It’s Okay to Rest

“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”

Exodus 20:8 (NLT)

Many people don’t see the value in getting enough rest. But God knows that, without proper rest, you’ll struggle to be who he wants you to be.

Rest is so important to God that he even put it in the Ten Commandments: “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God” (Exodus 20:8-10 NLT).

When you’re anxiously working from early morning to late night, you’ll burn out—and that’s not what God wants for you. He wants you to get enough rest.

In 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah needed some serious rest after a confrontation with 450 pagan prophets of the false god Baal. King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were leading the nation of Israel to follow these gods. In a dramatic moment before all of Israel, Elijah asked God to send down fire to consume a sacrifice and, thus, prove he was the one true God.

God sent the fire—but the experience left Elijah emotionally and physically drained. Then he heard that the queen planned to assassinate him, so he ran away and hid in a cave. Elijah became so discouraged and depressed that he asked God to kill him.

What was God’s solution to Elijah’s depression? God gave him food and then let him go to sleep. Then God woke him up, fed him some more, and sent him back to sleep. Elijah ate and slept, ate and slept.

Maybe that would be a good model for you to follow right now.

When I went through a season of depression after starting Saddleback Church, I would drive myself to the beach every Saturday afternoon and watch the waves for a couple hours. It calmed me and helped me fight my fatigue, frustration, and fear.

I noticed that the tide goes out, but it always comes back in. When the tide is out, the beach reveals all kinds of junk and driftwood. The shore doesn’t look very good when the tide is out. But the tide always comes back in.

Today, if you are so tired—so fatigued that you are barely holding on—don’t give up. The tide will come back in.

Take time to rest and remember: “The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary; His understanding is beyond searching out. He gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak” (Isaiah 40:28-29 BSB).

Talk It Over

  • Think about a time when the simple acts of eating and sleeping greatly helped you in a season of fatigue or depression. What noticeable difference did they make?
  • Do you have a place you go to rest and pray? If not, where could you go that is peaceful and calming?
  • What does it mean to claim God’s promises like Isaiah 40:28-29? How can you do that this week?

You can find rest in Jesus today

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest” (GNT).

The single greatest source of stress is trying to live your life disconnected from Jesus Christ. If you’re disconnected from God, it’s like being unplugged—there’s no power in your life.

So how can you get connected to God? Jesus says to come to him and give him your life. If you’re ready for that, you can pray this right now: “Jesus, there is a lot of stress in my life today. I want to give it all to you. I want you to be in charge of every area of my life. I want to surrender all my worries and plans—my whole life—to you and make you Lord of my life. I know this is the only way to really find rest and live out the purpose you have for me.

“God, I know you love me and have made it possible for me to spend eternity with you. I confess I have sinned against you and lived according to my own selfish desires, and I ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for sending Jesus to pay for my sins by dying in my place and making me acceptable to you. Thank you for offering me a fresh start and a relationship with you. I pray all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.