The Importance of Rest and Giving Rest

rest woman lying in a hammock

The world keeps us so busy that we often neglect to return to our very needed source of rest. But what is the importance of rest and how do we do it we do it well?

Head

The Importance of Resting

Many people see rest as unnecessary or unimportant. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in school, sports, friendships, games, work, and the holidays that we forget to rest. The world keeps us so busy that we often neglect to return to our very needed source of rest. But what is the importance of rest and how do we do it well?

The first incident of rest in the Bible occurs in Genesis 2:1-3 where, after 6 days of creating the earth and universe, God rests. But more than this, God declares the entire day as a holy day of rest. Throughout the old testament, God’s people rested on this day called the “Sabbath” which literally translates to “day of rest.” What was the point of this day?

The Sabbath was a gift of God to return to Him and find rest. There are three primary forms of rest on the Sabbath, each are connected to one another, and are designed to keep us in healthy relationship with God.

  1. Physical 
  2. Mental 
  3. Spiritual

Heart

1. Physical Rest

God’s people worked 6 out of 7 days of the week, and on the 7th they were not to work at all. God knows our bodies better than we do. He designed them! He designed our bodies to have proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Our bodies need rest from hard work to regain energy and strength. When our bodies do not have the proper amount of rest, the mental and spiritual aspects of our lives can start to fall apart. 

A great example of the importance of physical rest can be found in 1 Kings 19. Elijah was terrified and discouraged. He was being chased down by people that wanted to kill him! God came to him and told Elijah to eat and rest, then continue his journey. Elijah did exactly that and did great things for God. 

2. Mental Rest

It’s easy to define work as something that labors only your body, but there is much more to work than that. We know that even the leaders, strategists, and managers of the Old Testament rested on the Sabbath. For them, resting their minds was needed. Have you ever felt mentally exhausted after a really hard test? Our brains need rest too! Anxiety and depression are more likely to occur when our brains are constantly stressed and working. 

Be sure to give your brain a break by spending time on something that doesn’t require intense processing. Even the culture tells us that meditation is one of the healthiest forms of mental rest. It’s no coincidence that prayer does exactly that! When your brain is full and stressed, sit down, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and talk with your heavenly Father. 

3. Spiritual Rest

Spiritual rest is often the first form of rest that we forget or cut out, yet we know scripturally it is the most important! Nothing should trump our personal relationship with God. David explains this in Psalm 27:4 when he says,  “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” The one thing we should desire more than anything else is to be with God. 

Think about that for a moment. When you get really busy in life, what is the first thing to go? Is it your prayer time? Is it your time in the Word? It’s easy to get so busy with life that we neglect to do what’s truly most important! Famous pastor Adrian Rogers puts it well when he said, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” The enemy will try to tear you away from God by filling your life with things that are less important than just being with Him. When you get busy, remember not to neglect your time with the Lord. Don’t push aside the spiritual rest that we all need.

Hands

Take the Quiz!

Now that we know the importance of rest. Take our quiz and find out if you are well rested! 

Give Rest

What did the quiz tell you? Were you well rested, or do you need to take some time to rest? Regardless, we all need rest in our lives. Most importantly, we need to return to Christ in our rest. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Now that you know what Biblical rest looks like, we challenge you to help give rest to someone else! Now of course, you are not the source of rest, Jesus is, but you can help a friend or family member find rest by serving a practical need!

Our challenge this month has three steps:

  1. Ask your friends and family to take the “Rest or Stressed?” quiz with the button above.
  2. If they rank “Mostly Stressed” or “Super Stressed” ask them how you can help.
  3. Show them the love of Christ by serving them with a humble heart, just as Jesus served his disciples.

That’s it! Although following these three steps may seem like nothing, it could mean the world to someone who is in desperate need of rest. Make God happy by giving others the chance to take a break from the business of life and return to the Lord, the best giver of rest.

About the Author

Author:

Bret Eckelberry

Bret Eckelberry

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Copyright © 2023 Focus on the Family

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Join the Movement!

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Please enter your area code, followed by your phone number, mobile phone preferred. Please use numbers only, no dashes or other separators.


*By signing this form I am acknowledging that I am 13 or older.