5 Ways to Find Rest
Practical ways to seek God every day — even in the middle of hard seasons.
Study after study tells us that rest is critical for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Rest matters so much to God that He even made it one of His commandments. We know we should rest — so why don’t we? Here, we’ll look at why, when, where, and how we should rest, and even with whom.
1. Make Rest Your Friend
Rest — to relax, pause, breathe, and be at ease.
Rest is a gift that we too easily tend to push aside. But life without rest is not sustainable. Rest refreshes our bodies, giving us the energy we need to honor God and to love others. Learning to practice rest is a spiritual discipline that helps you enjoy God’s presence and realign your priorities.
God Himself modeled rest for us from the very beginning. Immediately after He finished creating the universe — and everything in it — he gave Himself a day to look back on the goodness of all the work that He had just completed.
Reflect: When was the last time you slowed down, unplugged, and relaxed? Stop. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and think back over your last few days.
2. Rest is a Gift
Sabbath — a time set aside for rest, typically one day per week.
In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to observe a Sabbath, one day a week when they would rest. In the New Testament, Jesus makes it clear that God intended the Sabbath more as a gift than as a law. It’s important to God that we rest.
Busyness often makes us feel like we’re accomplishing something important, but that feeling can be counterfeit. We often use activity to numb ourselves of our need for intimacy with God, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. We must be intentional to establish healthy boundaries around the different parts of our lives — work, family, rest, etc. — so that no one category becomes an idol in our lives.
Reflect: Do you have a specific time set aside each week when you don’t work? If not, what would it look like to begin to create a space like that in your life?
3. Find Your Place to Focus
Transformation — a process of profound change in character, condition, or composition.
In Romans 12, Paul urges us to let God transform us, to allow His Spirit to renew our minds. That renewal is an ongoing process, an intentional activity where we remove ourselves from the distractions and influences that surround us every day — just as Jesus modeled for us.
It’s important to find someplace quiet where we can realign our hearts and minds to what God is doing. Where do you focus best? Nestled in a corner of your kitchen with a cup of coffee? Out for a run, listening to worship music? Find somewhere that makes you feel close to God. Then make it a habit to get in that space daily to refocus your mind on Him.
Reflect: In your quiet space, take 5–10 minutes to think of things that may be bothering you. Each time you think of one, offer it to Jesus in prayer. (If it helps, write them down.)
4. Meditate on Scripture
Listen — to actively engage in hearing, giving thoughtful attention.
All Scripture is inspired by God. When we read or listen to God’s Word — and when we then actively reflect on what it says — over time, we learn to recognize God’s voice. Purposeful time in the Bible requires making it a priority to focus on just being with Jesus.
When you read or listen to Scripture, give it enough time and space to really let the words, the meaning, the tone, and the context wash over you. YouVersion offers hundreds of audio versions of the Bible, so it’s easy to just press Play and listen.
If you have a Google or Amazon voice activated device, you might enjoy listening to Psalms with YouVersion Rest. Simply try one of the following:
“Ok Google, open YouVersion Rest.”
“Alexa, open YouVersion Rest.”
Reflect: Set aside 30 minutes to read or listen to God’s Word. During that time, snooze your calendar and notifications. Take notes and journal your thoughts.
5. Find Your People
Community — a body of individuals who unite together in fellowship, sharing attitudes, interests, and goals.
Intimacy with God doesn’t mean shutting yourself off from other people. In fact, sometimes it means making space for them. Rest is the perfect time to celebrate life with people you love. We’re not made to do life alone. We need each other.
Think about the kind of people you want in your life — people who inspire you to be better, to be more like Jesus. You are directly influenced by the people you spend the most time with. Are the people you’ve allowed into your life helping you grow?
Reflect: Reach out and invite a friend to get together. Meet in person if you can, or at least connect on a video or voice call. Don’t set an agenda. Just show up and enjoy one another’s company. Afterwards, write down anything God showed you during your time together.