How can I remove stress from my life?

Esme Schmitt Ministries

Are you living with lots of stress?  Are you experiencing stress in the depth of your soul?  Are you wondering:  “How can I remove stress from my life?”  In this blog, I want to discuss one simple answer to that question.  In fact it is probably so simple that you will say, “No, there has to be more to it than this!”

The cry for rest!

When you are experiencing stress, the greatest cry is normally for rest.  You start to dream about that island holiday and think, “If I can only lie on the beach for a week!”  We normally associate rest with a holiday.  We think, “The longer the holiday, the more rest we will get”.  Although there is a definite truth to this, there is more to rest than a holiday at the beach.

 

I would like to discuss some gems I’ve found about rest, as taken from Matthew 11:28 – 30.

Rest is a gift from God

In Matthew 11:28 God extends an invitation to us by saying, “Come to me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  When you come to God, as you are, He will give you rest.  Rest is therefore actually a gift from God.  It does not come from ‘actions of rest’ (like lying on a beach – even though that will truly make me peaceful), but from God himself.

What is rest?

The word ‘rest’ that is described in Matthew 11:28 means, ‘I will ease and relieve and refresh your soul.’ (Taken from these translations:  Tyndale Bible, Wycliffe Bible and The Greek-English lexicon).  The Passion translation explains this refreshing in the following way, ” So everyone, come to me!  Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden?  Then come to me.  I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.”  God is our oasis.  When we come to Him and drink of Him, that water refreshes our souls.  This then explains why we need to come to Him to find rest.

Taking God’s Yoke?  How can that be?   I am already stressed!!

Another meaning for rest is “exchanging our burden for God’s yoke” (Matthew 11:29).  It’s difficult to fully drink from the Oasis if you are carrying heavy weights. When you come to the Oasis, your first priority is to lay down every burden that you are carrying.  Once you have done that, you can dip both hands in the Oasis and drink deeply! This process will bring a great and everlasting refreshing to your soul.

The next step is to get yoked with Christ.  Yoking is usually associated with two animals that are joined together so that they can work as one.  In the same way God invites us to be joined with Him.  Together we work as one.  The greatest difference, though, between two animals being yoked and us being yoke with Christ, is:  When we are yoked with Christ, we do not share a 50/50 workload, since we are yoked with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In fact, this yoking implies that we barely carry any load at all!  That is why we can truly be at rest when we work.  When we are yoked like this, the Trinity is working on our behalf!

How can I take on God’s Yoke?

The process of yoking with the Trinity can sound strange and difficult to accomplish.  How do you practically do this?  Well, Jesus gives us the answer to this.  ” Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest (Matthew 11:29)”  I believe that Jesus understands that this is a difficult concept for us to grasp.  He therefore is willing to teach us how to do this.  He even goes as far as saying, “Don’t be afraid of me.  I will teach you well.  In fact, I am the perfect teacher.  I am gentle and humble.  I am the kind of teacher you can approach and learn from.”  You can only learn about yoking by turning to Christ as your teacher.  He will teach you how to get that true rest you desire and how to always walk in that rest!

Conclusion

God wants to give you the gift of rest.  You don’t have to walk with stress in your soul.  There is a way to do what you need to do (work wise, family wise, life wise)…without stress…and in rest.

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