“28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
A good friend and I were having a conversation the other day, and she told me how tired she had been lately. In her words, “Life seems to be getting tougher, and I’m tired of having to juggle everything by myself.” She’s 58 years old, and even though she’s always wanted to be married, it has never happened. Feelings of depression and loneliness creep up every time she thinks about all the heartaches and obstacles she’s had to face on her own. Even though my friend is over fifty, the feelings she’s having are not unique to a certain age group. The loneliness of being single far longer than you’d like doesn’t discriminate.
My conversation with my friend made me remember when I felt much the same way she does. I’d go to bed at night feeling depleted and sad, thinking that I’d feel better in the morning. The funny thing is, I’d awaken the next morning just as tired as I was the day before. It dawned on me that I needed more than a good night’s sleep. Like all of us, I needed, and will always need, the deep spiritual rest that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus Christ extends an invitation to all of us that are feeling exhausted and burdened down by life. He knows that the world can wear a person down, and he tells us to bring our tired and worn-down selves to him. He will give us rest. The rest that he gives is supernatural. We can’t use human reasoning to explain it because it exceeds our understanding. His rest is administered to the deepest part of us, and there, it restores and replenishes our souls. It’s a rest that belongs to us because our Master Jesus paid for it with his life when he died on the cross for our sins.
You and I must take this rest by faith. Taking it by faith is the only way. Jesus Christ laid this out for us in Matthew 11:28-29. He said, “I GIVE, YOU TAKE!” That’s the order! He gives, and then you and I have the great privilege and honor to respond to what he has done. We are to take what he offers. Well, what are we taking? In this passage, he also answers this question for us as well. We are taking his yoke—his guidance, direction, truth, example, power, and love. He tells us to learn about him, because in John 14:6, he teaches us that he is the way, the truth, and the life.
His truth is food for our souls, and after we feast on him, our souls will be at rest. In John 6:35(NLT), he said “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jesus Christ is life to us! Again, learning about him feeds us in a way that nothing else can. This is the part where so many of us go south and miss the greatest blessing of our lives. For some reason, we will not place ourselves in a posture of studying and reading to learn more about God and His Word. We will not avail ourselves to Christ and will not connect the reality of our soul’s starvation to our refusal to know more about Jesus Christ than we know right now.
Our Master and Savior is humble. He left the throne of God to come to earth to save us. Philippians 2:6-8(NLT) declares, “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” Jesus Christ was not forced to die for our sins, he chose to die a humiliating, agonizing death on the cross in order to redeem us from the slavery of sin and death.
We’re never on our own. God is always with us and knowing His great love through Jesus Christ will transform us! He freely offers us this love, and the greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to take it. Spending year and year feeling sad and depleted is not God’s desire for any of His children. He wants us to be happy and blessed every moment of every day, but the joy that He gives is no ordinary joy. The world cannot give it, and the world cannot take it away. It is a joy that isn’t dependent on what we have or don’t have. It isn’t dependent on a relationship with anyone else other than our Master Jesus.
The yoke of Christ will demand that every drop of our tendency to look to someone else for our joy and happiness is completely abandoned. Jesus Christ is LORD! There can be no other who occupies that place in our hearts but him. We don’t get to tell the Lord that our heart belongs only to him, because none of us know our hearts that well, but God knows them. He tells us in Jeremiah 17:10(NLT), “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Every good relationship that any of us will ever have is birthed from our love, devotion, and loyalty to God through Jesus Christ. When this spiritual lesson is firmly in our minds and hearts, we will enjoy God’s rest and all the blessings that come with it. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“You’re Never on Your Own”, written for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!