I Will Give You Rest
Few if any of us will manage to get through life without facing some challenge that will bring us down. Success can actually set us up for the fall. We come to believe our lives should follow the fairy tale pattern, that we should live “happily ever after.” Then we are devastated when everything is turned upside down by trouble. Life is characterized by disappointment and setback – the question is not whether we will face trial but when and how.
Often those that have been sorely tested and failed think to excuse their failure saying, “The test was too hard.” We will be held accountable for our lives – successful or not. The real tragedy is not that life is hard, but that so many fail to take advantage of the One that can enable them to overcome!
Human beings are the only creatures that go out of their way to make life more difficult. The ox and the lion do not pout and refuse to eat when they are hungry, but men do. We worry not just about things we know but also about things that might happen. When a child skins his knee he instinctively turns to his parents for help and when night comes he does not lay awake wondering how he will face tomorrow. A child’s confidence does not allow for worry if his parents have done their job. Our Heavenly Father’s love differs from that of a parent in one significant way- the parent may miss something, God will not!
So many are adrift on life’s tumultuous sea not realizing that a safe anchorage is readily available. They starve while God’s table is spread with abundance.
I. A Problem Confronting Everyone
A. Jesus describes us to a turn
1. Laboring and heavy laden
2. Unwilling to ask for help
B. We are struggling with:
1. Death, poverty, illness, etc.
2. We are facing guilt, doubts, fears, and anger
3. Sin sick and not admitting it
II. An Inviting Promise, “Come Unto Me”
A. God is not an enemy nor a stranger
B. His mercy is as great as the universe and as immeasurable as the sea
C. He promises help for life’s journey and assurance regarding the outcome
III. Knowing this, Why Do Some Still Not Come?
A. They dislike God’s methods
1. He requires obedience
2. He requires us to give up sinfulness and pride
B. Their lives have become a habit they can’t break
1. They never quit picking at the sore spot
2. They have overestimated their ability to sin and underestimated God’s ability to forgive!
IV. Continued Refusal Involves Us In A Great Sin
A. It wrongs God’s Son. He died for us and is dishonored by our reluctance
B. Crucifying Him afresh with every refusal
1. His reasons are not selfish but sacrificial
2. Breaking His heart that wants to forgive and bless
C. You wrong yourself – continuing to suffer when there is no need
It is unreasonable to be wretched and alone when mercy is so freely available. The arms of God and His Church are open to receive and bless. Wouldn’t you like to lay down your burdens and rest?