Jesus is promising rest to the weary and heavy burdened.
Who are the weary and heavy-laden?
In Greek weary is kopiao which means to labor, toil, tired; to labor to the point of exhaustion.
We labor when we choose to do life apart from God. We toil to make our lives good without the saving power of Christ. We labor to try to be good enough for the goodness of God.
We are heavy-laden by anything that’s not of God. Our lives will be a burden outside of Him. Our relationships will be a burden unless they are in Him. Our work will be a heavy burden if we do it out of our own strength instead of leaning on Him.
Finding God’s rest
Jesus is bidding us come. Not just to come, but to come to him and find rest.
Rest in Greek is anapauo it means to refresh, rest up, to cease from labor. It’s only in God that we cease laboring. It’s only in His grace that we cease to toil through life.
The only place we find real rest is in Him. We can try a lot of things to give rest to our souls. Some people try substances to find rest. Others find rest in traveling and vacationing; the world promises us rest in self-care. All these only work for a little while and we are right back into weariness and endless toil. Real refreshment comes from God.
Jesus isn’t promising us a life where we come and lay back and do nothing for the rest of our lives. It’s a different kind of rest. He calls us to take his yoke??? A yoke doesn’t feel like a promise of rest.
The rest that God offers is different in that, we can now work from a position of rest. We receive rest from the fruitless labors of this world and work from a place of rest in Him. We come into partnership with Him. we receive grace to do what he has called us to do. and we do it from a place of rest.
How do we enter this rest?
For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest… Hebrew 4:10-11
We are told we have to make every effort to enter this rest. How can we strive to rest? Sounds counterproductive but, We strive to rest because this life will tell us we need to toil. We make an effort to enter His rest because religion tells us we have to earn grace. We make every effort to enter God’s rest because it’s easier to want to do things on our own rather than depend on Him completely.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
He calls us first to rest, then to take on His yoke. He doesn’t give us a yoke, then calls us to rest. We are only able to take up His yoke if we have ceased from fruitless labors. If we have ceased from our toiling, then are we able to carry His yoke.
Sin is a hard taskmaster. The world is a hard taskmaster. Religion is a hard taskmaster but Jesus is a gentle and humble master. He puts a yoke on us in gentleness. He doesn’t give us more than we can bear. He doesn’t ask us to man up. He doesn’t require that we die trying to please Him.
He has borne all the weight of the yoke for us. He has already given us the victory. He has carried all our burdens. When we take on the yoke. It’s easy and light on us.
Life becomes light and easy when we have received His rest.
He takes the weight and burden off of us and calls us to carry the yoke of doing life with him. He lends us strength when we are weak. He gives us courage when we are afraid. He is our defender when we are in battle. He is our vindicator when we are under attack.
His strength becomes ours
He is not putting a yoke on us and watching us struggle with it. He reminds us…
But he said to me, “ My grace is sufficient for you [ My loving kindness and my mercy are more than enough- always available- regardless of the situation]; For my power is being perfected[ and is completed and shows itself most effectively ] in [your] weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
His grace is what makes the yoke light. When we do anything outside of His grace, We end up with a heavy yoke and wearisome burdens. When we take other people’s yokes they will be heavy on us. When we take our yokes instead of bringing them to Him, they will be heavy on us.
He bids us even today, come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.
Sis, are you weary and burdened? Is there anything that isn’t giving you rest in your life? God promises us true rests for our souls. Only He can give us this rest. The world cannot. The people we love cannot. Material things cannot. Money and success cannot, only in Jesus are we given true rest in life.