“Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
What wonderful words of Jesus those are, that capture the essence of the gospel message that is all through the Bible. Jeremiah spoke of the “broken cisterns” of worldly and human methods of assuaging the deep needs of our inner selves. “You left the fountain of living water for this,” he declares (2:13), in regard to their departure from doing things God’s way, to godless, worldly living.
Coming to God should be a habitual, lifelong habit. It can start from the comfort that a little child feels from being tucked in and prayed over at night. For others it is more harrowing than that. But we all need to come. We have all fallen short. When we sense how shabby we are, left to ourselves, we come running to Jesus. We come for cleansing, because there is no other fountain that can cleanse our inner stains. We keep coming, because He is the One who thrills our souls and gives our lives significance.
We are moved to come because we find in Jesus the only one who can give rest to the soul. Perhaps the ultimate expression of that rest is what we call “peace with God.” It is expressed beautifully in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And in Philippians 4:7 we read of the “peace of God that passes understanding” that guards our hearts and minds. We understand that in Christ, God’s “anger is turned away” and we are comforted, Isaiah 12:2
Guilt, stress, turmoil, confusion, trouble, unhappiness, anger, bitterness, and resentment are part of the human condition of people without God. “There is no peace for the wicked says my God” was a statement of Isaiah. No doubt we still contend with some of those emotions even as believers, but we aren’t left there, because we can continually come to the One who gives rest, and He loves to give it abundantly.
To sum it up, we might say that every day is a Sabbath for those who walk with God in the light of His Word. May we let go of the things that prevent rest and embrace those that do.