Life can get busy, can't it? For most of us, that's an understatement. Life can feel impossibly busy sometimes. Too much to handle. Working in our own strength, we may feel as though we're drowning. We thank God, however—He includes rest in His plan for our lives, as outlined in His Word.
First of all, what is rest? The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a few definitions. The first is self-evident: To get rest by lying down, especially in sleep. Somewhat helpful, but this doesn't explain what that ever-elusive rest might be.
The next two definitions the dictionary offers dig down into what "getting rest" looks like: To cease from action or motion; refrain from labor or exertion, and To be free from anxiety or disturbance.
Finally, we gather a noteworthy aspect of the word "rest" in the fourth definition: To remain confident; trust.
This framework dovetails nicely into Scripture's wisdom.
As early as Genesis 2:2, we see God rest: "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done." Later, He instituted rest as a regular part of each week in the Sabbath: "Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed" (Exodus 23:12).
Jesus embodied rest in Matthew 11:28-29 when He said, "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."
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul ties together the example and command God gave in Genesis and Exodus with his newfound rest in Jesus: "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9). What an encouragement for us—God's grace is sufficient!
Thanks to His work, example, command, and promise, we can remain confident and trust the Lord enough to cease from action or motion; refrain from labor or exertion. In examining Scripture, where Jesus says to the raging storm, "Peace! Be still!" (Mark 4:39), we can trust God to calm our "busyness storms" too, and be free from anxiety or disturbance. Putting our cares in our Father's hands, we can echo the psalmist, who says, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8). At last, along with King David, we can get rest by lying down!
When the busyness of life threatens to drown us, we find rest in God's Word. If you haven't already, consider regular Bible listening through Faith Comes By Hearing’s free Bible.is app, which features Scripture audio, video, and text in 1,800+ languages. But don't take our word for it—hear what regular Bible listeners from around the world have to say about resting in Scripture.
"My father- and mother-in-law weren't believers. My wife and I prayed and prayed for them, but they remained unconvinced. A few months ago, we attended a 40-day Gospel listening program, and my wife and I listened to the assigned chapters every day. We are so thankful—it helped us to know Jesus and His teaching better.
"The most precious gift God gave us during the program, however: My father- and mother-in-law believed in Jesus, and they asked me if they can be baptized! My pastor gladly did so. Now, why did they have a change of heart? Because I installed Bible.is on their smartphone and encouraged them to listen, which they were eager to do! So it is true that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Praise Him!" – Pacific/Oceania
"I was frustrated by how the sin in my life controlled me—especially my dishonesty and hot temper. I could not even pray. Now I have listened to the New Testament twice and am no longer controlled by lying and anger.
"When I received a Proclaimer in my language from my pastor, he encouraged me to start a listening group for women. So I taught all the young women in my community how to listen to God's Word. Since then, more than 50 people have come to Christ." – Africa
"I struggled with loneliness. I am the only Christian in my village. Walking the fields alone, I tend my flocks where there is no electricity or cell service. I rely on my Proclaimer while the animals graze. Listening to God's Word when I am out in the pastures brings comfort and encouragement.
"At the end of our workday, as all the village shepherds come in from the fields, my Proclaimer plays. There is little else to do at night, so the other shepherds have started to listen with me. Every evening, they hear Scripture in their language and ask me questions about God." – Asia
In the midst of the busyness of life, listen to the Audio Bible. You will find true and peaceful rest!
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