Thursday, May 02, 2013



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.



Anonymous said...

Following Jesus isn't hard at all. Unless you happen to be human.

Jesus, show me the way. It's a request I make daily. And you know what? When I ask, he always does.

Chris Jefferies said...

Thanks Keith. We so often have this back to front, but you've turned it around the right way again.

When we try to meet all the demands of our workplace, our friends, our families, the world - we struggle. It's just too much. Our shoulders are not strong enough. The day is too short to get it all done and every demand met.

Part of Jesus' promise to us is that he will not do that to us. And that should be a clue to us - if I'm overloaded, who have I been following?

Thanks for the reminder!

the alternative1 said...

good word keith--thanks