In today’s dynamic and fast-moving age, Bible verses about rest are some of the easiest to miss and hardest to apply. It’s time to reverse that trend.
In this blog, I want to suggest that the essence of Scripture is not only ‘action-packed’ but it is also ‘rest-packed’. As we search Scripture for Godly purpose, trying to understand our ‘call to action’, we must also see much of God’s holy word – in the midst of our fast-paced and busy lives – as a call to rest.
Here’s 5 Bible verses about rest to remind you that God loves and gives rest. He longs for you to experience His rest. Rest is not just a scriptural suggestion. It is a Christian essential. Consequently, as you read, give yourself explicit permission to rest this week.
Rest is found in God’s Presence
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14
As Moses stood weary and frustrated in the wilderness with a whole generation of Israelites grumbling behind him, God spoke a word of deep reassurance to him: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”. What a stunning promise! There is comfort in this for us all. Of all the Bible verses about rest, this is perhaps my favourite. For within this simple phrase lies a foundational principle: the God who now lives in us through the power of His spirit is a giver of rest. In God’s presence, we find rest.
If you are a follower of Jesus, the Spirit of God lives within you. His presence is with you and He has promised not to leave or forsake you. That presence is a source of rest for you today. As you engage with Christ in you, you will find rest. Consequently, allow yourself to pause and slow down. Remind yourself that God is with you and seek to encounter the rest that is available to you in Him. His presence will go with you and He will give you rest.
Rest is found in knowing God’s Provision
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.” Psalm 23:1-2
God’s presence is not only the source of rest. It is also all that we need. Read that again. Jesus is all that we need! When the Lord is our shepherd, we know that we lack nothing. Revelation of this reality is a fount of true rest. Regardless of our circumstances or material wealth, if we have Christ, we have all that we need. Everything else is peripheral.
Whatever you need today, go to Jesus. Allow Him to refresh your soul. Ask Him to lead you beside the quiet waters if everything in your life is exploding right now. Trust in His provision. Remember it is not ‘bread alone’ (the material things of this world) that sustains you, but the living, breathing Word of God (Matt. 4:4). Rest in Christ’s sufficient provision.
Rest is found in following God’s Direction
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
As the prophet Jeremiah preached to convict the hearts of the unfaithful Israelite people, he delivered a powerful key, direct from the mouth of the Lord, for unlocking deep rest in their lives. This key was simple, but the Israelites had neglected it: seek out the ways of God and follow them resolutely. In obedience (perhaps an unlikely source), Godly rest can be experienced.
There’s a lot we can learn from these ancient words. Indeed, the same is true for us today as Christians. In following God, our souls find rest. As we obey His commands, we begin to live as we have always been designed to live. In resisting the ways of the world and following Jesus, we align ourselves with the life and light of Christ. This rhythm of living is the secret to true rest.
Ask yourself today: am I living as Jesus is asking me to live? Are my daily and weekly rhythms aligned for spiritual growth or am I overburdened and over-stressed by other demands? How can I re-balance those books? Pause and reflect on how you can better follow the ancient paths of God. Reflect on these Bible verses about rest. Jesus’ burden is easy and His yoke is light. As a result, when you follow Him, you will find rest for your soul.
Rest in found in pursuing a life of prayer
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
As our circumstances get busy and chaotic, prayer and gratitude are two things that can easily fall out. We often simply forget. Work is so stressful that it consumes our mind. Or our family life is of such complexity that we don’t feel like we even have a moment to think. Let Paul’s advice resonate with you today. Stop. Slow down for a moment. Present your requests to God. And find something, anything, to be grateful for.
Remind yourselves of God’s presence and, in a moment of simple prayer, discover His rest and His peace. He wants to give it to you.
Rest is found in the person of Jesus Christ
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Jesus teaches us, building on the principles of the rest of scripture, that true rest is found in Him. He is inviting us close. As we go to Him, weary and burdened, He will give us the gift of rest.
So today, if you are tired and exhausted, consider how you can accept Jesus’ invitation. Perhaps go for a walk in a beautiful park or woodland. Turn your phone off for 30 minutes to spend some quiet time in prayer. Seek out a happy place and simply be with Jesus. Draw close. Slow down. Take some deep breaths. Allow Him to give you His gift of rest.
Bible verses about rest: concluding thoughts
The more you look, the more you can discover the God who loves rest in the Bible. He doesn’t need you (or want you) to be going at full speed 24-7. Such a life is utterly unsustainable. God values rest, and so should you. Put it in your diary. Carve out some time. Read the Bible verses about rest. Head over to Glorify for meditations, worship and prayer that can help guide you into a place of rest.