September 2, 2022

Resting in Jesus

Labor Day weekend is here. The unofficial end of summer and the beginning of fall (still waiting on that lower humidity and temperatures). The whole idea behind this holiday is to give the American labor force a day of rest.

It came about in the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks just to barely get by. Not to mention the conditions they worked in were terrible. The result was civil unrest among the work force in form of strikes and riots.

So, in response, congress seeking to repair ties, made Labor Day an official holiday and signed into law in 1894. It was to give them an actual day off and to rest. But do we rest? Just ask any person how they are doing, and the common response is, just busy.

Just like in the 1800’s there is a cry for rest and to see life improve, but the one crying out is not heard in the city streets and county squares. It is a cry from our souls, in the quiet moments of life when we confess that there is a weariness and a fatigue that a day off and weeklong vacation cannot fix.

Some of it is the pace of life we run in, some of it comes because of the pandemic we have all faced and some comes just because life doesn’t stop. Our souls cry out for a need for rest.

Rest does mean taking a break, letting your body catch up and even getting sleep. But deeper still is the unrest in our souls that are empty because we have given out so much over the last few years and find ourselves depleted. I know I cannot be the only one.

Jesus Christ gives us the answer for the weariness of our soul and where we turn for rest. It is simple, we run to Him. He alone is our rest, and He alone can give us rest.

Jesus proclaims hope to us when he says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Jesus is calling us all to Him. He is the one who can give us peace for the unrest in our soul and He is the source of true rest. We see two types of rest in this passage.

The first is what I call, salvation rest. Come to Jesus for salvation and He alone makes peace between you and God. Quit laboring and working your way to God, rest in Christ alone for salvation.

Then, after salvation, we continue to come to him for what I call daily rest. Not just peace with God but the peace of God. It is daily coming to Jesus, taking His yoke, which is a farm tool where you place two animals in the same harness for pulling and plowing. He is saying, cling to me, stay close to me, learn of me, let me fill your empty tank, let me show you how to live, let me be your source of strength.

So much I could say but let me say it like this – if you are tired and weary and need rest, true rest is not in a place, a purchase, a position, or even other people.

Rest for your soul is found in one person and His sweet name is Jesus. Come to Him today and find rest.

Pastor Michael