Bible Passage: Matthew 11
Today, I am just going to look at this verse:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
~ Matt 11:28
Tired? Wearied? Burdened?
How many of you are tired? Weary? Exhausted? Burdened?
I can see quite a number of hands raised. And the rest from our labours and stresses that seems to be a constant in our lives is a forlorn hope … even though a long weekend awaits us.
There are times when our commitments, our abilities and our intentions are simply overwhelmed by what we are facing each day. The project that never seems to be finished. The final exams just around the corner. The night classes we are taking. The lessons we have to prepare. The cooking we have to do. The people we have to visit. The blog we have to write. The sermon that we have to speak. The …. I think I could just go on and on….
Face it! We are indeed living in times of stress. And we are indeed heavy laden.
We know the verse very well. And we quote it all the time.
But why is it that we still find it so hardto come to Jesus? If there is this great rest awaiting us, why don’t we surrender all our burdens to Him and trust Him completely?
Why? Why? Why?
So many questions and the answer is somewhere within us….
What Kind of Rest Do You Expect?
I think we must first of all understand what was the rest Jesus talking about.
In many of our minds – we equate recreation with rest.
Rest means a lazy weekend in bed. Or lying by the poolside. Or being kneaded and massaged at the spa.
And although all that is very nice, the rest that Jesus refered to is not such.
There is a difference between resting and doing nothing.
There is a difference between feeling burdened and doing something strenuous.
When stresses and problems weigh us down, the most natural response is to ask God for relief: “Lord, I can’t carry this anymore. I’m going to leave it here with you.” Having dumped the burden like a bag of garbage, we walk away but remained unchanged inside
In a world where the pursuit of things in life leave us drained and exhausted,our natural response is to come before God and scream at Him and say, “Lord! I cannot carry this anymore! Here! Take it! I am leaving everything here with you cause you promised me!”
Now having dumped our burdens like a bag of garbarge at the feet of Jesus, we walk away expecting to be changed.
But nothing inside changes.
Jesus promises us that if we come to Him, He will give us rest – the kind of inner strength and power to be able to face whatever life throws at us. But it’s certainly not the kind of rest we may expect. And Jesus does not leave us alone….
Jesus and Me and a Yoke
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
~ Matt 11:29-30
The last few verses of this chapter tells us how do we really find rest.
Jesus wants us to join Him in the yoke so that we will walk and work together with Him.
He does not just want our burden. He wants you!
We have heard many times what the yoke is for. As it is with the bull, the yoke of Christ teaches us about submissiveness and obedience to the Lord and Saviour, Jesus. God does not simply give us relief by removing the heavy trials or afflictions. He wants us to have a deeper and more trusting relationship.
When we are joined in the yoke with Jesus, the burdens are not necessarily removed. But because we walk with the Lord and act in tandem with Jesus, we begin to learn to know and understand the Lord more.
So although our burdens may not be removed, we actually find that our thoughts and way we behave change. We are influenced by Him and although the situation may still remain, yet our trust in Jesus and faith in His promises grow.
Being yoked with Christ results in rest for your soul.
Life’s pressures stll remain but with God on our side and His peace ruling in our heart, we have nothing to lose – except our weariness – and a lot to gain.
The question is: “Are you trying to bear my life burdens by myself” ?
If you are, you should go to Jesus and say that “I am weary and have many burdens. My soul needs rest. I trust in you. Help me Jesus.”
One hymn that I often sing to remind me about today’s lesson is Hymn 529, Reach Out to Jesus.
Look at the lyrics and you will understand why.