We know from the Bible that Sabbath rest is an important discipline for any Christian. But, with busy schedules and stressful mornings, getting to church can sometimes feel like just another thing on an ever-growing to-do list. If you have ever felt this way before, you are not alone. We all struggle with the tension of work and rest in our lives. But take heart that the extra effort to prioritize rest will be well worth the replenishment it brings our hearts and souls for the week ahead.
Sabbath rest gives us a much-needed reprieve from our works and worries.
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”
From the beginning of time, God modeled for us a rhythm of rest (Genesis 2:2-3). He knew that human beings desperately needed the recharge, not just physically but spiritually. And our source of sustenance is God himself (Psalm 54:4). When we feel helplessly empty, we can rely on the Lord to overflow his grace and mercy into us time and time again. Prioritizing Sabbath rest reminds us to rest in the presence of God, to offer up our shortcomings to him, and to spend quality time in relationship with him and in fellowship with other believers. God’s rest requires that we set aside our works to set our hearts on him.
Sabbath redirects our gaze to the cross.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy leaden, and I will give you rest.”
Life is busy, and it is easy to get caught up in the hustle of it all. When we make works our priority, we push past our human limitations and quickly enter burnout. But Jesus calls out to the weary, the burdened, the worried, and the overwhelmed. He offers us his peace and his rest. He encourages us to cast our burdens on him (Psalm 55:22). The Lord, our suffering servant, bore the weight of our sins on the cross and ultimately delivered us into right standing with God. We are not saved by our works (Ephesians 2:8), but by our Savior’s work on the cross. We can rest in the truth of his grace and the comfort of gospel hope.
Sabbath reminds us that true refreshment comes from him.
“It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day, he rested and was refreshed.”
When we put our hope in ourselves or in other worldly things, we will always run on empty. But those “who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
God replenishes his children. Our time with him is never wasted and is always worth the effort. When we stay connected to him through prayer, fellowship, and time reading the Bible, he nurtures our growth and reminds us to enter a posture of humility as we rely on him more.
Sometimes, the idea of rest can seem impossible when we have so much to do. But intentionally honoring the Sabbath transforms us from the inside out and restores Christ to the throne of our lives. It reminds us that we do not have to frantically chase after works. His grace has justified us. It reminds us that Christ is the ultimate representation of true rest and the fulfillment of our every need. It reminds us that the Lord refreshes and strengthens us through relationship and dependence on him. Sabbath was made for us, to offer the rest and renewal that can only come from our Sustainer and Savior.