Have you ever had a time in your life where you felt overwhelmed by the things of this world? Where life seemed so hard and no matter what you did, things just wouldn’t go right?
If you have, then join the club with every other Christian on this planet. We all go through periods like that, and they are times of learning and testing that allow you to grow stronger in Jesus.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.”
Let’s take a look at this Scripture.
The first thing that Jesus says to us is, “Come to Me…” We are allowed to come to God personally; there is nothing between Him and us.
Second, He is inviting us to come. God wants you, in fact, He wants you so much that Jesus died on the Cross just to prove it. Jesus didn’t have to come to this earth and die, but God’s love is so great, and He wanted us so much that He chose to come.
Let that sink in for a few minutes. Take a moment to consider that. YOU ARE LOVED.
Third, God lets us know who needs rest: it is those who labour and are burdened, but what does that mean? In this context, those who labour means those who are striving to do it all on their own and failing.
I know that in my life when I try to do everything with my own strength alone it does not turn out well. When you are heavy-laden it is like your spirit, mind, will, and emotions can’t function because there is this weight on you that you try to lift by yourself. It causes you to feel down, depressed, anxious, all those negative things that we do not want in life.
So what does God say when we are weary? He will give us rest, and the best thing is He even tells us how and that is by taking His yoke upon us and learning from Him. What is this yoke? Rest for your soul (your mind, will and emotions). So what does God give us rest from?
We do not have to be afraid of anything in this world because God is with us and supernaturally protects us. Have you ever come so close to having a car accident and you were sure that it was going to happen, but the at the last moment it didn’t. That is God keeping you safe.
In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God has good plans for your life, and you can rest knowing that no matter what your life is like now, if you trust God, it will get better.
We all start out thinking that we will always be able to control that sin we are about to commit, whether it be alcohol, smoking, drugs or pornography; and for a while, you can. Eventually, the addiction has you in its grasp and it now controls you. God wants to set you free and give you rest from the torture you are under. In Isaiah 58:6 we are told:
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?”
God can take that addiction and crush it in your life if you let Him. For some people, it will be instant, and for others, it will be a process as God heals your heart of the things that caused the addiction in the first place.
Depression robs you of the ability to enjoy life and not only hurts you mentally but physically as well. That is not God’s will for your life and you were not created that way. God wants you to live a full life and is able to heal your mind as you take those steps of faith to find His rest.
Finding God’s Rest
So how do we find God’s rest? We become like Jesus through the Holy Spirit. You can’t do it alone. It is not about trying harder, but about BEING more. What do I mean by that? It is a little bit hard to explain, but I will try my best.
There is knowledge and then knowingness. You can read in the Bible that we are supposed to trust God and acknowledge in your head that you do, but still act like you don’t because it is not real to you.
As you take those small steps of faith (and they are different for each person), and God comes through for you, you KNOW that you can trust Him in that one thing which gives you the courage to try the next one. It is only as we experience God that we become more like Jesus and can rest in Him.
It’s A Process
To learn how to rest in God takes time and it is a process. It’s like an onion. You peel through a layer and think that you have made it and learned what God’s rest is, only to find there is another layer for you to discover, learn and enjoy. It’s lifelong journey that only gets better and better if you let it.
Ask God today what is the first, small step for you to find God’s rest and then do what He tells you to do. Not sure how to hear His voice? Click here to learn how. The process is different for everyone because you are different than everyone. Let God show you the best way and then be thankful when He gives you those first steps.
~ By Kim Thompson-Pinder