In our ongoing battle with indwelling sin, it is not uncommon for followers of Christ to be come weary and discouraged. We wonder if the battle will ever end, and if there is hope for victory.
Jesus knows our limitations as mere mortals, and knows that we need a break from time to time – a “safe haven” to run to and get some much-needed rest. Listen to His words:
“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.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
Where do we try to find “rest” on our own? In activities, entertainment, food, friends, and many other places. Are these things bad, in and of themselves? Of course not. But real rest for our innermost being is found only in the Lord.
In our modern society, we view the start of our day with activity. Get up, go to work, go to class, do our activities, and finally collapse at the end of the day and rest, as if we need to earn our rest by completing our day’s activities.
If we look back to God’s original design, however. the day begins with rest, in preparation for the day ahead:
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”
(Genesis 1:3-5 NIV)
How does understanding God’s design for the order of the day (rest, then work) change our understanding of Jesus’ offer of rest, and our ability and willingness to accept His offer?