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.
Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV)
We find rest for our souls in Jesus. Each day we are called to surrender the cares and concerns of life to Him, and allow our mind, our will and our emotions to rest in His grace and in His Word. Here we discover that His yoke is indeed easy and His burden light because He never calls us to do anything without also providing the grace necessary for us to do it. And so our walk with the Lord is a day by day and moment by moment looking to Him, and remembering that in the midst of all that is required of us there remains a place of calm and peace in Him.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (KJV)
Casting our care upon the Lord is an act of great humility. Humbling ourselves under His mighty hand means that we surrender even the smallest details of our life to the One who cares for us. Today, dare to cast all your cares, worries and concerns upon Him, and rest in His grace. It is from this place of resting in Him that the mighty hand of God will lead us, comfort us, deliver us, strengthen us, and ultimately, exalt us.
And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.
Luke 5:12-13 (NKJV)
Have you ever wondered if it is truly God’s will to bring wholeness, joy, health and wellbeing into your life? This man with leprosy approached Jesus in exactly that way, and His response was, “I am willing.” Oftentimes we must consciously and deliberately remind ourselves that it is God’s will for us that we be every whit whole, that the fruits of salvation include wholeness in all of the spheres of our life. And so today, let us be bold enough to remove all doubt and uncertainty from our hearts, and know that we serve a God who is willing meet the needs that arise in our day to day life. Our responsibility is to be willing to receive of His limitless love and grace towards us.
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Psalm 104:33-34 (KJV)
True and lasting joy comes out of right relationship with God. We know we are in right relationship with Him when we can find a song of praise in our hearts, when our meditation of Him brings us to a place of delight. Our approach to God should never be from a place of insecurity, wondering whether or not we have been accepted and approved, but much rather from a place of childlike faith and simple joy. This acts as a reminder to our own hearts that we can trust Him in all circumstances. And so let us know today the power of a heart filled with praise, and that God has called us to rejoice and be glad in Him.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Acts 20:32 (KJV)
Grace will always build us up, whereas religion tends to pull people down. While religion is all about what we must do in order to earn favor with God, grace is all about what Jesus has already done for us. Each day our practice therefore must be to remind ourselves, to confess, and to thank God that He has already made available anything we could ever need. As we remember our identity in Christ—that we have been made righteous and every whit whole in Him—we open ourselves to receiving the inheritance grace has already provided.
The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
John 4:49-51 (NKJV)
We see the immutable principle of faith at work here: the nobleman believed the words that Jesus had spoken to him, went about his way, and then experienced in the natural the very thing he had received by faith. When God speaks to us, when the Word enters into our heart, let us be sure to do as this man did, and simply believe. We may rest assured that we will see the manifestation of the very thing we had believed for.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1 John 5:4 (KJV)
The key to living a life of victory is our faith. Faith is a powerful spiritual principle that enables the promises of God to be made manifest in our life. We are called to strengthen our faith by exercising it like a muscle. The more that we exercise our faith, the stronger it becomes. We exercise our faith by setting our hearts and minds upon the promises of God, by meditating on them and confessing them until they become real to us. When we believe in the reality of something before we can perceive it through our physical senses, we are living in the victory of faith.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Psalm 62:5-7 (KJV)
Though it can be tempting to look to people or to circumstances and conditions lining up in a certain way, are called to place all our faith, trust and reliance in God. May we live each day in a way where all our expectation is in the goodness and the faithfulness of our God, and may we rest assured that we will not be disappointed. While God will often work through other people, and while He certainly arranges circumstances and conditions in our favor, let us remember always that He is the rock of our salvation and our strength.
And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Mark 10:52 (KJV)
Faith is what enables God’s glory to be made manifest in our lives. While the grace of God through the finished works of Jesus has already made available anything we need, let us realize that it is our faith that enables us to take possession of it. And so when we approach God, let us do so with boldness and confidence, knowing in our hearts that our Father is ready to freely provide all that is needed. There are no limits to those who will approach God with bold and confident faith.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalm 100:4 (KJV)
Nothing puts us more quickly into the presence of God than praise and thanksgiving. This need not always be formal, for we can praise God at any time throughout the day, and we can train ourselves to always maintain a grateful heart towards Him. Let us remember that we serve a God who is worthy of all praise, and may we never take His goodness towards us for granted. The more we praise Him and thank Him for all He has done, the more of His glory will we see in our lives.