In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said: “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.”
I found this today while reading a devotional from Kay Arthur with Precepts For Life and thought it was worth posting today.
Stress is everywhere! And it shows. It shows in our bodies, in our relationships, including our relationship with God.
Time is a commodity you wish you could buy, and if you could, you would use it simply to buy peace, quiet, leisure — to do some things you long to do and not have to do them in such a rush. Just having time to think and to have the right atmosphere for thinking would be nice, wouldn’t it?
There will always be tension to life. But it needs to be a healthy, creative tension, not life-sapping stress. Marriages, families, and personal lives are falling apart as stressed-out people run away, withdraw, explode, crash, burn out and eventually find themselves so very much alone.
I believe a major cause for our stress is that we react rather than act. We’re all moving so quickly that we don’t stop and consider our future. What will it demand of us? What will it cost? Are we willing to pay the price?
We simply move. We react to the immediate.
Is that you today? I know it’s an area where I really do battle. I want to do everything. I have so many ideas and I love the excitement and challenge of a new venture, the potential, the “project.” So I react in the moment. I say yes when I should say no, forgetting that my time is already allotted to other things. We react in a response of the flesh instead of acting under the Holy Spirit’s control.
You see, God knows what each one of us is dealing with. He knows our pressures. He knows our conflicts. And He has made provision for each and every one of them. And that provision is Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit, indwelling us and empowering us to respond rightly.
This liberating response is wrapped up in a single word, and if you grasp the meaning of it and put it into action in your life through the Lord’s grace and power, you’ll know how to walk with the Spirit in complete control, and not one single stressful situation or circumstance in your life will be beyond your ability to handle.
The word is meekness! Meekness is the key to acting rather than reacting when disappointments come. Meekness carries the idea of humility and submission and of bringing yourself low. God is at work to build meekness into our innermost beings. And the way He works meekness in our hearts is through disappointments and trials.
Meekness is born in stress, in trials, in affliction in conflict, in difficulties. Meekness is born in situations that humble you. This meekness that God so highly values in your life will show itself, prove itself, in oppression and pressure and disappointment. It was true for God’s people Israel, and it’s true for you and me.
Let me ask you, when do you run to God the most? When do you pray the most? Isn’t it when you’re hurting the most? When you’re disappointed, stressed, pressured, you fall back in dependence upon the Lord instead of upon yourself.
Are you going through a difficult situation, a trial? Does this stressful time seem more than you can bear? Whatever the situation, whatever the stress, it is designed to make you, not to destroy you. It has been permitted by God to mold you into the image of His Son rather than disfigure you for life. God doesn’t test us to see if we’ll fail, but to show us how strong we are. He wants us to score a hundred on the exam!
No matter what happens to us, God has totally and completely and absolutely equipped and prepared us for it.
So we’re not to fight these afflictions we encounter, the trials and disappointments, these oppressions, these humbling situations. God is in perfect control of them, and in His perfect design He’s permitted them to teach us to act rather than react. We’re in training.