Chapter six: Rest
Pace yourself; rest in Him


Weekly Reading Plan

DAY 1 | Matthew 14:13, 23, 26:36
DAY 2 | Luke 5:16
DAY 3 | Lamentations 3:25-26; Galatians 6:9
DAY 4 | 1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 12:9
DAY 5 | Isaiah 40:29-31


Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)


The whole idea seems so countercultural. The more you work, the more you’ll get done, so why stop? It only makes sense to keep going at full speed, right? Maybe you’re in a situation where you’re not seeing the results you wanted to see, or maybe you’re frustrated that your ideal end result still hasn’t happened. Your instinct is to keep charging at full steam, but maybe what God wants you to do is simply rest.

Jesus is a perfect example of the need for rest. When you think of the ministry of Jesus, the last thing that comes to mind is His ability to take a nap. However, the gospels document multiple instances where the Son of God made it a priority to rest, rejuvenate, and be alone with His Father. A great example can be found in the book of Mark. If you read through the first chapter, you’ll read about Jesus’ baptism, His experience in the wilderness, casting out demons, healing the sick, and preaching the good news in Galilee. There’s one thing that you may overlook in this chapter among the many great stories of Jesus’ ministry. In verse 35, before going out to minister to people, Jesus went away to an isolated place to pray. He didn’t get up, make himself a large cup of coffee, and take on the day at full blast. He first went to His place of rest in the Father.

A lack of rest can lead to exhaustion, burn out, and overlooking what God has for you now. When we focus too much on what needs to be done tomorrow, we miss what God wants to speak to us today. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Not only does Jesus want us to experience rest, He wants us to experience the kind of rest only He can provide. This is a rest where we stop relying on ourselves and instead trust Him to get us to our destination. He will make known to you the “path of life” (Psalm 16:11). You just have to be willing to trust Him enough to let Him show it to you.

Jesus was in it for the long haul. While He prioritized being active in His ministry, He also prioritized resting in His Heavenly Father. Finding rest is not a matter of laziness, but a matter of faith. Being willing to stop and rest in God requires trust. Trust that your Heavenly Father will fulfill His purpose in you.