How to Receive the Rest Jesus Promised – The Crosswalk Devotional

How to Receive the Rest Jesus Promised
By Aaron D’Anthony Brown

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

No Rest for the Wicked

Jesus offers a promise of rest to you and to me, but in order to receive it, we have to follow Him. Now, I can’t speak for you, but in my experience, I don’t know how much I need rest until becoming both weary and burdened. Then, suddenly, Jesus’ words make so much sense. Sometimes, I try to find rest in the world, but that rest is so temporary. Food, games, and even people don’t offer me the same nourishment that I find in Christ. Yet, even while knowing this, at times, I still forget where to go when my cup runs empty.

Being as sinful as we are in this workaholic culture, our attention constantly vacillates between what’s important and what’s not. Very often, the not-important, like squabbles on the internet or the approval of other people, outweighs what should be important, chiefly our devotion to God. We can easily find ourselves pursuing frivolous things, but we don’t usually recognize our folly until becoming overwhelmed. Then, when we need help, we start calling on God.

We don’t actually have to wait for the soul-crushing experiences to find rest. The beauty of finding rest in Christ is that it’s available to us always. Not just during the Sabbath or when we’re in church or small group. We can meet Jesus in spite of any circumstances. So, what has left you feeling weary in life?

Have you been striving to make something work, make something happen, or get over something? Doing things our way doesn’t always give us what we want. However, following Christ always gives us what we need.

Today, let that mean giving up the incessant striving and finding rest because the only viable solution to living a life of weariness and burdens is to abide in Christ.

Intersecting Faith & Life:

Practically speaking, to abide in something is to remain or stay. When we talk about abiding in Christ, we’re talking about constantly seeking Him through obedience, wisdom, and prayer every day. Though we don’t always recognize the need for rest, there is always a need. Here are some steps you can take today to find rest for your weary soul.

Set Restful Boundaries

In this busybody culture of ours, a better way to live is to find fewer ways to work and more ways to spend time with God. Believe it or not, He doesn’t need you to finish your to-do list. You might be anxious about it, but He isn’t. In fact, Scripture speaks constantly about not being afraid. Living in a state of constant pursuit of worldly things leaves us tired, and at worst, we want to give up. Thankfully, we don’t have to give up or get overwhelmed when we set restful boundaries.

This includes knowing when to say no to others so that you can rest, setting a bedtime, having a scheduled time to connect with God, and knowing how much on your schedule is enough. Without boundaries, we’re bound to fall into the temptation of wanting to do more.

Find a Community

Being around believers is crucial for finding rest. Not only can they provide accountability for those restful boundaries, but they can point you back to God when you lose your way. We all need reminders from time to time about His greatness. You won’t find that outside of your faith community.

Take Breaks

Rest should always be pursued, but rest will look different depending on the day or even season of life. What’s key is knowing what works for you and your schedule. For example, rest could come in the form of a vacation that you take for two weeks. Rest could also mean walking away from the work computer for five minutes. Both offer relief from stress and an opportunity to reconnect with Jesus. Whatever you do, be intentional and consistent.

Imitate Christ

Jesus took breaks during His ministry and encouraged His followers to do the same. If we are to be imitators of Jesus, then we should likewise not wait to be overwhelmed but pursue rest. The point of life is worship, not living for ourselves. We do this best when we prioritize rest.

Pray While Resting

The purpose behind rest is connecting with God, not just avoiding stress. When we use this time for prayer, we enrich our relationship with the Lord and oftentimes, find that we are losing sight of Him in face of our present circumstances. Therefore, seek God in your rest to find the peace and strength that you have been lacking. Without Him, the rest you will find will be short-lived and empty. But through Him, you and I will find an abundant life.

Further Reading (and Listening):
Mark 6:31-32
Psalm 127:2
Psalm 4:8
“Breathe Into Me Oh Lord (Psalm 119:25)
Psalm 42 by Tori Kelly

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio 

aaron brown profile pic bioAaron D’Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes to Salem Web Network’s Crosswalk platform and supports various clients through the freelancing website Upwork. He’s an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. 

Get in touch at and check out his short story “Serenity.” 

Check out fantastic resources on Faith, Family, and Fun at! 

Related Resource: Bold Prayers: Asking God to Reveal the Roots of Our Anxiety

Sometimes, anxiety can hit without any recognizable provocation, or our anxiety can feel more intense than the situation warrants. When we find ourselves in that place, we can pray the prayer ancient Israel’s second king, David, prayed at the end of Psalm 139, trusting that our God will and is leading us to increased freedom. Listen in to this episode of Faith Over Fear and have your mind and heart fixed on the truth you need for your day! If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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