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How Can We Have Rest?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Fulfilled, Part 3

by Erik Lutz on March 4, 2011
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Erik Lutz, AiG–U.S., explains how only Jesus can give us the rest so many seek.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Today’s big question: how can we have rest?

We live in a high-speed world with fast cars, faster jets, and a state of mind that is also constantly on the move. Besides the basics of work and school, we cram dozens of other errands and events into our jam-packed schedules. Rest—physically, mentally, and spiritually—is often elusive.

In the midst of this daily craziness, Christians frequently struggle to make time for God. But when we have to try to “fit God in” to our busy lives, something is drastically wrong with our understanding of Christianity. God cannot be merely a part of our lives; a Christian’s life must be wrapped up in and flowing out of Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20).

Today’s verse reminds us how easy it is to wander from walking with God in the simpler, older paths—where there is “rest for your souls”—and trade that for the hectic highway of this world, where the voice of God is drowned out by a hundred competing noises. The pressures of life can overwhelm us and lead to depression, but this is usually due to an unbiblical mindset and failure to rest in God.

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yes, our God is merciful. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:5–7, emphasis added)

Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, the writer of Psalm (116) found rest for his soul in God. This rest is available to any who put their trust in the Lord. The fulfillment of true rest is only found in Jesus Christ, as He said:

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. (Matthew 11:28–29, emphasis added)

Take a moment now to analyze your priorities in life. The Lord said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). When was the last time you were “still” before God? When have you stopped to gaze at the constellations on a clear night and consider the greatness of the majesty of God? When was the last time you turned off the cell phone, TV, and computer to give God an uninterrupted hour—or two or three—maybe even a whole day?

Today’s big idea: we have rest in Christ even in this hectic, restless world.

What to pray: be still and know that He is God.

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