Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsWednesday 18 Mar 2020Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 5 minutes
So many people today seem to be so beaten down by the everyday struggles of life. They seem to be so very tired and weary. It is so bad that it has brought on a new illness called chronic fatigue syndrome. I know a few people who have this, and it’s a real and crippling condition.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of people that suffer from this disease of our time. The doctors unfortunately can’t do very much about the problem if you suffer from it. About the best that they can do is give you some sleeping pills and muscle relaxers, but that does not cure the problem—it only hides it. Wouldn’t you rather find a cure for your weariness? You may say, Of course I would, does one exist?
We have felt overwhelmed with the complexity of life. We are tired and weary physically, mentally, and emotionally. We all have things that are bothersome to us. They may not be big things, but just the same they weigh us down and make us weary. Everyone faces these things everyday in the hustle and bustle of our busy society.
We All Carry Heavy Burdens
We all have some kind of burden that we carry around from day to day. Many may have financial obligations that are weighing them down, while others may have family sickness that is weighing them down. Still there are others that are contending with dysfunctional relationships. The list of burdens could go on and on. The sad fact is that we all have something that puts us under enormous pressure and stress from time to time.
When we add life’s enormous burdens to its everyday bothers, things can get very stressful indeed. After a short time in trying to cope with the two together we grow very weary indeed. Weariness is simply a problem that we all face in this life. The Bible does have a lot to say to help—and I want to deal with this. Job said that, “Life is short and sorrowful for every living soul” (Job 14:1). Observing everyday life, I think we would agree with that observation.
But here’s what Jesus says. We read this in Matthew 11:28-30:
If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
This is not an empty cliché. It’s one of the greatest verses in the Bible. Try and memorise it. You might think, Oh yeah, for sure. You don’t know how difficult life is for me at present. What can Jesus do for me? If someone else made such a promise we would laugh at them because we know that they do not possess the power to fulfil it.
What about our Lord? Can we count on him to make good such a promise? Yes, we can. We must remember that he is God, and that he holds all power in heaven and earth in the palm of his hand. When he makes such a promise it is not a shallow, empty promise because he possesses the power to fulfil it. He can take away your burden and the weariness of spirit.
Imagine carrying a 100-pound backpack on a dirt road stretching up a steep mountain for miles. You are trudging along looking at your feet, watching the sweat drip off your nose into the dust—weary and heavy-laden. But imagine that you hear someone shouting, Excuse me! Look up! Look ahead! And as you look up the road you see a jeep in front of you—with someone inviting you to hop in so they can drive you to the top.
Jesus Overcomes Our Weariness
It changes everything. Weariness disappears. Strength rises. You feel rest. That’s what Jesus does—Jesus overcomes our weariness by showing us the Father. We are weary with too much to do—but Jesus shows us that the Father will give us the grace to do whatever he calls us to do. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 we read:
God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others.
We face tough decisions—but Jesus shows us that God the Father will give us all the wisdom we need for every decision we face. James 1:5 says “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God and it will be given to you…”
A minister was teaching a Bible class and asked for a few Christians to respond to his question: Has Jesus helped you carry your burden? Here are two real-life answers:
- One woman said: “When my husband was killed in an industrial accident, it was as heavy a burden as I ever carried. And in that process, God did give me rest. God carried my load and also gave me the strength to carry my load.” That was heavy. What did this woman say? That the death of her husband in an industrial accident was as heavy a burden as she ever carried. God carried her load for her. God gave her the strength to carry her own load. Both words are true: God carried her load for her and also gave her the strength to carry her own load.
- Another lady said: “When my husband died much too young, I could not pray because I was numb. I was incapable of praying but my friends lifted me up in prayer, upheld me in prayer, and I knew that I was being lifted up and supported.” What did this woman say? Her husband died much too young. She was numbed by the process. She was so numb she was incapable of praying. Instead her friends prayed for her. Many people said that, that their friends were the hands and hearts of God for them during the nasty crisis. Yes, we all understand numbness. We all understand helping friends at times like these.
I’m sure everyone becomes weary and carries heavy burdens in life. Jesus didn’t say that particularly good people should come to him. Nor did he suggest that any special group should come like Jews, Christians, or whatever. It is the word all. All people are to come to God. All people are invited to Jesus.
Think of that word you and write down the words that’s me. That means you and me. We are not talking about somebody else here but you and me. Jesus offers peace and new life to you. In Jesus’ day, those people who were weary and carrying heavy burdens were the poor, blind, lame, maimed, lepers.
These were people who were sick. Jesus said, “I didn’t come to heal people who thought they were well, but people who knew they were sick.” The Pharisees didn’t know they were sick and in need of a doctor.