Sep 19, 2012
I’ve been there. You have, too.
You have too much on your plate — and feel overwhelmed.
You face impossible problems — and feel hopeless.
You’ve experienced setbacks, disappointments, discouragements — and are exhausted.
Weary and heavy-laden.
What do we usually do?
- There’s NCIS on TV.
- There’s calling someone and complaining.
- There’s pumping yourself up with positive self-talk.
- There’s finding something comforting in the fridge.
- And of course there’s always pity-parties.
But why not listen to Jesus?
Every time we feel weary and heavy-laden, Jesus says —
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28 NASV)
This is a promise for ALL who are weary and heavy laden.
That includes me. And you.
But to avoid having this promise become an empty cliche — let’s dig deeper.
What rest does Jesus promise?
Notice — this rest comes from taking His yoke and learning from Him —
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from Me. (Matt 11:28)
So the yoke is a picture of learning from Jesus.
What will Jesus teach us that will bring us rest?
Read what Jesus said right before his invitation to the weary —
… no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Matt 11:27)
Sin blinds us to knowledge of God the Father. But in great mercy, through the Cross and the Spirit — Jesus reveals the Father to us.
Then in v.28 Jesus continues the theme of us learning from Him —
Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me. (Matt 11:28)
What will we learn from Jesus? It’s what He said in v.27 — He will reveal the Father to us.
Jesus gives us rest by revealing the Father to us.
How does this give rest?
Imagine carrying a 100-pound backpack on a dirt road stretching up a steep mountain for miles.
You are trudging along looking at your feet, watching the sweat drip off your nose into the dust.
Weary and heavy-laden.
But imagine that you hear someone shouting —
Excuse me! Look up! Look ahead!
And as you look up the road you see a jeep in front of you — with someone inviting you to hop in so they can drive you to the top.
Weariness disappears. Strength rises. You feel rest.
That’s what Jesus does
Jesus overcomes our weariness by showing us the Father.
We are weary with too much to do — but Jesus shows us that the Father will give us the grace to do whatever He calls us to do (2Cor 9:8).
We face tough decisions — but Jesus shows us that the Father will give us all the wisdom we need for every decision we face (James 1;5).
We are exhausted by setbacks — but Jesus shows us the Father’s all-satisfying presence (Psa 63:5-6) — and that He has had a wise and loving purpose for every setback (Jer 29:11).
But how does Jesus do this?
In v.27 Jesus said He “reveals” the Father to us.
That word shows this involves a supernatural, Holy-Spirit, heart-changing work.
So how do we experience this?
Here is what I’ve found helpful —
- Come to Jesus just as I am — in my weariness and discouragement — and trust that He will help me.
- Confess to Him that I’m not seeing the Father’s love, promises, goodness — all I’m seeing is my problems.
- Ask Jesus to reveal the Father to me — to do His supernatural, Holy-Spirit, heart-changing work in me.
- Pray over specific verses showing who the Father is — like 2Cor 9:8; James 1:5; Phil 4:13; Phil 4:19; Psa 50:15.
- Keep praying over those verses — and asking for Jesus’ heart-changing work — until I feel my faith rise and I see and feel and trust all that the Father promises to be to me — and I feel rest coming upon me.
Rest — guaranteed
I don’t want to sound flippant. But it’s true.
We never again need to lack rest.
Because — if we will come to Jesus and have Him reveal the Father to us — we will always find the rest we need.
Thoughts? Feedback? Comments?
I’d love to hear them — leave a reply below. Thanks.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
Promises for overcoming procrastination
Don't settle for just knowing the truth -- FEEL the truth (a 4-min video)
How To Strengthen Your Faith
(Picture is from everystockphoto by mzacha.)