Have you ever felt absolutely weary down to your soul from the load you’re carrying? Like the wonderful hymn says, there are times when the sorrows roll like sea billows. And unlike the old hymn, you find yourself saying, “It is not well with my soul.” I get it. I’ve been there, too. It’s part of being human. These trying times are one of the many reasons we need daily encouragement. I pray my words will be a heaping dose of life-giving truth to boost your heart and will help lead you back to the one who gives peace like a river.
There’s a common message I see circulating on various media platforms that essentially says, “If things aren’t going well, don’t blame yourself. It is not your fault. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you.” Although this sounds really nice and may even be circumstantially true, isn’t it likely to also not be true? I mean, don’t we need to take responsibility for our wrongdoings and foolishness?
Why am I bringing up failure? How could this possibly be encouraging? Because it is the broken and contrite heart that receives comfort and healing. God loves you right where you are, no matter what pain you are facing or any mistakes you’ve made. He doesn’t want an ounce of your pain to be wasted. His desire is for you to know and trust in His goodness and be refined into His image.
I have found that in every trial I’ve ever faced, there was something that needed to break in me. So I have learned to pray something like this:
Break my unbelief, Father. Break my pride. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Break my self-reliance. Break my sulking attitude. Break my stubbornness. Reveal to me where I’ve failed to love as Christ would, where I’ve failed to trust God and panicked instead, where I’ve failed to surrender to and live from the power of the Holy Spirit. I confess and turn from these failures.
Yes, these are painful pills to swallow, but I’ve learned that trying times only become more trying when I resist what God wants to lovingly teach me in the middle of them.
So with your own brokenness in mind, let’s take a fresh soaking in these words from Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you His rest. Then, let’s dive into some of the key principles this Scripture teaches us on how to find the rest our souls need.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
How to Find Rest for Your Soul
- Continually go to God. What are you waiting for? You’ve been invited! Christ Jesus knows we are weary and burdened without Him! He longs to serve you a heaping dose of His presence—which is what gives us true and restoring rest. What is distracting you from entering into a life where you live joyfully hidden in Him?
- Remain in the school of Christ. Daily sit down and drink deeply from the life-giving lessons that God wants to teach you from His living Word. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s whispers of grace and direction. Do not be tempted to play “hooky” and skip out on the guidance, wisdom, and strength that comes from learning from God! Remember the old hymn, It Is Well with My Soul. The lyrics say, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well … with my soul.’” Allow Jesus to teach you to trust Him.
- Embrace the lessons you’ll learn. No need to fear them. Our Teacher is the most humble and gentle tutor. His lessons will never weigh you down. Quite the opposite! What He shows you will always lift you up! Not only will you discover truth that will set you into deeper freedom, your soul will be enriched and enter a place of rest. Rest. Real, restorative rest.
Yes, when we go to God and live in the school of Christ, our troubled hearts are encouraged. No matter what happens, we can grow. We can learn. We can trust. And we can say to our souls, “It is well!”