The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers (Joshua 21:44a NIV).
God promises rest to His children. This is far greater than physical rest. Though physical rest is sweet, what God promises has deeper and more significant meanings. It is rest on every side: that is, comprehensive, including every aspect concerned.
Primarily, it means a rest from intense activity. It is rest from labor and toil. It means that God gives you time to spend peacefully without being burdened by anxious thoughts of troubles confronting you. In Christian life, God gives such seasons of rest after intense periods of struggle and activity. It is a time of refreshing.
In another level, it is a time for reflection. It is a time to look back and see the marvelous ways in which God cared and provided. This is important because during times of struggle many do not find time to think of the ways God guided them. So when God gives rest, He is gifting a period of time to reflect on how He dealt with you gently and with great compassion.
But rest can become dangerous if it is not used properly. Christians fall into complacency during times of rest. They think that they have achieved everything and find contentment in past glories. But none should forget that there is no meaningful Christian living without progress. And God has not given final destinations on earth. It is always an upward and heavenward journey. Rest that God grants are occasional inns where the traveler-Christian can stay for a small period of time. The journey has to continue.
And the final thought is that God gives seasons of rest to plan for conquests ahead. These are times to think big, plan big, dream big and pray big for God’s work ahead. Blessed is the man of whom these thoughts of the rest that God gives are true!