Find Rest For Your Soul
Are you stressed out? Depressed? Overwhelmed?
Do you think that God is fighting you? Expects the impossible from you? Thrown you into a world that is impossible to manage? And because people can be cynical, cruel and brutal, He wants us to act that way in return?
Jesus has the answer to all these questions: .
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry. Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus understands how difficult this life can be (Hebrews 4:14-16). It can get us down, and we have developed responses that aren't healthy or Biblical. Some of us believe people that put us down to raise themselves up. Others deny that they have caused their own problems (Jeremiah 17:9, 1 John 1:8-9). Many of us struggle to maintain an impossible balance of self-esteem that is constantly dragging us into either suicide or narcissism. Instead of self-esteem, God wants us to esteem Him (1 Corinthians 4:7), and maintain an "Attitude of Gratitude" for all He has given us (Ephesians 1:3-14). Jesus knows we can’t do it alone, so He sends a Helper:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6b
It's no surprise that many people don't understand God and keep struggling with Him. But when we recognize our need for Him, He accepts our prayers and blesses us. In that way, we enter into His rest.
The book of Hebrews talks extensively about the problem people have with finding rest. In chapter 3, we hear about how Moses had faith, but so many of the Israelites had unbelief.
Then chapter 4 makes a conclusion that many people have a hard time processing: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” (Hebrews 4:1). Fear and rest seem like polar opposites, but of course, we should fear if we have unbelief. Then again, if we have belief there is nothing to fear. When the Pharisees were trying to trip up Jesus, He told them they should actually fear His power (Luke 12:4-7). That makes sense, because He is the just judge of the world (John 5:22-23). Then, He tells His followers that they should have no fear. No contradiction here, because if we stay on God’s side, He will take care of us. This is the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7, Beginning of Knowledge).
God knows how weak we are, so don’t assume we have to “Be Good” in our own strength (Hebrews 4:10). Our job is to keep our eyes focused on Him. If we do, we will receive the power to be good.
There will still be challenges, temptations and difficulties in our lives. Remember, we are following the path of Jesus, and He was challenged like no other. But in the crucible of life, know that God will burn away the impurities and even bring joy in the midst of trials (Psalm 66:10-12, Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 4:12-13).
Like everything in the Bible, finding rest is simple. Just believe and receive.