I Will Give You Rest
The world cannot understand Americans. Considering all of our society, Americans have the greatest prosperity and highest standard of living known in any sizable society on earth. In fact, history has never known a sizable nation that had our standard of living. Yet, depression is common in America. Among both young and the old, suicide is significant. Alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, sexually transmitted disease, promiscuity, dysfunctional families, one parent families, rejection of commitment, dishonesty, and a lack of integrity and character are sources of major social problems.
How can a society with so much, experience so many serious problems? This is why many of the world’s societies cannot understand. In their societies, the majority live in poverty with minimal human rights and to them, the combination of prosperity and human rights produce a wonderful society. America has that combination. So, why do we not enjoy our wonderful existence? It is because these things do not eliminate stress. Our country uses alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual indulgences and other things in an attempt to escape stress. Family relationships fail to nurture and sustain healthy love and acceptance and therefore, this brings forth the stress of loneliness, rejection, and despair. Thus, many are in distress.
In the first century, Jesus once invited the burdened of Jewish society to come to him (Matthew 11:28–‐30). His guidance would unburden their lives. He was gentle and humble and through him they would find rest. Rest! What a wonderful word! What a beautiful concept! Rest is the opposite of stress. Stress is the enemy of rest and here Jesus produces rest in a burdened life by taking the burdens. Therefore, it is easier to serve Jesus than it is to be enslaved to burdens. And, if we as Christians wish to validate the gospel and capture the attention of the masses, all we need to do is to allow Jesus to give us rest for stressed out Christians cannot communicate the peace and healing of the gospel.
Jesus said, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Now, we know there is rest of salvation or justification. This is the rest of deliverance from the slavery and bondage of sin, the power of Christ to conquer the enslaving habits that damage the human body and destroy the human soul. It is the rest of conscience that comes to a person’s soul when he ceases his struggle in the wilderness of sin by obeying Him. But notice, Jesus mentions rest twice: “Ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29). This rest is not referring to a rest of inactivity. It is a rest of refreshment: a rest of refreshing one’s body, mind, and spirit. It is a rest that fits one for life: a rest that infuses a person with true purpose, meaning, and significance. It is a rest of encouragement and motivation of soul: a rest that stirs a person to live and undertake his God–‐ given task with enthusiasm and vigor and endurance.
Let me suggest to you that when you are stressed that you let your life demonstrate that Christ destroys stress. Second, never distress each other. Third, do not promote or endorse ungodliness because evil creates stress. Third, commit to honesty, integrity, and character and learn how to help each other with life’s burdens.