Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 [NKJV]
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 [NKJV]
If, like me, you have a tendency to worry and be anxious; maybe fretting over stuff that is none of your concern, or over which you have no control, then these verses are a tremendous comfort.
Anxiety and worry is common to us - I know of no one who is entirely free from anxiety's grip. And yet Jesus says we should learn from His example and find peace in our hearts. Let not your heart be troubled. Those words are spoken twice in John 14, and a key word in this expression is let. We are required to take action in this. Do not allow your heart to be troubled. This could sound on the face of it as if it was a command to 'sort yourself out' or 'stop being such a fearty', but no this is a word of help from one who is gentle and lowly in heart. He asks us to take His yoke and as Peter says, cast your care upon Him.
The 'yoke' that Jesus speaks of comes from the Greek zygos, meaning 'to join; a coupling'; it is each one serving the other. In the natural, a yoke is a wooden brace across the shoulders of cattle to hold them so that they can work together. Farmers used such a method to guide a team of horses when ploughing a field. Literally, it refers to the beam of the balance in a set of scales. And our Lord loves balance.
Yet again, Jesus paints a beautiful picture for us, this time of the truth of our relationship with Him. It is a working together, a love relationship, where each loves and cares for the other and puts the other first. And this is the key that unlocks the let of the untroubled heart. It is as Oswald Chambers has said, praying 'with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties'; connecting with Him in reality and with our focus on His untroubled heart instead of our troubled one, for ...
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love
Lord, I hold fast to You in the hour as You are the only certainty in an uncertain world. Help me to keep my focus on You and not on myself or the troubles that seem to abound. You are in control, and the anchor which will hold me safely. In Jesus' name, Amen.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART
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