A good book? Check.
An afternoon all to yourself? Check.
Mix those four ingredients together and you have a recipe for a perfect summer afternoon. So why can’t you relax? Why is your mind racing a mile a minute, as usual? What seems to be missing? There is one more secret ingredient needed for this dish and it is often overlooked – a spirit at peace.
For many of us, pushing the pause button is easier said than done, even during the summer months when life should slow down a little, giving us a chance to catch our breath and relax. But just as physical rest is necessary for a healthy body, spiritual rest is important for our spiritual well-being. And the best way to rest your spirit is to rest in the One who created you.
The notion of resting is a theme woven throughout Scripture beginning … well, at the very beginning.
On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work.
Genesis 2:2 NLT
Even God took a day to rest after creating the world and it’s a lesson He intends for us to follow. Here are six verses you can focus on this summer – verses to remind you to rest in God and lean into Him so you can relax and fully enjoy the season.
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.
Psalms 23: 1-2 NLT
In God, we have all that we need. No matter what. He knows the “green meadows” and “peaceful streams” that will restore and renew each of us. And He promises to deliver. When we walk with Him, we can count on Him for complete rest and restoration.
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat: for God gives rest to His loved ones.
Psalm 127: 2 NLT
Even with the best of intentions, we can easily slip back into the habit of counting on ourselves to meet our needs. We honor God with our work but not when it serves as a cover for our inability to trust in Him. Trusting in Him, while working and resting, is the key to renewal and refreshment.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life … your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Matthew 6: 25-34 NKJV
In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that worrying about the future is a waste of time. Instead, He reminds us that our heavenly Father values us above all else and He will care for us just as He does the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air.
“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.”
Matthew 11: 28-29 NIV
Responsibilities can be overwhelming but Jesus promises to help carry the load. And His shoulders are much bigger than ours! While He doesn’t promise a life without hard work and trials, He does promise to be our partner, participating with us and walking with us every step of the way.
Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4: 6-7 NASB
In this passage, Paul provides some great advice – he suggests we turn our worries into prayers. When we stop worrying and start praying we will be filled with the complete peace and rest that only God can provide.
I have told you these things so that, in Me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 NIV
The next time a restless spirit threatens to ruin a perfect summer day, stop and remind yourself that, in Jesus, the victory has already been won! God is in control, our destiny as believers is set, and things won’t fall apart when we pause to enjoy the beauty of the world around us.