Summary: Your life is a lot like a Rubber band...some stress is good b/c it tends to motivate us, but too much stress will break us altogether. Key is knowing when to allow the band to rest from the stress.
Your life is a lot like a Rubber band
Some stress is good b/c it tends to motivate us, but too much stress will break us altogether. Key is knowing when to allow the band to rest from the stress.
Apostle Paul said it this way
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
What did Paul do right so as not to snap?
Stress is a normal part of our fallen world, yet we can easily add to stress of life by making wrong decisions in the administration of our lives (study of Kings).
Illustration: Friend who pushed the limits in almost every area of life:
lack of family time,
taking on debt,
Significant investment in ministry,
considerable risks in business.
“Hanging off a limb.”
Can’t do that in every part of your life. He “hit a wall” and his rubber band snapped.
Several years ago I was in a high stress situation
• Working full time counseling
• Finishing my master’s degree w/ night classes
• Working on my dissertation for a PhD program
• Adjusting to the challenges of parenthood with a active toddler at home.
• I my spare time, I was pastoring a small church in need of energy and forward momentum.
When I look back I wonder, how did I make it? How did my family make it? What did I do differently in that scenario that allowed me to rest & find refreshment to press on?
What is the difference between the person who encounters high levels of stress and finds the place of rest before it is too late and the person who doesn’t?
Jesus speaks directly to this issue
You can find his words in Matthew 11:28-30
1) "Cities of opportunity" (Korazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum) missed their opportunity for Jesus
2) B/c Jesus is God’s son, there are eternal consequences of not taking the opportunity Jesus offered them (Woe, it will be better for Tyre/Sidon & Sodom & Gomorra)
3) Earthly consequences of not taking Jesus up on his offer (unnecessary weariness & burden)
Jesus explains exactly how to rest your soul from stress you can predict and the stress you cannot predict.
"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
Come to me
• Jesus knows how life, stress, & rest works (he is the revealer of God/the image (logos)
• “I” in “I will give you rest” is emphatic: “I as opposed to others give rest/refreshment”
• First Jesus offered rest/salvation to the Jews (Mt. 10), now to all those who are weary & burdened.
You would think that the weary would easily come to Jesus, but coming to Christ is difficult when you are trying to do all the work yourself.
Our desire to control things leaves us exhausted and the sad truth is that according to Jesus nothing can give us the kind of rest that he can.
We can look for the answer in
• A Church
• A small group
• A vacation
• A bottle of alcohol
• A plate of food
These are wells that can never satisfy our thirst (Idols). We are left weary and thirsty.
Weariness speaks of activity but the word Burdened speaks of passivity
To place a burden upon
• Yoke of the Rabbis (extra commandments, rites, unwanted precepts saddled to faithful).
• These were man-made obligations based on the Law of God
Pastor/teacher Joe Stowell
“If Christianity is dull and boring, if it is a burden and not a blessing, then most likely we are involved in a project, not a Person, - a system, not a Savior, rules rather than a relationship.”
Have you come to a religion or a person? Jesus didn’t say come to Christianity…come to a set of theological principles…come to a bunch of rules.
Story of the Prodigal Son who asked for his inheritance early and spent it partying. When he returned to the Father’s house he groveled and the Father received him. But his older brother did not accept him back.
• Pastor Tim Keller points out both were lost
• Older brother b/c of his “damnable good deeds.” He was more concerned about the work he had done for the father than a relationship with the father.
• Younger brother b/c of his wayward deeds
• The point: Father loved them both no matter what and made an invitation for both of them to come to a feast to celebrate. Same invitation that Jesus gives “Come to me.”