“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11: 28-30 NIV
Life can be tiring at times. The responsibilities and day-to-day activities could be quite overwhelming, and sometimes we ask ourselves “when does it end?” For every believer, there is encouragement in the words of Jesus. He told us to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Now, what does this mean for us? This means we can stand on His existing victory. It means we can enter into His rest. His rest is a place of finished works (Heb. 4:10). I know you’re overburdened with so many things, but God wants you to come into His rest.
When Jesus was on earth in flesh, He lived in a time when people struggled their way into pleasing God. He lived in a time when people were so bound to the law and had to work their way into right standing with God. Needless to say, it was very tiring and draining. Even today, many people still live this way. They feel the need to “do their best” in pleasing God. Such people are held captive under the law and the weight of having to keep up and having to bear the brunt of all their mistakes oftentimes gets too heavy for them. This is the reason why Jesus said -to the people of His time and to us –that we should come to Him and He will give us rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matt. 11:28-30)
Jesus gives us rest from all our labors. Due to His finished work of salvation, everything we need to do to please God is done from a place of rest. How? Jesus’ sacrifice released grace unto us. It is that grace that enables us to embrace godliness (Titus 2:11-12). It is the same grace that places us in right standing with God. With the law, we would have to use our own strength to overcome challenges and sin. But with grace, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us such that doing the things that please God comes with ease. It is still work, but from a place of rest. We are not working towards pleasing God so as to be saved – Jesus has granted us salvation already –we are doing works that please God because we have been saved.
That is what Jesus implied when He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30). It is not that there is no yoke or no burden. But that the burden is light. Jesus, by Himself, carries these burdens and makes the workload less for us. If you are a believer who finds himself tired out of upholding the faith way too often it can only mean one thing, you’ve been carrying the wrong burden.
The work of transformation brought about by the Holy Spirit in every believer is gradual. Many believers don’t understand this and because they don’t see overnight changes in their habits, they wear themselves out by forcing that sudden change. Salvation is not magic, it would take some time before those old habits die but as long as you rely on the grace of God, the work of salvation will continue to perfect itself in you. Jesus has done all the work there is to do, your side of the agreement is to believe and truly rely on His grace.
Moreover, God is telling us today that we should enter His rest concerning any other struggles we may have. He says to come unto Him all of you that are weary and burdened and He will give you rest. It may be in the area of your academics, so much to do in so little time. God is telling you He will give you rest. That is, He will ease that burden. It may be in your finances, maybe you have way too many bills to pay with not enough amount of money, He says He will give you rest. He can ease the burden of the numerous debts with a very well-paying job…that’s another burden but a much lighter one.
Matthew 11:28-30 is God’s encouragement to your weary soul and comfort for your tired bones. Come to Him now, He will give you rest.