How many of us want rest? I don’t mean a good night’s sleep (although that would be fantastic, wouldn’t it? What I mean is a genuine form of rest, rest for your soul, peace that doesn’t make sense within you, even if your circumstances are at war without you. Loved ones, we seek rest in many things. Some of us seek rest in our spouses. We hope relationships will fix us, that if somehow we find “the one,” our lives will be complete. Often, and this goes hand in hand with the first “source” of rest, we try and find rest in our kids (good luck with that one). And our kids, while we love them and would do anything for them, are going to leave us some day, even if they ARE the best kids in the world.
Friendships wax and wane like the moon and tides; things get old, wear out and/or break; jobs, eventually force us to retire, or we die trying. Or what about our vacations, toys, and tools? Don’t these bring us happiness? And then there’s our secret sins. Those things we run to whenever we’re hurt or angry, or those things that slip from us whenever we “lose control.” Those things, we hope no one will ever find or figure out, and we’re ashamed of them, but we keep going to them anyway. The point of all of this is that there is absolutely nothing in this world that can satisfy us. There is no rest for your soul anywhere in the world or what it has to offer.
I love my wife, I would die for her. Yet I know that if the Lord were to take her from me, I would be devastated, but my rest and hope does not lie in her. The same goes for my children. There is nothing in this world that brings me rest, comfort and peace, not even those I love the most. It is only in Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified where I have rest for my weary soul. He alone is my peace and my joy. I have no contentment in anything but Jesus. It is only when I go to Him, when I shut everything else off or down, and am just with Him that I experience true peace and joy. Loved ones, stop chasing down contentment. Stop chasing the things in life that bring temporary pleasures, and seek the One who offers you true and complete rest. Our Hope is not in anything or anyone else but Jesus, and until we drop to our knees and seek His face, we will never truly grasp anything close to rest.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”