Resting in a Busy World

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

MATTHEW 11:28-29

So often, the world feels frantic. We wake to the sound of urgent alarms and rush from one activity to the next.

Interrupting our busy schedules can feel unthinkable—we worry we’ll fall behind. The world screams at us to buckle down, to grind, to work even harder.

But Scripture encourages us to pause and turn to God instead.

In a world that moves at such an unsustainable pace, how do we find time to rest?

Find your why.

God created us for purposeful work. But there’s a difference between doing meaningful work and letting that work become our identity. The second we cross the line, we’re caught in a vicious cycle.

Taking time to rest is the extreme opposite of what the world asks of us.

But, it’s something God consistently instructs us to do throughout the Bible.

From the very beginning, God modeled rest, and He commanded us to make rest part of our weekly rhythm.

Maybe you recognize you need to rest because you notice something in your life is becoming more important than God. Maybe it’s to prioritize your mental health. Maybe you’re simply exhausted.

Whatever it is, find a clear vision for why rest matters to you.

Schedule it on your calendar.

Time is one of our most valuable resources.

If we don’t schedule rest in advance, chances are something else will consume that resource.

One of the simplest ways to find rest is by planning when you’re going to do it. Try scheduling it on your calendar, and consider communicating the times to your family and friends.

Whether it’s 20 minutes or 24 hours, rest gives you room to appreciate and experience the things God created you to do.

Give yourself something to look forward to.

When you step back and slow down to draw closer to God, it’s likely going to feel uncomfortable or unsettling.

That probably means you’re doing it right.

When we rest, the temptation to fall into busyness becomes even greater. But true rest doesn’t always look like doing nothing.

When you schedule time to rest, plan to do something that brings you joy or peace.

This could include spending time appreciating God’s creation or cultivating a hobby God wired you to be passionate about.

Don’t do it alone.

God created us for community. We’re wired for relationships. And, those relationships can be one of the most tangible ways we experience God’s presence.

Finding a rhythm of rest isn’t something you have to do alone. Think about ways you can rest alongside your family or friends.

Resting together will help you to stay accountable when the world tries to pull you into work and activity.

Be relentless.

Practicing rest is a spiritual discipline. And, like any discipline, resting requires determination and self control.

When we choose not to rely on our own effort and let Jesus take over, we surrender our shame, striving, and expectations. In return, we experience God’s perfect peace.

Rest helps us enjoy God’s presence and realign our priorities.

Rest allows us to trust that God is working even when we aren’t.

Rest is how we trust our Savior enough to say “enough.”

Want to pause in God’s presence right now?

Open Guided Prayer

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No matter what, you’re part of something bigger than yourself. You’re part of a community.

Start a Plan with a friend, pray for one another, and watch your community and faith grow.

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Something incredible is happening.

Since 2017, our YouVersion Community has generously given to Bible for Everyone—a movement focused on providing every person on the planet access to Scripture.

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God is doing amazing things through our Community’s generosity. And this is just the beginning…

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“Where is God when I feel alone?”

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Even when you feel alone, God is still with you.

But if God is near, why don’t you feel His presence or have His peace?

Elijah was a faithful servant of God, yet he struggled with loneliness. After defeating the false prophets of Baal, he was fearful, and hid in a cave scared, defeated, and completely alone.

But, God had not abandoned him.

If God feels distant, here are three reminders about his character from Elijah’s story.

  1. You can be honest with God about how you’re feeling.

    God appeared to Elijah and asked, “What are you doing here?”

    Elijah replied, “I am the only prophet left, and now they are trying to kill me too.

    Elijah was honest with God. He was scared for his life and doubted how God could use his situation for good.

    But his honesty did not scare or offend God.

    Like a close friend, God didn’t leave Elijah in his time of need. And, the same is true for you. Never will He leave you or forsake you.

  2. Even when you don’t feel Him, God is always with you.

    Elijah’s life was in danger, so he did the only thing he could think of—hide.

    When we are afraid, we can forget God’s promise to be with us and rely on our own strength to survive.

    Even when we forget God’s promise, He reminds us that He is near.

    God told Elijah to stand on the mountain. A powerful wind tore the mountain apart. After the wind, was an earthquake. After the earthquake, came a fire.

    But God wasn’t in the wind, earthquake, or fire.

    After the fire, came a gentle whisper. And it was in that moment that Elijah immediately knew that God was with him.

    We often look for God in the big moments in our lives, but He is also in the stillness.

  3. God reveals what you can’t see.

    Elijah believed he was the only one left who still believed in God.

    But God revealed that 7,000 in Israel did not bow in worship to Baal.

    Elijah felt like he was the only one, but God reminded him that he was not.

    Loneliness doesn’t always come from being alone. It can come from thinking you’re alone, too.

Like Elijah, maybe you’re in a place where you feel isolated, abandoned, or forgotten.

Just remember, you don’t have to feel God to know that He is near. God is always with you.


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What Does This Mean?

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Do you ever find yourself reading verses in the Bible multiple times, trying to understand what they mean?

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