Do you feel like the world around you is pushing you to always go faster and do more? Whether you’re in school, working a job, or involved in a hobby, you’re constantly told that the more you do the better you are. High school students are expected to get straight A’s, be involved in sports, and commit to student leadership, all while trying to have the social life that teenagers deeply desire. Those in college are encouraged to take a full class load along with working to pay for their schooling. In order to succeed in a career, it is expected that employees work more than their 40 hours a week at the most efficient pace possible.
Social factors contribute to this constant stress as well. A desire to “keep up with the Joneses” pushes us to work more, even taking second jobs, just to keep pace with the financial status of others. Along with this, the rise of social media has caused us to constantly criticize ourselves based on a comparison with other people’s posts.
Furthermore, most of the world’s religions teach that you must do. Each person must work really hard and follow many rules. It is only then that they have the best chance of making it into “heaven.”
No wonder so many people in our world are suffering from extreme amounts of stress, anxiety, and depression. With expectations constantly growing but rarely met, it is so easy for us to become completely overwhelmed. It is in these moments that we begin to wonder if maybe we can’t do everything required of us.
The truth is, we can’t do it all. Not a single one of us can achieve perfection. We will continue to make mistakes and there will always be more that we could have done. The Bible explains this by telling us we are all sinners: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
This is a big problem. In order for us to be considered righteous and enter Heaven, God requires us to be perfect: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). We are all sinners who fall short of God’s perfect standard.
But there is good news! While the world is constantly telling you to do, Jesus says “come.” God knew that we couldn’t achieve His perfect standard on our own, so in His amazing love He sent His Son Jesus to be a perfect sacrifice for us (John 3:16).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born as a baby in the town of Bethlehem. Over the next 30 years He grew and matured as a human, living His life without sin. At this point, He began a public ministry. During these next three years He performed many miracles and preached God’s message to the people, all proving that He was God. At the age of 33 Jesus died on the cross. Three days later He rose from the grave and appeared to many (1 Corinthians 15:4-6). Finally, He ascended into Heaven where He waits until the day He returns to judge the living and the dead.
In His death on the cross, Jesus did what we could never do. He took the wrath of God that we deserved, promising that anyone who believes on Him will receive His righteousness. “For He [God] hath made Him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Obtaining the righteousness of Christ qualifies us to enter the presence of God and allows us to have a personal relationship with God throughout all eternity.
Jesus did because you couldn’t. Now He says, “Come unto Me … I will give you rest.”
You must recognize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and come to Jesus! Turn to Him in faith and He will take away the penalty for your sin and bring you into a relationship with Him. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
All who come to Him and receive salvation will find true rest, both now and forever. The world’s difficulties will still bring stress, but those who come to Jesus can rest in knowing that He gave what they could never earn. Christians can look to God during all seasons of life and echo the words of David: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).
While walking with Jesus, by regularly reading the Bible and praying, the Christian’s rest increases. This rest does not come because life around them gets easier, but because God provides a comfort that cannot be found in the world. “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Those who regularly walk in faith will cast their worries on God and will be given His peace!
Furthermore, all who place their faith in Jesus have a certain hope of spending eternity with God! “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). The stress, anxieties, and heartaches of this life will no longer be present. God’s people will be able to enjoy an eternal rest in the presence of their loving Savior!