REFRESHING FOR WEARY SOULS
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Mat 11:38-30
Weariness, exhaustion, fatigue, distressed or lethargy that come from agitation in our soul; or mental exertion from hard work or labor. It is showing extreme tiredness after an excessive exertion. It is a state of unrest when we could not bear to believe and trust God to do as promised or to bring His promise to pass in our lives or in circumstances of life. One could be laboring hard not knowing the Lord or may know Him but not depending on Him for grace and wisdom to do it right. While others under the siege of sin may labor aright but does not get good and godly results because only Christ can give rest from all our labors. There is no refreshing, calmness or soothing until we rest on God.
Jehovah God performs what he had promised, and so inspiring confidence in his promises lifts off burden and weariness of mind; He perfects what he had begun, and finish his own work with good results. In the history of the creation, God was not called Jehovah until the heavens and the earth were finished. [Genesis 2:4].
God is saying “This way that we are directing to, and directing in, is the rest, the only rest, wherewith you may cause the weary to rest; and this will be the refreshing of your own souls, and will bring rest to your life from the wars and other calamities with which you have been long harassed by the adversary” Note, God by his word calls us to nothing but what is really for our advantage; for the service and the knowing of God [Daniel 11:32] is the only true rest for those that are weary of the service of sin and there is no refreshing but under the heavy yoke of the enemy.
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” Isa 28:9-13
There a dire need to learn from the Lord Jesus who is illustrated as the Word and a conscious effort to exchange our heavy laden for His yoke which is easy and His burden which is light takes away every weariness, fear, doubt, unbelief, anxiety and worry [Matt. 11:28-30]. The end product must always be freedom from all agitation in our mind and resting in the finished work of Jehovah God in His ability to save, heal and deliver us.
Those who are laboring in the service of sin and Satan, are laden with iniquity, and such groan, being burdened with the guilt of sin upon their consciences, and are pressed down with the unsupportable yoke of the law, and the load of human traditions; and have been laboring till they are weary, in order to obtain peace of conscience, and rest for their souls, by the observance of these things, but in vain. These are encouraged to come to him, lay down their burdens at his feet, look to, and lay hold by faith on his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; when they should enjoy that true spiritual consolation, succor or comfort of the Spirit, which could never be attained to by the works of the law.
Jesus Christ will give assured rest to those weary souls, that by a buoyant faith come to him for it; rest from the terror of sin, in a well-grounded peace of conscience; rest from the power of sin, in a regular order of the soul, and its due government of itself; a rest in God, and a satisfaction of soul, in his love. [Psalms 11:6, Psalms 11:7]. This is that rest which remains for the people of God [Hebrews 4:9], begun in grace, and perfected in glory.
To take Christ’s yoke upon us, is to put ourselves into the relation to servants and subjects to him, and then comport or behave ourselves consequently, in a meticulous obedience to all his commands. It is imperative to obey the gospel of Christ, to yield ourselves to the Lord: it is Christ’s yoke; the yoke he has appointed; a yoke he has himself drawn in and embraced before us, for he learned obedience [by the things He suffered], and which he does by his Spirit draw in with us, for he helps our infirmities [Romans 8:26].
A yoke speaks some hardship or adversity, but if the beast must draw, the yoke helps him. Christ’s commands are all in our favor or will eventually work together for our good: we must take this yoke upon us to draw in it. We are yoked to work, and therefore must be diligent; we are yoked to submit, and therefore must be humble and patient: we are yoked together with our fellow-servants, and therefore must keep up the communion of saints: and the words of the wise are as goads, to those who are thus yoked. This training helps us such that yoked together with Christ we can follow His example as seen in the Word of Life and do as He did, hereby guaranteed a godly and good results and rest.
Jesus our teacher and trainer is meek, and will have compassion on the ignorant, whom others would be in a passion with. Many able teachers are hot and hasty, which is a great discouragement to those who are dull and slow; but Christ knows how to bear with such, and to open their understandings. His carriage towards his twelve disciples was a specimen of this; he was mild and gentle with them, and made the best of them; though they were heedless and forgetful, he was not extreme to mark their follies.
Jesus is lowly in heart. He condescends to teach poor scholars, to teach novices; he chose disciples, not from the court, nor the schools, but from the seaside. He teaches the first principles, such things as are milk for babes; he stoops to the meanest capacities; he taught Ephraim to go [Hosea 11:3] and He cleansed the filthiness in their dirty feet. Who teaches like him? Who is patient like Him? It is an encouragement to us to put ourselves to school to such a Teacher and to endeavor to teach like Him when our time come. This humility and meekness, as it qualifies him to be a Teacher, so it will be the best qualification of those who are to be taught by him; for the meek will he guide in judgment [Psalms 25:9].
Rest for the soul is the most desirable rest; to have the soul to dwell at ease. The only way, and a sure way to find rest for our souls is, to sit at Christ’s feet and hear his word like Mary and not be cumbered by many other things like Martha. The way of duty is the way of rest. The understanding finds rest in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, and in there they are abundantly satisfied, finding that wisdom in the gospel which has been sought for in vain throughout the whole creation [Job 28:12]. Those that bind themselves at all times shall never be weary for Jesus supplies all they need to work, walk and serve without weariness.
“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” Isa 40:29-31
The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon and inculcate in order to be refreshed. The affections find rest in the love of God and Jesus Christ, and meet with that in them which gives them an abundant satisfaction; quietness and assurance forever. And those satisfactions will be perfected and perpetuated now and forever, they shall see and enjoy God immediately, shall see him as he is, and enjoy him as he is ours and in the world to come. This rest is to be had with Christ for all those who learn and walk in obedience to him.