November 13, 2020
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 (Matthew 11:28-30).
In Jesus Christ people will find rest. But it’s not the kind of rest most people think of. It’s not holiday rest or even retirement rest. It is rest for your souls. It is the rest God promised Israel in His covenant extended to Abraham. (Hebrews 3:7-11) Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know my ways’; as I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.’”
The same rest is given to the Christian through the new covenant made by Jesus. (Hebrews 4:1-3) Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
The word ‘rest’ means ‘to refresh’ or ‘to revive’. We understand that from a physical, mental, and emotional perspective. But the emphasis of Jesus here is on ‘spiritual rest’. There are two applications of this idea.
Spiritual rest comes to the soul when a person believes in and receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Prior to that the mind, soul, and spirit are at war with God because of sin. When a person is saved that war is over because sin has been dealt with in the life. (Romans 5:1-2) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. At Meribah, Israel sinfully tested and tried the Lord. He then told them they would not ‘enter My rest’ (Psalm 95:7-9,11). To reject Jesus Christ and His salvation is to continue to live in sin and to continue to war against God.
Spiritual rest comes to the Christian at salvation. At that point we get busy in the Kingdom of God. The more we apply ourselves to the work of the Kingdom, the more Satan fights against us. God's rest then gives us freedom from the things that would otherwise cause anxiety, worry, or distress. His rest wells up in us as we face adversity. We then are no longer paralyzed by pressures and persecutions; we are refreshed, revived, and rejuvenated in the joy of the Lord.
“Father, what a blessing it is to know that Your Holy Spirit brings peace and joy into our lives through Jesus Christ. Continue to cause the springs of rest and joy to well up within me as I seek to serve You more faithfully and effectively. In Jesus’ name I ask, Amen.”