Rest for the weary

We are living in days of great stress that affect the whole world. The Covid-19 pandemic took the lives of many people and those who lost loved ones still feel it keenly. The wars in Ukraine and Sudan and more recently in Gaza have involved destruction of whole communities and the deaths of many men, women, and children. It’s no wonder that some news reports are prefaced by a warning that some viewers may find them distressing. Those who report on places where there is great suffering must be deeply affected by what they see. At such a time as this where can we find comfort and hope?

During his ministry Jesus had compassion on the people around him because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. So, he gave them a wonderful promise; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The tragic decline in many churches has left a spiritual vacuum at the heart of our society and in the lives of many people. The vital task of Christians is to point people to Jesus, the Son of God. His promise was made to all those who are “weary and burdened” by experiences such as the disappointments and failures of life, sickness or accident, broken relationships, the loss of loved ones, the declining powers of old age, the depressing effect of our troubled world, or the daily grind of living with limited resources, when prices are increasing, and debt becomes overwhelming.

Coming to Jesus makes all the difference as we rejoice in his love for us and put our trust him as Saviour and Lord. He gives us rest from our weariness and burdens as we learn to use his easy, comfortable, yoke to carry us and the troubles of life. The rest he gives reaches the depth of our being, our eternal soul. Through him we find peace with God and the assurance that whatever happens he will never fail us or forsake us. As we read the Bible and speak to Jesus in prayer, we learn from him, who is gentle and lowly, and a sure guide through all the twists and turns of life. We know that, whatever happens, our life has a purpose, and that Jesus is leading us to heaven, a place of eternal rest with him.

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