Finding Rest

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Psalm 62. Some people might find more rested through this time, but others might be feeling added pressures from extra workloads and increased stress from a constantly changing lifestyle. Rest for a lot of people sounds like a luxury right now. Have you through about rest for your own soul, which is at the very core of who you are?

Are you able to echo David’s statement from the Psalm Which talks about rest in God and rest for our souls?

"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him."

Psalm 62:1

St Augustine echoes this when he says “O Lord, you have formed us for yourself, and our souls are restless, until they find their rest in you”.

David tells himself what he needs to do, “that’s where hope is found”. Where else in the Bible does it talk about finding rest for your soul?

"This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’"

Jeremiah 6:16

The prophet Jeremiah spoke God’s word into serious and difficult situations as he talked about the impending destruction of Jerusalem

Finding rest for your souls is a choice you make for yourself. The people in Jeremiah’s day chose not to walk that way and didn’t find the rest they needed.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Matthew 11:28

In Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus gave the people an invitation to rest. His words might be familiar to some but if we want to find the true meaning of rest, as spoken by St Augustine, this is only found in Jesus and his rest for our souls.

First Jesus focuses his prayer upwards thanking God His Father.

"At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

Matthew 11:25-27

The reference to infants is about having faith like a child. He thanks His Father for revealing the important things to those who come before him with this type of faith.

Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

Matthew 11:26

If anyone is to know the father, they need to know Jesus – it’s all about Jesus. The son presents the most amazing offer ever, “Come, draw near”.

It’s to come to Him: it’s personal, it isn’t a place or institution, it’s for all people.

Most who heard him originally were weighed down already, especially those who were struggling under the strict religious laws of the day. But Jesus offered them a refreshing alternative when he said “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”.

The causes of their weariness are very different from the causes of our weariness and pressures of our modern day expectations, but the core is still the same.

“Unique to anyone else in history, Jesus simply offers Himself as rehearsed universal solution to all that burdens us”

Anonymous

Did you notice that this rest is something he gives? We don’t deserve it and we can’t earn it – it’s a gift of grace.

"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."

Matthew 11:29

Two things we have to do: we have to take and we have to learn.

Jesus was taking to a Jewish community and a yolk is something they would have seen everyday. Typically an untrained ox is yolked with an older ox to work with and learn what to do. This fits in with this invitation to learn, submitting to someone who wants to teach you. Jesus says He is humble and gentle. It doesn’t mean life with Jesus is easy but if you commit to Jesus, you will be forever connected – yoked – to Him. This is where our rest comes from.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message)

If you feel tired, distracted or burned out, this invitation is for you. Come, and rest you soul.

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