Do you feel tired or burned out from striving to reach your goals or to please other people? Striving to perform may come from external pressure, but foundationally it comes from something internal. Striving may be tied to much of your existence: work, home life and even recreation. Striving comes from a desire to fill an internal void and to create your own significance, meaning, purpose and value.

Many strive to perform day after day. It’s how we relate to family, friends, colleagues and bosses. Bottom line, we want to look good to others, to look like we’re okay. This may be especially true when inside, we’re not okay. We may strive harder to look good. But the constant striving brings a weariness that is hard to manage and recover from.

There is a better way. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” or as The Message says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out…? Come to me…. I’ll show you…real rest” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Rest is something we must be given. Rest comes only from Jesus. Resting is looking to Jesus in faith that frees us from the pressure of striving to look good; it rescues us from the eternal punishment our sin deserves. Resting is looking to Jesus in faith that liberates us from the guilt of the sin that we struggle with every day. Resting is looking to Jesus in faith that abides in Him. Abiding in Jesus produces in us rest, with love, joy and peace—Spirit-empowered fruit He delights to produce. Jesus said, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, …bears much fruit” (John 15:4).

Resting in Jesus does not mean we do not work hard. It means we work by faith in Him, abiding in Him, inviting Him into everything we do. Strengthened by His Spirit, He energizes us for the work He has called us to do and He gives us rest for our souls. With the rest He gives us fruitfulness, meaning, value and purpose.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

When have you felt tired or burned out from striving?

What do you think was driving you?

What step can you take to establish a practice of taking time daily to focus on being with Jesus?