Thursday, May 02, 2013
I WILL GIVE YOU REST.
Jesus makes a few radical promises to those who would take up their cross daily and follow Him. One of those promises is that he will give those people an incredible gift called “rest.”
For those who are weary, exhausted, burnt out, and frazzled, Jesus says, “I will give you rest.” For those who are ready to quit, walk away in disgust and throw in the towel Jesus says, “come find rest for your souls.”
But the fact remains that many Christians are not experiencing that rest. They are overworked, stressed out, and pushed to their limits.
What’s wrong? Is it that Jesus lied about giving us rest? Or maybe when Jesus said he would give us rest he meant after we die and go to heaven? You know, sort of like the phrase “I’ll be dead soon and then I’ll sleep.”
Or maybe Jesus really meant what he said. Maybe Jesus is holding out peace and rest to us and we’re just not able – or willing – to reach out and take it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
Jesus invites everyone to come to him, especially those of us who are weary and burdened. Why? Because he wants to give us rest. If our weariness is real, then the rest he’s offering is just as literal. If our burdens are heavy, his rest is light. His offer is as real as our need.
Jesus also asks us to take his yoke upon ourselves. What does that mean? It means that he wants us to submit to his leadership in our lives. He wants us to actually surrender our will to his own on a daily basis. He wants us to listen to his voice and to obey him. He wants us to learn from him.
Learn what? How to live our lives. How to be as gentle and as humble as he is. Why? So that we can find rest for our souls.
Notice how finding rest for our souls comes after we take his yoke and learn from him. That’s the only way it works. Rest is something we have to follow Jesus into, one step at a time.
If you’re needing some relief today, I’d encourage you to go to Jesus. Ask him for his yoke. Let him teach you how to follow him and trust him daily. Then you’ll start to experience more of his promised rest as you exchange your worries for his peace of mind.
Remember, if God is in control then we are not. Real peace comes when we surrender the things we’re clenching in our fists to Jesus. Rest is received with an open hand.