Rest for the Soul

Background Story: David lived a very stressful life being pursued by an enemy constantly. He wrote the Psalms as personal prayers.

Psalm 62:5-8

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Big Idea: Even in a busy life, we can find rest in God.

We are an incredibly busy society. We rush from school to practice, then through the drive-thru so we can eat in the car, and then race to our next activity. The idea of resting in God is a completely foreign concept but man does it sound nice. My imagination goes to an image of a giant recliner where I hang out without worry or care. What does it mean to rest in God? How can we do it?

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, “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.”

Not sure about you, but I immediately identify with the words weary and burdened. We can feel burdened and weary by stress, fear of the future, past disappointment, unforgiveness, and hurt. Like a heavy backpack, those things weigh us down.

How can we find rest for our soul?

– Come to Me: It starts with coming to Jesus in prayer telling Him about the burdens and weights you are carrying.

– Take His Yoke: The yoke here is referring to the harness that oxen wore to haul a big load. Two oxen would be linked together with a wooden yoke which decreased the weight that each animal carried. The yoke is a perfect picture of surrender. Before Jesus, we go our own way, on our own path, looking out for our own best interest, and making our own decisions. When we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus in our life, we are making a conscious decision to yoke ourselves to Him. Even if you’ve been a Christian a long time, it’s easy to pick up your worries and start attempting to carry them by yourself again. When we surrender to Christ’s yoke, we are saying, “I’m doing life with You. Let’s go Your way, Jesus!”

– Learn from Him: Christians are Christ followers or disciples. As we live life yoked to Jesus and spend time in God’s word, we learn His ways. The natural result is that we change over time in our thoughts, actions, and words to reflect more of Christ and less of us. Moses prayed asking God to, “teach me your ways so I may know you.” God replied, “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:13-14) Let this be the prayer of our heart today too!

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