“No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment awaits us.” – H.W. Smith
There use to be a Serta mattress commercial that showed customers falling backwards into a beautifully soft and restful mattress. As they made contact with this place of rest, they would be engulfed by its cushion and find a sense of stability, peace, comfort, and contentment. That is the idea Jesus is trying to convey to us when He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
The biggest mistake we make in our desire for autonomy is to think we can carry the load life burdens us with on our own. Jesus has already accomplished all the work necessary for our salvation and has established ‘the way’ home to our God’s presence for all eternity. It is when we ‘rest in’ His perfect work, like letting go and falling into the Serta mattress, that we find the joy, rest, peace, and contentment we long for… no matter the circumstances.
Jesus goes on to say, “Take my yoke upon you. (Which is to glorify God, our Heavenly Father) and Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”(vs. 29-30) We need to stop striving for acceptance, significance, and purpose; and we must take on Jesus’ ‘yoke’ of praising our God for all the wonderful promises He desires to fulfill in and for you. That’s what Jesus wants to teach us… and we can read all about it in His Word.
“It is Finished!” Jesus said. On the cross His work for us was completed and all our guilt and shame was removed “as far as the east is from the west.” (Ps 103:11) And this finished work of His makes us able to be declared justified (or not guilty!) in God’s sight… when we put our faith in Him. Because of the cross, “there is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The answer to our struggle is not more work, BUT to fall into Jesus, finding rest in His perfect work of salvation for us.
Are you struggling today? Turn to Jesus, fall into His Words of comfort and find rest.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Daily Quote: “God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them.” – James H. Aughey
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. Romans 14:6