A Weary Soul’s Rest
October 2012 Blog: Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Christ’s offer of rest is universal- it is to all who are heavy-laden. It is not reserved for any particular type of person. Just as God so loved the whole world, Christ’s mission was to personify that love in action throughout his life.
Christ invites everyone experiencing physical and emotional symptoms: those who are weary and overburdened and promises holistic “rest”.
When Jesus is involved in healing we find no half measures. He knows that underlying physical illness is emotional and spiritual malaise. Jesus is the only one who is able to provide complete healing. His is “rest of the soul”. He exchanges our heavy burdens with light ones and our difficulties with an easy yoke as labours alongside us.
Liberally distributed throughout the bible are important statements- bible promises of rest whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Our duty as sufferers of such unrest is to take God at his word and ask him to make good on his promises.
One of the first illustrations of rest in the bible is provided by God himself after creating the world. God not only created days of the week, but on completing his work, he rested, not because he was “tired” as he is never tired (see Isaiah 40:28-29), but because he had “completed” his task. So God provides the first perfect example of what rest ought to be.
So significant was this day of rest that God called the day “Sabbath” and placed special importance on the seventh day of the week (Saturday) for all who observe it by blessing and sanctifying it (Genesis 2:2-3). We are reminded to remember and keep Sabbath (Saturday and not Sunday as many think) holy (it was changed by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century) in Exodus 20:8. The rest provided on Sabbath for those who observe it is also complete: physical, emotional and spiritual. Sabbath is a day designed for us to spend time in communion with God and to receive the spiritual rest that he provides.
In Isaiah 30:15 we get a glimpse of the importance of physical rest and spiritual wellbeing-we are told that as we rest in God we are saved “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”. It is by accepting God’s rest that we can receive His healing and restoration.
The final scripture that I want to draw your attention to regarding rest is Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”. These few words summarise the sum total of our existence: God is our only source of true rest, fulfilment, purpose and meaning. He is our creator and knows what is best for us. By being still and resting in God we cease from struggling and blundering our way through life.
The reality is God is our manufacturer- he made us to live in a certain way- he knows how long we will live and all our inherent weaknesses and he knows how we can work perfectly. If we love God, we will naturally develop faith in him, take him at his word and this will lead to our complete trust and obedience in him.
Our beloved maker has provided us with the bible as our instruction manual replete with lessons learnt. It is only when we learn what it is to be “still and know” God that we can truly experience “rest in our souls”. I am longing for such rest, how about you?
© hopecalls.org, 2012 (all rights reserved)
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