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Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NLT)
Peace is the birthright of every believer in all circumstances. It is found only in God and is maintained through having a close relationship with him. The point here is to find peace, rest in Jesus before ever trying to obey his commands. Otherwise law keeping becomes a terrible bondage. Many whom Jesus addresses are weary and burdened precisely because of their efforts to keep the Law (cf. Acts 15:10). Jesus grants rest to his people by giving them his law (vv. 28–29)! In fact, the subject of the very next passage is that God revealed the fourth commandment to grant rest (the meaning of the word sabbath). Jesus’ yoke is easy!
Douglas Maurer, 15, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, had been feeling bad for several days. His temperature was ranging between 103 and 105 degrees, and he was suffering from severe flu-like symptoms. Finally, his mother took him to the hospital in St. Louis. Douglas Maurer was diagnosed as having leukemia. The doctors told him in frank terms about his disease. They said that for the next three years, he would have to undergo chemotherapy. They didn't sugarcoat the side effects. They told Douglas he would go bald and that his body would most likely bloat. Upon learning this, he went into a deep depression. His aunt called a floral shop to send Douglas an arrangement of flowers. She told the clerk that it was for her teenage nephew who has leukemia. When the flowers arrived at the hospital, they were beautiful. Douglas read the card from his aunt. Then he saw a second card. It said: "Douglas, I took your order. I work at Brix florist. I had leukemia when I was 7 years old. I'm 22 years old now. Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sincerely, Laura Bradley." His face lit up. He said, "Oh!" It's funny: Douglas Maurer was in a hospital filled with millions of dollars of the most sophisticated medical equipment. He was being treated by expert doctors and nurses with medical training totaling in the hundreds of years. But it was a salesclerk in a flower shop, a woman making $170 a week, who by taking the time to care, and by being willing to go with what her heart told her to do gave Douglas hope and the will to carry on. (Bob Greene, "From One Sufferer To Another, Chicago Tribune, Aug, 1987)
Acts 7:60 (NLT) — He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. (When Stephen confronted the Jewish leaders who lost their minds at his accusations.)
Romans 12:17–19 (NLT) — 17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.
Philippians 4:11–13 (NLT) — 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Proverbs 14:30 (NLT) — 30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Isaiah 57:18–19 (NLT) — 18 I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, 19 bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.
Proverbs 1:33 (NLT) — 33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
Romans 8:35–39 (NLT) — 35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 15:13 (NLT) — 13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:1–5 (NLT) — 1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
When things go bad, run to him! It’s really your only hope. Remember what you get when you run to Jesus:
What if your relationship had all of these things? How would it be different? Do these things sound miserable? “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
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