Finding Rest Amidst Chaos
As the world appears to be spinning out of control and most of us do not know which end is up at any given moment, the concept of rest has been coming up in podcasts, conversations, and in my Bible study this week in Hebrews.
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. (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Today’s thought is not original to me. I heard it somewhere, but I can’t get it off my mind. Let’s take a look at God’s Sabbath rest in Genesis 1 and the start of chapter 2. What follows is a list of what God created each day, along with what Scripture records at the end of each day.
How it all started.
The very first verse of our Bible is:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
God created day and night.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (v. 5)
God created sky, with water above and below.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. (v. 8)
God created land, sea and vegetation.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. (v. 13)
God created sun and moon.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day. (v. 19)
God created sea creatures and birds.
And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. (v. 23)
God created wild animals, livestock and creatures that crawl on the ground, as well as creating humans!
And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (v. 31)
How the creation week ended
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. (Genesis 2:1)
God’s Sabbath rest
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (Genesis 2:2-3)
What is missing??
“And there was evening, and there was morning—the seventh day.”
There is no bible reference for this because one does not exist! I am not pretending to understand what this means exactly, but I think there is something here. It appears God’s rest is ongoing. I wondered this week what kind of rest is available to us already.
Rest for our souls.
Jesus promises to teach us how to take on His yoke, and in so doing we will find rest for our souls: 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. Matthew 11:29
What rest has my soul experienced this week?
Rest in His sovereignty. God’s Story for history is unfolding and no one can mess it up. Even suffering, wickedness and evil cannot stop history from culminating in the return of Christ and establishing heaven on earth for all of eternity.
Keeps me from feeling hopeless.
Rest in relationship. I have a personal relationship with the holy Creator of the universe through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus. I get to walk right into the King’s throne room without asking permission: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Keeps me talking with God.
Rest in the knowledge that He sees me. He knows the decisions each of us makes by faith. It’s our secret, but God sees and records it all. We will not only be rewarded, He will use each act of faith in ways beyond our comprehension.
Keeps me feeling acknowledged.
Rest in the promise my life will bear fruit. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5) All you and I have to do is walk with Jesus in order to bear fruit for the Kingdom. We may never see the fruit, but our lives will bear fruit.
Keeps me feeling useful.
Rest in safety. A long time ago I took karate to keep myself safe. Not a good reason. I can’t keep myself safe. I don’t have to configure my life in ways to feel safe or keep myself safe. God keeps me safe: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
Keeps me more relaxed.
Rest in prayer. He hears every word uttered about each precious person in my life, my emotions and thoughts, my dreams and desires. He knows I have invited His power into each situation. When my heartaches and heart’s desires are handed to Him, He then has them: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)
Keeps me from panicking.
Rest in God’s perfection. Since God is holy, there is no blemish in Him and He cannot make a mistake. This means He cannot make a mistake with me. Everyone else can, but not God. His perfection has always been my favorite characteristic.
Keeps me from doubting.
Complete rest. There will be a day when our rest will be complete. We will no longer be resisting temptation, our lives will have been lived, and our eternity will be our reality. Until then, I have enjoyed pondering the Sabbath rest available to us now, and I strive to enjoy it as much as I can as world events and circumstances swirl chaotically around me.
May the coming week bring rest to your souls.
Picture Explanation: This week’s sky pictures were sent to me from Monika and Cait. God is showing off and showing us how big and beautiful He is.
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