One daily devotional I use is In Touch Magazine, written by Charles Stanley. The verse for today’s devotional is Matthew 11:28-30, a verse I almost refer to when I speak on the topic of faith, stress and health. Because Stanley does such a wonderful job of addressing these verses, I thought I’d share today’s devotion with you. The following is today’s devotional.
Jesus invites all burdened individuals to come to Him for rest, yet so often we misunderstand what He is offering. When stresses and problems weigh us down, the most natural response is to ask God for relief: “Lord, I can’t carry this anymore. I’m going to leave it here with you.” Having dumped the burden like a bag of garbage, we walk away but remained unchanged inside.
God doesn’t operate that way. Christ’s invitation is to join Him in the yoke so you can walk and work together. He doesn’t want just your burden; He wants you! The yoke of Christ is a symbol of discipleship, characterized by submission and obedience to Him. God’s goal isn’t simply to give relief by removing a weighty trial or affliction; He longs to draw you to Himself in a close and trusting relationship. Those who take Him up on His offer will be transformed and won’t ever return to their old ways.
The process of lightening the load begins with learning to know and understand the Lord. The burden is not necessarily removed, but our thoughts and responses are changed as we begin to love Him, trust Him, believe His promises, and rely on His power. Then, as the weight of the affliction shifts from our shoulders to His, we will discover relief, although the situation may remain unchanged.
Being yoked with Christ results in rest for your soul. Life’s pressures may not lessen, but if you are intimately linked with Jesus, your soul is free from churning anxiety, and His peace is ruling in your heart. Jump into His yoke. You have nothing to lose—except your weariness—and much to gain.
Stanley points out many good reasons why it’s important for us to “take Jesus’ yoke.” One other reason I think He commands us to do this is so that we won’t experience the adverse health effects that come from the chronic stress of bearing life’s burdens on our own. Jesus wants to help us. He wants us to rest in Him.
A Few Questions to Reflect On:
Are you trying to bear your life burdens by yourself?
When was the last time you explicitly turned to Jesus in prayer and said something like this. “I am weary and have many burdens. My soul needs rest. I trust in you. Help me Jesus.”
Material I’ve Written on This Topic:
Managing Stress With God’s Help – A one page article
Stress Your Health and Faith – A page on my web site
Have a terrific day!