When we think of rest, the first thing that comes to mind is physical rest. That’s probably because we live in a tired society, run ragged by the demands of the relentless onslaught of life. But there is a rest that is actually more important than physical rest, and that is rest for our souls. This is the rest that Jesus promised in Matthew 11:28–30. It’s a rest that comes from the peace and security that can only be found in him.
This then begs the question: Why is it that so many of us who claim to follow Christ lack this rest? Why is it that so many in the church today live lives filled with worry, especially since the financial meltdown of 2008? I believe, in large part, it is because of where we place our trust.
Jesus warned his followers that the natural inclination of humans is to place our trust in the stuff of the here and now rather than in the Father (Matt. 6:19–34). We believe that we can safeguard our lives and our future if we can just have an ever-increasing portfolio, if we can just have more. As a result, we give priority to our finances to give us our security, believing our money will deliver a promise it can never keep. So we end up doing just what Jesus warned against: serving the master of money and materialism, and living in the fear of losing that which is actually creating the burden of worry.
Money is one of the most powerful forces at work to strip us of the rest God desires for us. It is a cruel master that wants our complete allegiance. In fact, Jesus said it is the one thing that fights God for our heart. And when it steals our heart, it robs us of the peace and rest that only God can give.
Rick Dunham, a DTS graduate, is the author of Secure: Discovering True Financial Freedom. Read an excerpt.