February 26, 2016

Work and Rest

Hebrews 4:7-11

Anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

—  Hebrews 4:10

When was the last time you had a day off? For some of us, taking time off is easy. As soon as we go home from the workplace, we also leave all the cares of the working world behind. For others, taking time off is nearly impossible. We may leave our workplace in body, but in our minds we continue to churn through the work we have to do. Our cell phone continues to ring, and we constantly check our email.

Learning to rest is vital, not only for our body and mind but also for our soul. Our reading today points us to the true rest that God gives us in Jesus. In Jesus, we enjoy the deep-seated rest of knowing that our life is fully and completely in God’s care, and that our true identity is found in belonging to Jesus. We are not the mere sum of our professional successes and failures. We are not what we accomplish. We are not our job title. Ultimately, our work is not what provides for our needs. God is our provider, our protector, and our redeemer, and he is our true and deepest rest.

By resting from our work each week, we are publicly declaring to ourselves and others that we depend on God’s care for us. Are you practicing the rest that God intends for you?

Lord Jesus, you have accomplished for us the work we most need: you have paid the debt of our sin. Because of that, we can rest even as we work. Help us to learn to trust in your perfect care for us so that we may also practice rest. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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