Take a break from life’s stresses and worries by meditating on these bible verses about rest. Find peace, comfort, and motivation in God’s word and be intentional about cultivating a lifestyle of true rest!
As a mom of two littles and a full-time dentist, I am constantly trying to find ways to enhance my relaxation time. One of the best ways to be intentional about cultivating a lifestyle I find rest in God is to meditate on his word. Meditating on verses about rest opens your mind to the truth of what God’s heart for rest is. It’s a powerful way to speak truth into your life.
When I focus on the truths found in the word of God, I can feel the tension leaving my mind and body. As I continue to dwell on God’s word and meditate on these bible verses about rest, the stress and worry I felt melts away and I am surrounded by peace that can only come from God.
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What does the bible say about rest?
You can find the word rest in the bible 257 times in 265 verses. In the Old Testament its mostly seen as the Hebrew word “nuach” which means to rest or be quiet. This is often synonymous with the word “shabat” which means to cease or to rest.
The New Testament presentation of rest in the bible, is seen in the Greek form “anapausis”. This word means cessation or refreshment.
Rest, quiet, ceasing, and refreshment. This is the whole picture of rest in the bible. Its also so very far removed from our day to day lives. God desires for us to live a life doing work that allows for quiet, calmness, stability and tranquility.
He calls us to rest so that we can be restored and strengthened. He wants to guide us and remind us of his plans for us. The world desires that we are always busy and live in a constant state of overwhelm.
31 Powerful Bible verses about Rest
When we prayerfully meditate on God’s word our mind is transformed. The truth that we live by is replaced with the truth of the word of God and our lives become more stable. Knowing the Holy Bible intimately allows us to be more sensitive to the holy spirit.
This sensitivity allows us to see God’s goodness more readily in our life which in turn increases our faith. Increased faith from meditating on the following bible verses about rest and trusting in God creates an atmosphere where we don’t have to stress or worry, we can embrace the rhythm of resting and working that we were created for!
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
When the Lord created the universe he did it in a way that he modeled how we should behave. He did not need the seventh day to rest, but he knew in his sovereignty that we would need moments to slow down and rest in him. When we follow his example we find that we are more productive in our work and we can better participate in walking in the purposes he created us for.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.
“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.
but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.
“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work, and you shall keep a feast to the LORD seven days.
The previous scripture quotations show us just how important rest was to God. Throughout the Old Testament, God gave instructions to rests, during remembrances, and festivals. In our humanity, we took this literally and made it a bar to reach. But the truth was, God knew that in our own understanding of living, we would work with not reprieve or true rest. He gave us the sabbath as a gift letting us know it is okay to rest!
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
God restores us during rest
The Lord will always provide for you. Whether it is through His word or a song of worship, He always provides the exact thing you need to give you rest on this journey. He desires that we walk through this life alongside him. He longs for us to listen for his ques for rest and work. He wants to be able to full you up with more of him for the journey and to keep you restored.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
This psalm of David reminds us that fear and worry keep us from experiencing the spiritual rest that God promises us!
We gain peace of mind in rest
Anxiety will steal the joy that the Lord gives. Our Father in heaven is standing near us with arms outstretched waiting for us to stop and to lay our anxieties before Him. His will for us is that we are filled with His peace and that we allow Him to guard our fragile hearts and minds.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Soul weariness is a real thing. The uncertainty that seems to be all around us can be draining and cause us to feel stressed out and anxious. The only place our souls can find true rest is in the Lord. He is our source of peace during the storm. He is our strength when we are worn out.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
The bible tells us that God created good works for us all before we were born. These works make up our purpose and the unique ways that we can bring glory to God’s name. However, we have to remember that our ultimate purpose.
The reason God created us was for himself.
He gives us purpose, but our purpose is work that we do alongside God. In this way he is like a parent creating a day of fun activities to do with their children. When we follow his example of rest we open space to make our every action an opportunity to rest in the Lord more.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.
We receive God’s mercy in rest
There are times when we use busy-ness to avoid what we do not want to do. This can be because of fear or human stubbornness. We may hide from quiet-time because in rest we are brought to the true picture of ourselves, and we may have to deal with areas of life we do not feel ready to confront. Be certain, however, that there is mercy attached to the times of solitude, where we allow the prompting of the holy spirit to reveal the areas that God wants to work on with us. When we rest and listen to Him, He is faithful to renew, forgive, and grant abundant mercy.
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased!
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,
We gain strength in rest!
In our strength, we can do nothing, but in the strength of our Lord, anything is possible. When we stop, wait, and rest in Him, He will provide us with the things we need to keep pressing forward!
Learning to rest in the Lord can be hard, but the benefits are life-changing!
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
I love how much of an example our Lord Jesus was throughout his time on earth! His consistent posture of stepping away and resting in and before the Lord shows us the true importance of rest!
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”
In the end, the answer to the question “How do I rest in the Lord?” is Jesus. The burden of surrendering everything to Jesus is ultimate rest from our weariness. He is the reason we are able to go before the father, his sacrifice solidified our victory over weariness, stress, anxiety and endless striving.
Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
Jesus often reminded us what God had commanded us to do throughout his ministry. Here he reminds us that Sabbath rest was given to us because there was a need that we had for rest. Rest is a tool that allows us to get closer to God, not a requirement that binds us to laws. Resting in the Lord should be considered similarly.
When we rest in the Lord it should be considered a privilege we get. Moments where we find rest in God are moments that we get to connect with the creator of the universe and be filled with his holy presence and peace.
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
In this scripture, Jesus beckoned his disciples to step away from the work they were doing and to rest (anapauo-greek) (and eat HALLELUJAH). Jesus knew that we wouldn’t stop to take care of our selves, particularly when we were doing something that we saw great importance in! He knew he would have to gently nudge us towards rest!
God wants us to rest. He also knew that we would need an example. We as women like to take care of things! It is in us to get things done and take care of people, but our father didn’t want us to live in this state of striving. So he gave us example after example after example of how to rest in the bible.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.
Rest is a gift from the Lord. When he created us, he could have created us for constant movement and doing. That lifestyle is what society says we should be vying for. This is not God’s intention.
He created us to work hard, but also to return to him and receive the gift of rest that he created for us. It is only in his rest that we can truly be wholly restored from our labor.
1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
So what is proper rest? What does it mean to truly rest in the Lord? Well here are a few additional frequently asked questions about rest in the bible.
How many times is rest mentioned in the bible?
Rest is mentioned in the bible 257 times, with that many instances it’s obvious that God does not intend us to live the lives of busy striving that have become the norm in our society. Living a life of striving encourages weariness and self-sufficiency.
What does it mean to rest in the Lord?
Resting in the Lord means to let go of the worries, cares, and concerns that consume our minds and keep us busy. When we rest in God, we are telling him that we trust his will and divine plan for our lives!
Learning to rest in God encourages the life that we were created to live. A life where we lean on God for our peace and guidance. When we rest in the Lord and follow his example of work and rest we not only find his peace, but we are able to better hear his voice as we allow room for quiet in the margins of life that rest allows.
Godly rest will restore your soul
When you are soul tired and rest feels like an indulgence, remember that you were created not to strive but to thrive in the Lord. Resting in him allows you to be the you he created you to be. It gives you space to receive his peace in exchange for your worries, stress, and anxiety.
Believing the lie of society to strive can lead to illness, injury or worse. Meditating on the verses about rest and scriptural promises for God’s rest allows you to rest in God and live the life he made you for.