Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

9 Ways To Get Rid of Stress and Finally Enjoy Biblical Rest

  • Bonnie Gray The Faith Barista
9 Ways To Get Rid of Stress and Finally Enjoy Biblical Rest

One challenge nobody warned me about when I became a starry-eyed mom was how laundry would soon become a stumbling block. Literally. I walk by the hallway where laundry baskets are lined up, and it looks like raccoons got into them. Despite my constant effort, I’m never caught up. And some days, I just want to give up. I just want to rest.

I think of stress in a similar way. I wake up and stress greets me, just like that pile of laundry. Sometimes, I walk right by and refuse to acknowledge its existence. If I don’t see it, it can’t touch me, right? But eventually, I’ll find myself trapped and surrounded by one anxious thought after another.

Stress seems to be so embedded in our modern lives that we’ve come to breathe it like oxygen. Emails, social media, doctor appointments, and a To Do list filled with growing unchecked boxes are all part of my reality.Is it possible to ever be free from stress when there is always work to be done?

God designed us to be fully alive: creative, engaged with community, and renewed by a sense of adventure. Without these elements of creativity, community, and adventure; we experience a different kind of stress – soul stress.

I was surprised to find that rest is one of three ambitions that the Bible explicitly calls us to in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet (restful) life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you.”

Hesuchazo is the Greek word used for “quiet” and “rest.” I was so intrigued by the ambition to rest, I looked up Scriptures using “Hescuchazo” and categorized the results into three buckets: Creativity, Adventure, and Community. Since then, I’ve learned to pursue rest and see it as a biblical ambition.

Here are nine ways for you to pursue biblical rest, even when a few unchecked boxes remain on your To-Do list.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

1. Choose a creative outlet.

1. Choose a creative outlet.

Take time out for creative exploration. Engage in activity where you are free to create something without it needing to be functional. Exercising creativity in a project that is functional and productive to your home or workplace is great, but that’s not what this about. Exploration is about observation and discovery. And it often feels pointless – until you find something amazing. Also, resist the urge to judge how you are doing.

For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His,Hebrews 4:10.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

2. Make time for rest.

2. Make time for rest.

“He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat,” Mark 6:31.

Jesus loved his disciples and cared for their wellbeing. Even though it was a short rest followed by a miracle, he told his disciples to take a break from their work and recharge. The world around you will often express its demands whether you have time for them or not. It’s important to schedule our whitespace and respect it. Step away from the daily routine, chill out, and eat.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

3. Enjoy God in your new adventures, like Moses insisted.

3. Enjoy God in your new adventures, like Moses insisted.

God told Moses something heart-wrenching in Exodus 22:1-3:

“Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised… Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

In the previous chapter, the Israelites had just broke God’s heart by making and worshipping a golden calf statue. God was faithful to provide the promised land, but he refused to go with these people any further. This distressed the now-repentant Israelites, and Moses begged to speak with God about it.

Exodus 33:12-17

“Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’…You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people. Then Moses said to [God], ‘If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?’ And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’”

We should be like Moses and go on the adventures that God has for us, but always go with God. Moses knew that God himself was more beautiful and more satisfying than any promised land.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

4. Enjoy the outdoors, and soak up nature.

4. Enjoy the outdoors, and soak up nature.

The whole earth is at rest and is quiet; They break forth into shouts of joy.” Isaiah 14:7

Being in nature brings our bodies and senses to rest.

Albert Mohler said this about Christians and nature in his article, “Have Our Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors?

“It would do us all a world of good to take a walk in the woods, to play outdoors, and to remember that the world is filled with a variety of flora and fauna that defies the imagination and thrills the senses. Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines. This is our Father’s world, and we would do well to receive this world and enjoy it, while giving praise and glory to God for the beauty and bounty it contains. We understand that nature is not an end to itself, and we affirm that the creation exists as the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption. All this should help Christians to remember that we honor God most faithfully when we receive His good gifts most gratefully.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash

5. Try a new direction, inspired by God’s goodness rather than fear of the bad.

5. Try a new direction, inspired by God’s goodness rather than fear of the bad.

Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls,” Jeremiah 6:16.

Is stress threatening to keep you right where you are, fearful of moving in a new direction? Remember that following God is always good. Take a step in faith, and trust God with the results.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

6. Enjoy friendships in community.

6. Enjoy friendships in community.

“Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh (rest) my heart in Christ,” Philemon 1:20.

Paul’s letters in the New Testament  include many greetings to his friends, telling them he misses them and he can’t wait to see them again (Philemon 1:22.) By this, Paul shows us that an essential aspect and benefit of living abundantly in Christ is being connected to the church.  

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, reach out to a fellow Christian. Get together with a friend and share the deep things happening in your life.

“I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed (rest) through you,Philemon 1:7.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

7. Enjoy God’s forgiveness in difficult relationships.

7. Enjoy God’s forgiveness in difficult relationships.

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength,” Isaiah 30:15.

Trying to carry the weight of guilt can produce great stress in our lives. Do you have a hard time forgiving yourself or someone else? Unforgiveness is not only a heavy stress, but it’s a wedge between you and someone you care about. But one of the most healing and freeing things about being a Christian is enjoying God’s forgiveness.

Michelle Lazurek said this about forgiveness in her article, “7 Myths We Have About Forgiveness (and What Biblical Forgiveness Really Looks Like).”

“Forgiving someone who has hurt you is one of the best ways to demonstrate God’s presence in our lives to an unbelieving world.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash

8. Spend time with Jesus.

8. Spend time with Jesus.

Rest isn’t something we can create. It is a gift Jesus gives. Then, turn around and offer that rest to others as your gift.

He said in Matthew 11:28-30, “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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

9. One final rest-inducing tip...

9. One final rest-inducing tip...

I’ve tried different methods to live a stress-free life. There was a time when I got fed up with the speed of everything, so I reduced my activities to a minimum. But paring down to the bare essentials didn’t really work for me. When I focused on only maintaining the minimal, I began to lose a sense of wonder about life.

God designed us to be fully alive:  creative, engaged with community, and renewed by a sense of adventure. Without these elements of creativity, community, and adventure; we experience a different kind of stress – soul stress.

Call a friend to come over and fold laundry together (or just gab on the phone). Brew a cup of coffee or tea. Drink slowly. Enjoy.

Which of the three restful elements are you craving today — Creativity, Adventure or Community?

We are not left to choose only between inactivity or over-activity.

Bonnie GrayThe Faith Barista, serves up shots of faith for everyday life. 

This article was adapted from Bonnie Gray's, "I Stress, Therefore I Am: 10 Ways To De-Stress & Enjoy Rest."

For more on dealing with stress in your life, see:

4 Reasons Why Tending a Garden is Good for Your Stressed Soul

A Prayer for Stress

Toxic Stress: The Art of Letting Go

Photo Credit: Unsplash




Follow Crosswalk.com