By Donna Hughey

Most people can agree that rest and relaxation is a good thing. And with summer quickly approaching, vacations and weekend getaways are scheduled and planned with the expressed purpose of rejuvenating tired minds and bodies.

Like always, rest and relaxation mean different things to different people. A good book, a late night movie, or even dinner in a restaurant can have the same effect on a person as a weeklong vacation. But regardless of where we search for rest, one thing remains the same; rest is only a temporary fix in our fast-paced world.

However, when the Bible talks about rest, it isn’t referring to a summer vacation or a weekend getaway. In fact, there’s a huge difference between God’s rest and finding an escape from everyday life.

But what’s interesting is how God’s rest and our salvation are connected. To learn about this connection, we have to start at the beginning — at the start of creation.

Scripture teaches that God rested on the seventh day after creation (Genesis 2:3). He didn’t rest because he was tired and worn out; his work of creation was flawless and perfect, and he rested in its completion. In other words, there was nothing more to do; God was satisfied, creation was finished, and God commemorated that event by resting in its completion.

It’s the same way with our salvation. Christ has already done all the work by his sacrifice on the cross. And just like with creation, the sacrifice of Jesus was complete, flawless, and perfect for all eternity. This means believers can rest from trying to gain salvation on their own and instead, rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Jesus invites us to find rest in him — not just for one week out of the year, but for every day of our lives. Listen to what he says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

This is the kind of rest God wants his people to experience; to rest and relax in the knowledge of our salvation. Through faith in Jesus Christ we can have peace, confidence, and hope in the promises given from God.

This isn’t to say that summer vacations and weekend getaways aren’t necessary or needed. On the contrary, taking time off from work helps people to slow down and de-stress.

But remember, it’s only at the foot of the cross where believers can find true, complete, and perfect rest.

Donna Hughey is an award-winning Christian author and columnist. She lives in Crescent City.