Who has time to sleep, let alone seek rest in the Lord? Last week this weary soul squeezed a trip to urgent care, battling another recurring eyelid infection. Balancing night shifts, motherhood to two boys, being a wife, and writing books, has taken its toll, of rubbing my overtired eyes
No shock, the doctor prescribed an anointment, and she said something that shook me to my core, “I want you to take five minutes four times a day to lie with a wet cloth over your eyes and rest.”
I almost fell off the table.
God has been teaching me the importance of rest, yet I must admit that I have incorporated little of God’s rest into my daily routines. For a doctor to prescribe “rest” proved bizarre—and the most God-thing—I’ve encountered.
Let’s discover why God commands true rest and how we can experience rest in the Lord.
Rest in the Lord Sitting at Jesus’ Feet
In Luke 10, Jesus and His twelve disciples visited Bethany, where Martha opened her home. As the story unfolds, hardworking Martha becomes engrossed in the preparations while Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.”
Martha, needing a physical rest from the daunting task of preparing a banquet for 13 men, emerges from the kitchen, her face flushed with frustration. She exclaims, “Lord, don’t you care my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (You can find this encounter in Luke 10:38-42, and I assure you I didn’t add that exclamation mark at the end of Martha’s words.)
Only Jesus could say what comes next, and His words mark the end of this story.
Jesus addresses the exasperated woman, saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
We’re left wondering what happened to these two sisters. For more insight into sister dynamics, check out a wonderful book by Joanna Weaver. Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.
But for finding the rest of God, these two items stand out.
Martha is Distracted
Have you ever lost sight of your purpose, much like Martha did when she invited Jesus into her home?
Let’s say you’ve volunteered to serve food after a church meeting out of a genuine desire to support this ministry. You start off prayerful and hospitable, but then, someone cuts in line, taking more than their fair share. Indignation wells up, and you lose track of your initial intention. You become dis-tracked, and the joy of serving fades as you seek justice, forgetting why you volunteered.
Unity unravels into disunity, and harmony turns to cacophony.
Mary Chooses God’s Presence
Jesus tells Martha that Mary chose “what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” So, what did Mary choose?A spiritual rest at the feet of Jesus, hanging on to His every word.
At the outset, Martha, too, had welcomed Jesus into her home with reverence. She worked diligently to serve, but something pricked her, setting her off course.
However, Jesus didn’t chastise Martha for her worry and upset. Instead, He urged her not to hinder Mary.
Yes, we have responsibilities—bills, chores, and daily tasks to manage. But we also have a choice.
Will you choose what’s better, or let indignation steal the joy of serving Jesus? Are you willing to prioritize Him as King and Master of your life each day by opening your ears to His voice? Will you choose the role to be a joyful male or female servant to serve others so they can experience a sabbath of rest?
Rest As Work
“Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.” Book of Hebrews 4:11.
God’s word reminds us that true rest often demands effort, not physical toil, but in the dedication to enter the rest that nourishes our souls. It’s a rest that goes beyond mere relaxation; it’s a rest where, no matter what happens, we place our trust in God’s grace and believe in God’s goodness and God’s plan for our lives.
“Take My Yoke”
Recently, I have learned what an “imperative” is. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus is using an implied “you” before this command (aka an imperative).
It’s like Jesus is saying, “Hey, you—Yeah, I’m talking to you! You take my yoke!”
Of course, Jesus’ compassionate voice would be more comforting to weary souls ladened with heavy burdens.
A “yoke” is the bar that goes over oxen to pull the plow. It only goes on the animal when it is required to work. It’s hard work, for hours at a time.
But the distinction here is that Jesus says to take His yoke. And in verse thirty, he tells us that the yoke He offers is easy, and the burden He gives us is light.
“My Burden Is Light”
Which begs the question: If my burden is so heavy, whose yoke am I wearing?
In Romans 6:23, we are told, “For the wages of sin is death…”
That heavy burden we carry is our own sin, our own separation from our Creator God.
It is the wages we earned from living a life where I’m the savior, where I know best—and in that way, turning away from God’s standard (perfect holiness) and His method to get to Him (absolute obedience).
And Satan is more than happy to remind us how often we can’t measure up to God’s requirements. We strive to become better individuals, citizens, and neighbors by working harder.
And the burden grows heavier in our daily lives. We accumulate more anxiety, panic, and frustration.
Did you know that in all that striving, Jesus already gave us everything we need? Check out the following Bible verses:
Romans 6:23 concludes with good news, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Friend, remove that heavy yoke you’re carrying.
You want to be valued?
Jesus says you are worth more than many sparrows! (Luke 12:7)
You crave financial security?
Jesus promises treasures in heaven that moths and vermin cannot destroy or steal. (Matthew 6:20) You want to be accepted?
Remember, Jesus faced rejection for you to be included in God’s family forever. (1 Peter 2:4)
By dying on the cross, Jesus lifted the burden of sin off you and, by rising from the dead, he declared you are free from that burden. It is finished (John 19:30)
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)
When we give our burdens to Jesus, we can find true rest in the Lord.
Learn From Me
Learning something new, like finding a place of rest in the Lord, can pose a challenge. Reading the instructions for a new board game can be more exhausting than the game itself.
However, our nature as human beings compels us to continue learning. Our brains thrive when challenged, just like our hearts and lungs.
The invitation to learn from Jesus is the greatest apprenticeship one can receive. “What would Jesus do?” should guide our thinking, not as a script for Christian living, but to contemplate God’s character in our daily lives.
In moments of loneliness or neglect, remember that Jesus loves you, right now, yesterday, tomorrow and forever. (1 John 4:10) When you feel like an outsider, remember that He calls you His child from the moment you made Him Lord of your life and every second since. (Romans 8:15)
The best way to learn about Jesus and the rest He offers is to immerse yourself in Scripture. Imagine having unlimited time with someone you admire; you’d spend every moment with them. In a quiet place read the Bible with an open heart with desire to learn about your Savior will lead God to reveal Himself to you. He promised this in Scripture, the following are some of my favorite Bible verses.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Book of Hebrews 4:16)
Keep exploring the Bible uncovers endless revelation about God’s character.
Our King is both powerful and gentle. Jesus embodies both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. He serves as our Judge, our Healer, the Atoning Sacrifice, our Savior, yet is also gentle and humble at heart. Embracing His yoke and learning from Him reveals the many facets of God’s character, inspiring us to reflect Jesus in our lives and to others.
Those who accept Jesus’ yoke and learn from Him will find rest for their souls. And isn’t that the peace we’ve been seeking all along?
Free Finding Rest in the Lord Bible Study
Instant download of Five page Bible study with bible with journaling questions, either printable or fillable just download first to type directly on the form.
What is the Spiritual Meaning of Rest?
True rest isn’t about catching up on sleep or lounging on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s about a deep-seated peace and contentment that blossoms from an intimate relationship with God and a steadfast trust in His divine plan. This kind of spiritual rest transcends physical relaxation, touching the core of our being — our minds and hearts.
Imagine a rest allowing you to shed the heavy cloak of worry and anxiety, a sanctuary where the noise of the world fades into a harmonious whisper of God’s presence. This is rest in the Lord that rejuvenates not just our bodies, but our souls.
So, how do our souls find rest? Here are sixteen actionable find experience rest in the Lord(I’m not talking about vacation time or under doctor’s orders.)
16 Ideas to Rest in The Lord
1)Trust in God’s Sovereignty: Understand that God is in control of all things. Surrender your worries and anxieties to Him, knowing that He has a perfect plan for your life (Proverbs 3:5-6).
2)Lean on God’s Promises: Meditate on God’s promises in the Bible, such as the assurance of His presence (Matthew 28:20) and His promise to give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
3)Practice Stillness: Set aside time each day to be still in the presence of the Lord. Use this time for prayer, reflection, and simply being with Him (Psalm 46:10).
4)Seek Guidance through prayer: Ask God for guidance and wisdom in your daily life. Trust that He will lead you in the right direction (James 1:5).
5)Forgive and Let Go: Release grudges and forgive those who have wronged you. Unforgiveness can be a heavy burden that hinders your rest (Ephesians 4:31-32).
6)Develop a Grateful Heart: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Regularly thank God for His blessings, both big and small (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
7)Focus on God’s Character: Study and reflect on God’s character traits, such as His love, grace, and faithfulness. Trust in His goodness (Exodus 34:6).
8)Immerse Yourself in Worship: Engage in heartfelt worship, whether through music, prayer, or other means. Worship helps you connect with God on a deeper level (Psalm 95:1-6).
9)Read and ponder on Scripture: Allow God’s Word to speak to your heart and provide you with comfort and guidance (Psalm 119:105). Reading the Bible has many benefits.
10)Practice Sabbath Rest: Set aside a specific day or time for rest and worship. Disconnect from work and distractions to focus on your relationship with God (Exodus 20:8-11).
11)Serve Others with Love: Show love and compassion to others through acts of service. Serving can bring fulfillment and rest to your soul (Galatians 5:13).
12)Fellowship with Believers: Engage in community with other believers. Share your faith journey, pray together, and find support and encouragement (Hebrews 10:24-25).
13)Practice Forgiveness: Forgive yourself for past mistakes and failures. Remember that God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
14)Rest in His Love: Truly Know God loves you. Rest in the assurance of His unfailing love for you (Romans 8:38-39).
15)Listen and wait on God: Be patient and attentive to God’s voice. Sometimes, rest comes in waiting and listening for His guidance (Psalm 27:14).
16)Stay Connected: Maintain a consistent and ongoing relationship with God. Continually seek His presence and invite Him into every aspect of your life (John 15:5).
Beloved Psalms For a Spiritual Rest
- Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” In the loving care of our Shepherd, we find a rest that replenishes our soul, guiding us to places of peace and restoration.
- Psalm 62:1-2 “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” In the steadfast presence of God, our souls find a sanctuary of peace, a foundation unshaken by the tremors of life.
- Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” As we lay our heads down each night, let us remember that it is in the Lord’s faithful hands that we find our safest refuge.
- Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” In the quiet stillness before the Lord, we find the strength to wait with patience, trusting in His perfect timing and plan.
- Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Our efforts are fruitless without God’s blessing. He lovingly provides for those He loves, even in their sleep.
- Psalm 116:7 “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Let your soul find its way back to the calmness God offers, a restfulness born from His goodness and grace.
- Psalm 91:1 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” In the protective embrace of the Almighty, we find a profound rest, safe and secure under His watchful care.
Prayer for Finding Rest In the Lord
O Lord Heavenly Father, in the stillness of this moment, we come before You with hearts yearning for true rest. Lord, we acknowledge that real peace and contentment lie not in the fleeting comforts of this world, but in the sanctuary of Your presence.
Jesus Christ, You invite us to lay our burdens at Your feet and find rest in Your loving embrace. Teach us to trust in Your sovereignty, to lean on Your promises, and to find solace in the stillness of Your presence. Help us to embrace the rest You offer, a rest that rejuvenates our weary souls and aligns our hearts with Yours.
Holy Spirit, guide us in practicing stillness, gratitude, and forgiveness. Grant us the wisdom to seek Your guidance through prayer, and the patience to wait on Your timing.
In serving others, fellowshipping with believers, and resting in Your love, may we discover the peace that comes from knowing and trusting You. Remind us, Lord God, that in every moment, we are deeply loved and held by You.
We ask all these in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our source of eternal rest. Amen.
Remember that finding true rest in the Lord is a journey, and it may take time. Learn from my experience: don’t wait for a doctor’s prescription to rest when the Lord is already sending you gentle warnings.Be patient with yourself, and trust in God’s desire to gift you with the peace and rest your soul deeply craves
Cheryl lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. Her passions, besides writing, are Christ, laboratory work, and homeschooling. As a romantic at heart, her books reflect God’s goodness when life is hard and His love that surpasses any happy ending. To grab her FREE printable, “Find Rest,” go to, https://www.cherylkramarczyk.com/rest and find rest for your soul today!
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