How to move from Stressed to Rest.
Fill in the blanks:
I’m ready to throw in the__________.
I’m at the end of my__________.
I’m just a bundle of__________.
My life is falling__________.
I’m at my wit’s__________.
Why do we know these so well?
I believe it's because we forget to rest in the strength of Christ in this thing called life.
Jesus gives us a promise in:
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.
Jesus tells us to come to him if you are weary and burdened because if you do, you will find rest, but then in His next breath, He starts talking about work?
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.
This yoke that He refers to has nothing to do with placing more stress on our lives but the very opposite.
The ox-yokes were made of wood.
Logos bible commentary explains the yoking process like this:
The ox was brought in to the carpenter, and the measurements were taken. The yoke was then roughed out, and the ox was brought back to have the yoke tried on. The yoke was then carefully adjusted so that it would fit well.
The yoke was a wooden frame used to harness together with a pair of oxen at their necks so that they could pull a plow or some other load.
Usually, there is a huge ox paired with a very small younger ox. That ox towered over the smaller ox that was sharing the work with him.
It amazing to see how two animals unequal in size can work together.
But when you look at how the plows are hooked to the yoke, you will notice that the large ox is pulling all the weight.
That smaller ox is being broken into the yoke, but he is not actually pulling any weight.
Thus the reason Jesus said: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me."
In the normal yoking, the load is equally distributed between the two that are yoked together, but not with Christ.
When Jesus says to take His yoke upon us, He is giving us a promise.
He promises us that we will find what true rest is.
So why does Jesus use the visual aid of a yoke?
Jesus uses the visual aid of a yoke because a yoke shows us that He does measure up to the task of carrying our burdens.
The yoke of Jesus teaches us how to live the Christian life with Christ guiding our every step.
The only way to find rest for your soul is through Christ.
Jesus promises us that He will give us rest because we learn how to from Him.
Like the two oxen, when we let Christ do the heavy lifting, we accomplish the tasks He has for us.
In Matthew 11:28, the "rest" he offered was a "resting up," or rejuvenation, from the weariness of trying to measure up.
Jesus wasn't trying to give people another load, or yoke, to carry. He simply was inviting them to get in His yoke.
We are not promised freedom from sickness or calamity, but we do experience God's sustaining grace so that we are not crushed or driven to despair.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
The rest Jesus offers enables us to overcome "fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and meaninglessness.
Look at the word learn that Jesus used in Matthew 29 when He said: "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me."
"And learn." This verb is in the present continuous tense and describes a process of discipleship, of the journey in growth and Christ-like change.
Learning how to rest in Christ can only happen when we take on His yoke and walk in step with Him as He teaches us His ways.
"Learn" is manthano, the verb form from which the word "disciple," comes from.
It means "to learn by inquiry, but also by use and practice, to acquire the habit of, be accustomed to." It means "to learn, appropriate to oneself less through instruction than through experience or practice.
We learn the meaning of real rest when we take on the yoke of Jesus.
Yokes are made for two, not one.
We were not meant to go through life living apart from God. His yoke fits well and is lighter than the one we've been pulling by ourselves.
Some of you may feel spiritually exhausted, worn out, weary of trying to please God by your own efforts. If that's you, Jesus has great news for you.
Matthew 11:28 declares, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Remember, we have a fantastic guide named Jesus leading us every step in this life helping us move from stress to rest.