There was a revival preacher who once said, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy.” On the whole, I believe he’s right. This life is riddled with sorrows, toils, and pains. You have the weight of your work on your shoulders. You hear of the madness which has bewitched our culture. You might have misgivings in your parenting as to whether you are blowing it in raising your kids. You have too much month at the end of your money.
Because life can be so hard, the temptation to turn to diversions and entertainment can be quite alluring. We think such things will take the edge off our hardships. But when we try to put such things as the center pole to hold up the tent of our life, we find they have all the strength of boiled pasta.
At the center of the Gospel is this promise from the Lord Jesus, “Come unto me, and I will give you rest.” What else can fulfill such a promise? Who else can bring such reprieve? Instead of being crushed by the weight of your hard circumstances, and resorting to quick hits of dopamine, Christ calls you to Himself, and no other. The rest He gives fits you for enduring hardship, not merely escaping it. He refreshes those who are His, with cool waters of assurance that our guilt is forgiven, our death sentence is removed, and eternal life is our inheritance.
This is the Lord’s Day. This is the day of new creation. This is the day of Resurrection. Be renewed, as Christ renews His covenant of grace with you. Be refreshed, as His Word proclaimed cuts deep, to remove the lingering lesions of sin. Be rested, as He gives you the victory by growing your faith through the trials His providence has picked out for you.
The Son of God has come that we might gain the victory. Yet all too often we settle for treaties with sin, we negotiate with our flesh, we try to arrange a ceasefire. God calls us to, by faith, tread upon the neck of our fleshly desires. By the Spirit, may God open our eyes to see the ways in which we’ve dodged facing the truth about our sin, and the alternatives we’ve sought out for finding rest, reprieve, and refreshing. The Lord alone can give us grace to endure hardship, as good soldiers, that we may overcome at last, by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony.
The only basis for peace of body, soul, and mind is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not in the distractions and trifles of earth, but in the Good News that God, through Christ, has reconciled you to himself.