"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." Genesis 2:2
Few of us think very much about keeping a weekly Sabbath. “Sabbath” is often seen as an old term linked with dreary rules that limit what a person can do, or maybe even an “Old Testament thing” no longer applicable to Christians. But let’s take a deeper look!
Sabbath calls for celebration. God rested because He was fully satisfied with the perfection of His creation. He was not weary or tired. Rather, it was time to take joy in His work. This should be a principle for us, too. We need times to reflect and take joy in what God has done. “Be joyful always,” Paul encourages us. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
Sabbath involves worship. God pronounced the day he rested “holy” and blessed it. “Holy” involves being set apart and devoted to God. Our hearts, minds, and souls are renewed and blessed when we build into our lives a pattern of worship of our Creator and Redeemer. In worshipping Him we renew our strength for the journey ahead.
Sabbath involves living with hope. God has appointed a future rest for those who follow Jesus. Hebrews tells us that “the promise of entering his rest still stands.” (Hebrews 4:1) When we embrace Sabbath, we look ahead with hope because we know God will be faithful to fulfill His promises to us, and one day we will live in His presence forever.
God has made us to work, but He has made us to celebrate, worship, and live in hope, too. Through our labor we gain a living. Through devotion to the God of Sabbath we gain life!
God, You know exactly what we need. In Your wisdom You’ve called us to Sabbath rest. I know I need to slow down and take more time to celebrate and worship You and to have my hope renewed. Please help me experience Your rest this week. Amen.
As much as possible, make sure to keep one day this week free from draining tasks. Do something life giving and carry on a conversation with God as you do. Tell Him your frustrations and disappointments. Let Him renew your hope.
How has God recently given you hope for a challenge you are facing? Share a comment to encourage others.