We need rest. One of the ways that interrogators break people down is by not letting them rest. Most of us know that when we push too hard without rest that our productivity decreases while our irritability increases. We need physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual rest.
Physical rest is crucial to our overall health and productivity. Getting enough sleep is something we, in the modern world, struggle to do. We have little time to slow down. We rush to work, we rush home, we veg in front of a screen. If watching sports or politics gets us worked up, then we try to rush to sleep. One of my favorite things right now is going to bed early with my wife. We can just talk about our day for a few minutes before she goes to sleep and then I can pray, think, and slowly drift off to sleep. Going to bed early means I can get up early, while the house is quiet, to read, pray, and just enjoy the silence. This change in my schedule not only lets me get enough sleep but better sleep.
The bookends of quiet time before bed and rising in the morning also help my emotional and mental health. It allows me to process my day or prepare for the upcoming day. It gives me the opportunity to sit back and look at life. I can read a history book or biography to help me gain perspective. They remind me of each generation’s difficulties and God’s Providence. Most important, it ensures my devotional time does not get rushed or even swallowed up by the demands of the day.
Spiritual rest in Jesus is desperately needed, even by some Christians. Growing up outside the Reformed tradition, I have had to unlearn the theology of my youth and learn the assurance of salvation that comes in Christ. I was taught as a youth that you could lose your salvation. Unconfessed sin would send you to hell. While there was faith, it was up to you to follow the rules. It was like the game children play with a daisy, ‘He loves me, he loves me not!’ As a teenage boy this was a real challenge. There was no resting in Christ. God was at one moment a loving father full of promises and hope, while the next a wrathful judge ready to send me to hell. How thankful I was in the fall of 1994. I listened to Dr. Morton Smith read the Westminster Standards in class. For the first time, I understood what assurance was ours in Jesus Christ. Finally, I could rest in Christ.
Christ is the key to all rest. Physically, it is Jesus that allows us to sleep in peace. The eye of the Lord is upon us and he does not slumber or sleep. We sleep knowing the Lord watches over us. Emotionally and mentally, we know that Jesus is King and that the Lord’s will is being done. Spiritually, we know that the Lord does not lose any of His people. If you have genuine faith, you can rest in the genuine love of Jesus for you.
How important it is that we learn to rest in Jesus. In a world today rocked by unrest, we need to rest in Jesus. We need to rest in Jesus because the future on earth is uncertain, but eternity with Him is not.