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8 Comforting Things Jesus Says about Soul Rest

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8 Comforting Things Jesus Says about Soul Rest

Rest is a gift from God to be received and practiced. In our fast-paced culture, it is easy to get caught up in doing more and rushing faster. But sometimes life seems to rush right by, and we get exhausted from the pace. It often feels like we can’t keep up. Running harder seems to be the thing to do, so we try. But no matter how hard we try, sometimes we just cannot keep up and life feels too hard to keep going. We know we need to rest, but we don’t know how.

What if I told you Jesus offers you rest, and it is completely free?

From the very beginning of the Bible God, Himself set an example for us of rest. After six days of creating the world, the Bible says, “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:2).

Go with me to the New Testament and let’s see what Jesus has to say about rest. But it is not just any rest – he spoke about rest for the soul. Doesn’t that sound good?

Matthew 11:28-30 - “Come to Me, all you who labor 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.”

There are specific instructions Jesus gives that help us clarify how we can receive and practice true rest. Walk with me through each phrase of Matthew 11:28-30 and let’s uncover the truth tucked within these verses.

1. Jesus says “Come to Me.”

This is an action that the listener (you and me) must take if we are to truly rest. This means we will never be able to truly rest without Christ. But with Him, there is rest to be received. The action step for us is to first come to Him. If you’ve struggled to find relief from your current stress or struggle, try bringing it to Jesus.

2. Jesus Speaks to, “All You Who Labor and Are Heavy Laden.”

Here we find an important detail about who will be able to receive this true rest in Christ. It’s for those who have been working and are weary, tired, and feel like they need rest. This rest he speaks of is not the type of rest that calls for a good nap, or a day where you literally do no work. But rather it is the type of rest that refreshes the heart and soul of a person, as we will see in the rest of the passage.

3. Jesus Says, “I Will Give You Rest.”

This might be the most important thing we uncover about rest. If Jesus is the giver, it is imperative that the receiver come to Him. If we want rest, but seek rest in a feel-good activity – a spa like experience, or a vacation that is sure to bring extravagant pleasure – we might feel refreshed in the moment, rejuvenated for the time being, but it won’t take long for the effects of that type of rest to wear right off. It won’t be long before we are longing to be back at the spa or searching for our next dream vacation. Receiving the rest Jesus gives when we come to Him satisfies beyond the moment. It’s a peace in the soul that lingers. But Jesus says, there is more…

4. Jesus Says, “Take My Yoke upon You.”

This is a word picture Jesus was using that the people in the culture of Bible times would have resonated with. Just as the animals who were plowing the field would be holding the same yoke over their necks or backs pulling the plow working together, Jesus says to take His yoke on you. This implies we remove the yoke we are carrying and exchange it for the one Jesus is carrying. When getting in the same yoke with Jesus, the load is light and the work is easy because He does the heavy lifting.

5. Jesus Says, “Learn from Me.”

Now in the yoke with Jesus, we are close to Him. This is when He speaks to us and we can hear Him. So many people want to hear from the Lord, but do not take the steps to come to Him, and get in the yoke with Him. Learning about Jesus and learning from Jesus are two different things. Many people learn about the Bible, and about God. But it’s in the place of a personal relationship with Jesus when we can truly begin to grow and learn about the true rest Jesus offers.

6. Jesus Says, “I Am Gentle and Lowly in Heart.”

Jesus is not going to shove truth down our throats. He is gentle. He is humble. He is kind. His character is a learning experience all its own. When we get to know Him for who He truly is, we learn in His presence there is peace. There is not strife and dictatorship. There is love and kindness for His children that leads with a gentle spirit.

7. Jesus Says, “You Will Find Rest unto Your Souls.”

True rest is accessible with Jesus. Rest for our souls isn’t a fleeting hour, day, or week where we get away from it all. It can be a lifestyle of walking with Jesus, with His yoke, His will, His way. This is what Paul called, “the peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

8. Jesus Says, “For My Yoke Is Easy and My Burden Is Light.”

This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen or life won’t ever be hard, but it does mean with Christ we can make it. No matter how weary you are from the storms of life, no matter how difficult life is right now, you have the free invitation to bring all your burdens to Jesus. He promises to lighten the load and do the heavy lifting. He promises to give you rest. But first, you must come to Him. 

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Yolya

Micah Maddox is a wife, mama, friend, Bible teacher, and author of Anchored In: Experience a Power-Full Life in a Problem-Filled World and her new Bible Study - JAMES: Tired, Tested, Torn, and Full of Faith. She is passionate about helping women learn what it truly means to daily walk with Jesus. Micah is on the Proverbs 31 Ministries First 5 Writing Team and writes for Encouragement From Women. Her main ministry is at home with her husband, Rob, who leads worship at Clear Springs Baptist Church in East Tennessee, and with her five children, some by birth, and some by adoption. Micah loves to give a voice to hurting hearts and writes and speaks to the one who needs encouragement. You can connect with her on Instagram or