Wednesday, December 20
Messiah for the Weary & Stressed
Scripture Reading: Matthew 11:28-30
God is not surprised by the presence of stress in our lives. Over two thousand years ago Jesus spoke to the people following him about the very thing that plagues so many of us still today, stress. We all have felt the uneasy feeling stress brings, the unhealthy habits or behaviors that stress can manifest. Stress can consume thoughts, alter moods, dictate behaviors and rule you like a slave-master if you let it. But Jesus knew this would be a battle we would face. Our flesh desperately tries to pursue what the world promises, while the Spirit of God in us fights back, reminding us of our new nature in Christ. Ultimately this is a war of where we place our trust.
At the time of Jesus, the religious leaders oppressed people with religious legalism. The written Torah was not the burden. It was the additional traditions of the Pharisees that caused the people to be weary and burdened. They called for utter outwardly perfection by following unattainable standards that were not from God.
Q. What are three things in life that cause you to feel stressed and weary?
“Come to me”. Jesus invites us, you and me personally, to come to Him. He invites us to trust in His ways and not the world’s. He invites us to trust in His redeeming work by acknowledging we are insufficient before our Holy God. He invites us to trust in His plan, promises, provision, redemption, grace, mercy and unfailing love. Jesus promises to provide rest for our souls.
Q. How would trusting in Jesus’ ways change your perception of the three things that are causing you to feel stressed and weary?
The yoke is a wooden frame that joins two animals together so they can pull a heavy load. Jesus uses this as a metaphor to explain our subjection to another. The Pharisees subjected the Jewish people to loads of expectations they could never carry. Our flesh subjects us to strive more. It promises that if I had ___________ than_____________. Our soul whispers that we should trust in ourselves alone, to ignore the guilt of our inability of perfection before our Holy God, and just try harder.
Jesus promises that the work was and is His alone to complete. He was born to take the nails, so you and I wouldn’t have to. He was born to bring eternal rest for our weary and burdened souls. Therefore, weary soul, find rest in Christ rather than trying to manhandle all your anxiety on your own this Christmas season. We can find rest both now and in eternity by simply surrendering to God, and trusting Jesus to be our Lord of it all. When we are weak, He is strong.
- What are some ways your flesh beckons you to strive for what this world has to offer?
- What are some ways your spirit whispers to trust in God alone?
Read: Psalm 34:8, 1 John 5:1-5, Psalm 46:1, 1 Corinthians 15:54-58