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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - June 7, 2013

  • 2013 Jun 07
  • COMMENTS

Finding Christ

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
-Matthew 11:28, emphasis added

Jesus promises that if we to come to Him, we will find a resting place in a Friend on whom we can lay our burdens. A new believer typically asks, "Can I hold out?" God compassionately replies, "I will hold you, My child!" The Lord Jesus is our strong and loving Savior.

Because most Christians can find no rest trying to live life their way instead of God's, they become weary of the daily grind. What are some common roots for weariness?

First, we are weary because of the change and stress which derail us from seeking God's promised rest: " ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength' " (Isaiah 30:15).

Consider these comments on the subject of change and stress:

Here's the problem: While choices multiply, we stay pretty much the same. Our bodies and minds remain the bottleneck through which choice must pass. We still have the same brains our forebearers did, still only twenty-four hours a day to use them. We still need time and energy to listen, look, absorb, distinguish, and decide. The opportunity to choose among many options is, of course, a good thing. But maybe you can have too much of a good thing? Even of choice itself? Each choice saps energy, takes time, makes a big deal out of what isn't.[1]

Secondly, we are weary because of the ceaseless pressures of debt that rob our taking advantage of God's promised rest.[2] God says, "Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea" (Isaiah 48:18).

Today, our lives are addictively intertwined in the economic system, and the credit-debt mentality has been fully normalized. Someone has described a modern American as a person "who drives a credit union-financed car over a bond-financed highway on credit card gas to open a charge account at a department store so he can fill his bank-financed home with installment-purchased furniture."[3]

Thirdly, we are weary because the hurry and rush surrounding us always displaces God's time for us to rest. Even our sentences are peppered with such words as time crunch, fast food, rush hour, frequent flyer, expressway, overnight delivery, and rapid transit. The products and services we use further attest to our hurry: We pull in our speeding cars for gas and snacks at QuikTrip, send packages overnight by Federal Express, talk while we do other things on a cell phone service called Sprint, manage our personal finances on Quicken, schedule our appointments on a DayRunner, diet with SlimFast, and even buy swimming gear made by Speedo.

Yes, the world is going faster. And yes, we in turn are also going faster. But the important question no one asks is this: When does faster become too fast? Is there a speed limit to life? What happens when we exceed it? Does God give us a ticket? I have thought long and hard about the issue of speed and have come to believe that it is as much responsible for the problem of personal and societal dysfunction as any other single factor. Virtually all of our relationships are damaged by hurry. Many families are being starved to death by velocity. Our children lie wounded on the ground, run over by our high-speed good intentions.[4]

Rest for our souls is the great necessity of our spiritual lives! We need to be alone with God daily. We need to find times to get away alone. We need to get up early if necessary. Few of us are called to spend many hours in daily prayer, but all of us must spend some time. If it is impossible when the family is awake, pray before they get up. If you have no place you can do this at home, find a place to park your car on the way to work and pray in the anonymity of the passing traffic. However you do this is up to you, but you need to make time to find Christ who is the Refuge for the weary!

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