Finding Rest in Jesus

I have found myself over the years recognizing the need to be a spiritually healthy person. I think one of the most important things we can do to aid this, is to learn how to find rest in Christ. The practice of finding rest is uncommon and rarely pursued. In some ways, it is an oxymoron. Pursuing rest? Those two words don’t really mix well together. Yet I propose that finding true rest in Christ is exactly that. It is not so much sitting idly as some would think of rest, but a surrender to Jesus that at times is very difficult, time consuming, and uncomfortable. Still, it is necessary.  

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Jesus here gives an invitation where he offers rest for those who carry heavy burdens, but he gives a condition. He says “ take my yoke.” Now this is an interesting offer that Jesus is giving here. A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two animals by the neck for working together (i.e. “ to yoke a pair of oxen). Jesus offers rest, by offering his yoke, An instrument of labor? What we must is that, farmers in those days would often yoke a weak ox to a strong ox to plow the fields. By doing this, they would not need to buy two strong oxen, but instead because the weak and strong ox are yoked together, the strong ox would carry the heavier burden of the work. In the same way, Jesus offers rest but requires that we take his easy yoke, for the burden he gives is light? Why is his yoke easy and his burden light, because he carries the heavy load! But to experience this rest, you must yoked to him. You must learn from him, sit at his feet and let him teach you. You must trust him with every step and follow him as one who is yoked to him. Do that, and you will find rest. It is a simple truth, that we would do well to continually reflect on. I would encourage you to reflect on these questions.

  1. What areas of your life have not been surrendered to Jesus? What would it look like if it were? Ask the Holy Spirit

  2. One of the most basic ways we know we have not surrendered something to Jesus is by the way we try to control it, control the outcome, or the circumstance, or what we know. What are you trying to control?

  3. Spend some time writing down what the Lord is speaking to you, and what steps he may be asking you to take, as an expression of deeper surrender to him.