“Come to Me, all you 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” (Matthew 11:28–30).
GOD KNOWS OUR NEED FOR REST. No one understands more than He how sin has disturbed our souls and disquieted our minds. Not only does He have the wisdom to see our need, but He has the ability and the love to provide for that need in the very best way. To have “faith” in God means we put our confidence in all three: His wisdom, His goodness, and His power.
While it’s true that all sin comes from a willful rebellion against the requirements of God, it’s also true that the consequences of sin can be quite different from person to person. The word “death” (Romans 6:23) covers many different kinds of damage. Each of us stands before God broken and in need of restoration, but what needs to be restored depends on the unique combination of qualities God gave us in the first place.
Sometimes we need help seeing what our own needs really are. The story is told in Matthew 19:16–22 of a young man who came to the Lord and said, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” When Jesus told him to keep the commandments, he replied, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus instructed him to give everything he owned to the poor and then follow Him. At that point, the text says that “he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Here was a man who seemed to be honest. He seemed to seek relief from the damage of sin in his own life. But when the Lord put His finger on the problem that he needed help with the most, he rejected the Lord’s help.
Are we willing to accept the Great Physician’s diagnosis, and are we willing to take the steps His gospel requires? If so, then rest will be given to each of us according to our need. The gifts of God are as wonderfully varied as the people whom He has created. It was He who gave each of us our own attributes, and it is He who can restore what each of us has lost.
“For one man conversion means the slaying of the beast within him; in another it brings the calm of conviction to an unquiet mind; for a third it is the entrance into a larger liberty and a more abundant life; and yet again it is the gathering into one of the forces of a soul at war with itself” (George Jackson).