke about and it brings the real rest that He promised.
Receive Rest in Fellowship
Christian friends can help in carrying burdens. They can comfort us with the comfort they have been given (2 Cor 1:4) and, in fact, God has commanded them to do so:
Rom 15:1-2 We then who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.
The encouragement and biblical guidance from Christian friends can lighten the weight of our problems. They can make us smile even in the midst of difficult situations. And, they can remind us of the Lord’s great love for us and His ever-present help. Find Christian friends you trust and respect and enter into a relationship of sharing and caring for each other.
Rest = Peace
The rest that Jesus gives is not a rest from work. It is not a physical rest when the body is weary. It is a rest for the soul when the heart and the mind are troubled and without peace. It is a refreshing of the soul by a mind focused on God and His words and a heart softened, warmed, and established in the love of Jesus. The rest that Jesus gives us is the peace in our souls He has promised to us.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
How can Jesus give us peace? He gives it because He has it to give. He has it to give because He has overcome the word:
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Peace of God and Peace with God
All who belong to Jesus have peace with God. That’s important! Remember, you already have peace with God. Jesus paid for all of our sins, and we will never experience the wrath of God because Jesus took it upon Himself… for us. Our peace with God is eternally secure.
But not all who belong to Jesus have the peace of God. Rest in Christ is the peace of God that Paul so clearly declared for those who belong to Jesus:
Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
The rest which Jesus spoke of, and the peace of God that Paul wrote about, are ours to receive through faith — a faith that is:
increased by knowing God’s Word. The prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) and, on the flip side of that, Paul tells us that we are built up in our faith by knowledge: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10:17).
strengthened by Christian fellowship. Hebrews 10 tells us, “let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but exhorting one another,”
enjoyed by communion with God. When we talk to God our hearts are warmed (Luke 24:32) and our souls are comforted (Psa 94:19).
Faith + Knowledge + Prayer + Fellowship = Rest + Peace
The rest and peace, from increased faith, produces a confidence in the only One who gives purpose and meaning to our lives. Only in Jesus are we freed from the bondage of sin and death — and that is ultimate rest and peace.
Prov 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge [rest].
Isa 30:15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest [faith]; you shall be saved [peace with God]; In quietness [rest] and confidence [increased faith] shall be your strength [peace of God].”
Eph 3:12 in [Jesus] we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
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