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Finding Peace, Rest, and Health in Crisis

Posted on March 18, 2020
Finding Peace, Rest, and Health in Crisis

God’s calling is clear: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exodus 20:8–10).

Even though this statement is unambiguous, it’s ignored by tens of millions of people around the world. Most of the Earth’s seven billion people aren’t Christians or Jews, groups in which Sabbathkeepers are generally found, so they have little interest in observing the Bible’s commands. Others who claim the name of Christ say the Sabbath has been “nailed to the cross” or that its holiness has been “transferred” to the first day of the week, Sunday, even though there is no scriptural support for such a claim.

Those arguments are an interesting intellectual exercise during “normal” times, to be sure. But as the world is currently convulsing from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, some larger questions emerge.

In this time of global crisis, where do we find hope for peace? The Sabbath has a vital role to play.


The Practical Benefits of Keeping the Sabbath

There’s a popular couplet that states: “No God, No Peace/Know God, Know Peace!” If you know God, if you’ve received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you have peace. If you don’t know God, you have no peace.

What better way to receive Jesus and His peace than to spend time with Him on the day He specifically set aside for us? So what is there to do on the Sabbath? Is it simply a day to sleep, a day off from work to do what we want? Well, let’s see what Jesus and His disciples did on the Sabbath day.

Jesus spent the Sabbath in Bible study (Mark 1:21; Luke 4:16), and we can too. The psalmist says, “I hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:114). In a time when constant messaging via a 24-hour news cycle or bombardment by social media results in panic and pessimism, what peace would a whole day of reading God’s beautiful promises and prophecies bring?

Jesus also healed on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1–6; Luke 13:10–17). In a time where isolation directives and violent quarrels in supermarket aisles are rampant, what can we do to help? Can we keep in touch with a sick and lonely soul? Can we assist the needs of the elderly or disabled? Can we pray for our healthcare providers on the front lines? 

Acts 16:13 describes how on the Sabbath the apostles departed from the busyness of the city to the cool calm of the riverside to pray. Getting out in nature, a favorite Sabbath-day activity of many, is all the more important nowadays; it gives fresh air, builds up one’s immunity, and uplifts one’s wellbeing. As we read in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” A day of rest from physical labor or from one’s occupation also keeps up one’s health.

As for prayer, it is direct communication with God; He “is near to all who call upon Him … in truth” (Psalm 145:18). Especially on the Sabbath, we are privileged to have uninterrupted time talking with our Creator. Does prayer bring peace? Says Philippians 4:6, 7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

Our hope for peace is found in Jesus, and the peace that He gives is unshakeable. It is not fleeting or temporary. In John 14:27, Jesus tells His followers, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” If we follow God’s Word and keep His commandments, of which the Sabbath is one, then, as Scripture tells us, “the future of that man is peace” (Psalm 37:37).

The Bible Sabbath is an unbreakable bond between Jesus and us (Ezekiel 20:12). In this day and age, when so many are thirsty for that internal and eternal peace, this “island in time,” this seventh day that God ordained at Creation (Genesis 2:2, 3), is imperative for all humanity, not just Christians and Jews.


Share the Sabbath

By disconnecting one day per week, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, we are able to refuel and refocus on what is truly important—to step back and see the world from a fresh perspective, to contemplate eternal things.

If all of this is new to you, or if you want to become better educated about the Sabbath and what it can mean for your life, this website, SabbathTruth.com, offers a vast array of resources. A great place to start is a video series called “The Seventh Day,” hosted by award-winning actor Hal Holbrook. You’ll learn all about the Sabbath’s history and its role in society as well as its meaning for you.

We also have a free library of videos, featuring many great speakers, where you can learn more about the spiritual side of the Sabbath. They’re great for individual or small group study.

And our free online book library offers eight captivating quick reads that survey the history of the Sabbath, what the seventh day means for believers, and even the role of the Sabbath in Bible prophecy.

During a period of global crisis, the Sabbath remains a refuge for those willing to avail themselves of its blessings. Check out these resources, read the Bible, and have faith that God will direct your steps!

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