Many of us live without truly enjoying spiritual, emotional, and sometimes even physical rest. Here in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, we are finding ourselves forced to take a different pace.
For some, the change of pace has actually increased stress levels—whether that be from risking exposure to the virus as a first responder or an essential worker, homeschooling children while working from home, or simply fighting boredom with nothing to do but sit at home and wait for the pandemic to pass.
Whatever the source of our stress, however, Jesus offers true rest:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.—Matthew 11:28–30
Most of us who have been Christians any length of time can quote these verses, but how often do we really take Christ up on His offer? We complain of fatigue, burnout, overload, exhaustion, and boredom. But do we accept Christ’s invitation to rest?We complain of fatigue, burnout, overload, exhaustion, and boredom. But do we accept Christ’s invitation to rest? Click To Tweet
Where can you find rest and renewal when the stress keeps mounting and fear abounds? In Jesus.
Jesus’ offer can be broken down into three words:
Come—Stay in the Way of the Lord
Jesus’ offer—Come—is an invitation to a better way.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.—Isaiah 55:8–9
Proverbs 13:15 plainly says, “the way of transgressors is hard.” In contrast, Jeremiah 6:16 points out that God’s way is “the good way,” and He instructs us to “walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”
Think about it: Jesus invites us to come to Him and promises rest.
If you are following Christ and find yourself worn and frazzled and empty, it could be that you haven’t been experiencing the renewal that comes by time in His presence.If you are following Christ and find yourself worn and frazzled and empty, it could be that you haven’t been experiencing the renewal that comes by time in His presence. Click To Tweet
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.—Psalm 37:7
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.—Psalm 46:10
Christ’s offer to rest begins with an invitation to Himself. “Come unto Me.” The deepest, most satisfying rest we will ever find is in Christ Himself.
- Rest comes when we receive Christ as our Saviour and enter into His eternal rest.
- Rest comes when we lean on Christ.
- Rest comes when we stop worrying and start trusting.
Take—Stay in the Work of the Lord
Christ’s rest is not the rest of no yoke but the rest of an “easy yoke.” He offers, “Take my yoke upon you.” We find rest by serving Him and serving with Him.
Jesus wants us to enter the labor with Him. He calls us to put on the yoke—not of bondage, but of service.
A yoke is a beam placed across the necks of two animals so they can pull a load or plow a field together. It synchronizes their labor. And Christ invites us to labor with Him. First Corinthians 3:9 tells us, “For we are laborers together with God.”
When we serve in the yoke with Christ, we find as He promised that the yoke is easy and the burden is light.
What is the hard yoke which we are more prone to wear? The yoke of serving for people’s acceptance. Serving for the approval of people will utterly exhaust you.
People are fickle. People are hard taskmasters. People are unpredictable. People have shifting expectations. Serving for the approval of people is always a losing—and exhausting—proposition.
Are you tired? Pause long enough to ask “Who am I doing this for? Whose yoke am I wearing?”
When we exhaust ourselves for the Lord, He replenishes and reinvigorates by His grace. When we exhaust ourselves for the approval of people, we are left empty and eventually disillusioned.When we exhaust ourselves for the Lord, He replenishes and reinvigorates by His grace. When we exhaust ourselves for the approval of people, we are left empty and disillusioned. Click To Tweet
There is always rest and renewal in the work of the Lord. Stay in His yoke.
Learn—Stay in the Word of the Lord
Jesus not only invites us to serve with Him, but He also offers to teach us: “and learn of me.” Actually, there is rest in growth. As we study God’s Word and apply His truths to our own lives, we learn how to more effectively live His principles.
One reason people grow weary in the Christian life is because of a lack of instruction from God’s Word. If we are not taking advantage of the opportunities to learn and applying our hearts to truth, we grow stagnant.
And if we are learning without applying what we have learned, we grow judgmental. That’s why James 1:22 instructs us, “But be ye doers fo the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
When we apply ourselves to growth—purposefully learning how to wear and best serve in Christ’s easy yoke—we gain a level of rest that can only come from the Holy Spirit. We learn, both by study and personal experience, to abide in Christ and rest in Him as we serve.
Come, Take, Learn
Are you finding yourself without rest? Are you looking for soul-deep refreshment?
Come. Take. Learn.
Draw closer to Christ by taking His yoke and centering your service on Him alone. Learn of Him. Study His ways, and rest in His fullness.Are you finding yourself without rest? There is rest in the yoke with Jesus. Click To Tweet