REST FOR YOUR SOUL

January 16

Bible Reading: Matthew 11

Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

By design, a submarine is at its best underwater.  For on the surface, its round hull offers little resistance to the working of the waves in rocking the boat. We experienced some of that when a typhoon came suddenly as our sub was moored next to a destroyer in Hong Kong harbor.  The rising waves worked to rock the sub until our fairwater planes put a dent in the adjacent destroyer.  It was time to make a fast exit out of there!  Tethered men in life jackets repeatedly fell overboard as they prepared the sub to get underway.  In the engine room, we took steps to perform a fast reactor startup.  Though half the crew was ashore, we nevertheless made a quick departure to the open sea.  Once we got to deeper water, we knew we’d be safe, for in the depths of the sea we’d find a place where the winds and the waves could no longer reach us. 

It is a troublesome world.  And we’ve all got troubles of our own.  Is there any place we can go to find rest for our souls?  Recliners work well for taking an afternoon nap.  Rest rooms are helpful when you need to find some privacy.  Rest areas are great when you need a break from driving.  There are even rest homes for when you get older and need to take a break from everything else.  But where’s the place where you can find rest for your soul?  We will likely find no greater invitation than this in all the Bible.  C. H. Spurgeon thought so much of it that he delivered at least 12 sermons on this text.  “Come to me,” bids the Lord, “and you will find rest for your souls!”  There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God, and Jesus invites us to come.

“Rest is a pleasant thing, and a thing that all seek after. The merchant, the banker, the tradesman, the soldier, the lawyer, the farmer—all look forward to the day when they shall be able to rest. But how few can find rest in this world! How many pass their lives in seeking it, and never seem able to reach it! It seems very near sometimes, and they imagine it will soon be their own. Some new personal calamity happens, and they are as far off rest as ever. The whole world is full of restlessness and disappointment, weariness and emptiness. The very faces of worldly men let out the secret; their countenances give evidence that the Bible is true; they find no rest…. But Jesus offers rest to all who will come to Him. “Come unto Me,” he says, “and I will give you rest.” He will give it. He will not SELL it, as the Pharisee supposes—so much rest and peace in return for so many good works. He gives it freely to every coming sinner, without money and without price….He will give you rest from guilt of sin….He will give you rest from fear of law….He will give you rest from fear of hell….He will give you rest from fear of the devil….He will give you rest from fear of death….He will give you rest in the storm of affliction. He will comfort you with comfort the world knows nothing of. He will cheer your heart, and sustain your fainting spirit. He will enable you to bear loss patiently, and to hold your peace in the day of trouble. Oh! this is rest indeed!”

J. C. Ryle

He will fight your battles, heal your wounds, refresh your fainting spirits, guide you by His counsel while here, and at last receive you to Himself! – John Newton

Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

Refrain
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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