“My yoke is easy and my burden is light . . .”

Today was a tough day in our household (see the post below), but a conversation over at the Crunchy Cons blog lead me to remember something I’ve learned for times like these.  It centers around this verse:

Come to me all of 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

This is one of these verses which sounds nice and for a while you can take comfort in it.  Until things really just get pushed too far and you realize that you have no idea what the blazes it’s supposed to mean and it doesn’t even seem to be true as far as you can see.  What is Jesus’ yoke anyways?  If we say it’s living in obedience to God as Jesus did, then we’re even more up the creek without a paddle.  Anyone who has actually devoted themselves to following God’s instructions will figure out in pretty short order that God is forever asking people to do things which are hard, if not practically impossible.  Look at scriptures:

Abraham, leave your home and your family.  I’ll tell you where you’re going later, but just go now.

David, take a small rock and go kill that giant.

Hosea, marry that woman who’s going to cuckold you and redeem her with your love.  Make sure every knows about your humiliation so they see a model of my Love for them too.

Jesus, give up your glory to live among the fallen then let yourself be tortured and killed.  

Paul, you just keep on preaching until they kill you.  And when you’re whipped bloody and imprisoned, be sure to count it all glory.

God’s ways are many things, but easy and light don’t really fit the bill.  So what is Jesus talking about here?

I think that I’ve figured it out.  This is going to take a minute, but stick with me here.

The first thing we need to know is that one of the greatest lies the world tells us is that a good life, and perhaps especially a good Christian life, is having safe, respected, comfortable, hopefully prosperous lives.  But over and over in scriptures we see that God calls people to live recklessly in following Him.  God never guarantees our safety or comfort or even respectability.  Instead He asks us to give up absolutely everything in order to follow where He leads.

One of my favorite verses of scriptures is where Jesus says, “seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  (Matthew 6:33)  To me this means that we are called to do what God asks us to do regardless of the cost and trust that God will cover you.  Know that your kids would suffer in daycare?  Then have a parent home to raise them and trust that God will cover you.  Know God wants you to help someone who needs money to get their car fixed?  Then give them your savings and trust that God will cover you.  Know that God has called you to live in an impoverished neighborhood?  Then move there and trust God to cover you.  Seek first God’s kingdom.  Always and in all things, regardless of the cost.  Because God will cover you.

Now, the problem is that inevitably, there is a cost.  There is suffering involved.  Sometimes it seems like God’s not doing His part.  There’s not enough money to pay the bills.  Your car breaks down.  Your new neighborhood is dangerous and unwelcoming.  And you begin to think that maybe you’ve just been foolish.  God isn’t really going to cover you.  He wants you to use good judgement and take care of yourself, not do foolish, reckless things.  After all, you’ll find more than enough good Christians who will tell you just that.

This is, I think where Jesus’ yoke comes in.  Just a couple of verses before the famous yoke verse, Jesus prays to his Father, “I praise you Father, lord of heaven and earth because you have . . . revealed [these things] to little children.” (Matthew 11:25)  It comes down to a child-like trust.  This is Jesus’ yoke.  Even in the midst of disaster, we can trust that God is in charge, that He has a purpose for what is happening.  Or if it is an attack of the enemy that He will aid us in the battle so that we can overcome.  So you trust.  You don’t despair, you don’t curse God or your lot.  If you allow the Holy Spirit to work, you will even find that the fruits of the spirit continue to grow.  Instead of anxiety, there is this joy and peace.

And then you begin to wonder if you are crazy.  It doesn’t help that people keep coming up to you with sad puppy eyes to ask in tones usually used for those suffering from dementia, “how are you doing?”

“Fine,” you reply with a smile.

“No really.  It must be so hard.  It’s OK not to hide behind a strong face all the time.”

“Um, well I have my moments, but really, I’m doing well.  I’m just trusting God, I guess.”

“Of course.  Well, if you ever need to talk . . .” and they pat your hand and walk away.

(That’s a best case scenario.  At worst, they do like a good friend of mine once did and say, “stop feeding me a bull s**t sandwich – of course you’re not OK!”)

So you begin to wonder.  “I thought I was OK.  Actually, I’m pretty happy.  Maybe I am just kidding myself.  Maybe I’m subjecting myself to some weird form of self-induced brainwashing and really I should be majorly depressed and planning a trip to the doctor for some happy pills.  What if it’s not really God and I’m just CRAZY?  Ahhhhhhh!”  Or at least that’s what you say to yourself if you’re me.

See, we struggle with the yoke because it is easy and light.  We’re like oxen who have been trained up under too much weight- always having to lean into it, tug and pull and huff and puff at the exertion of carrying this heavy yoke.  And then Jesus comes along and gives us His yoke.  But it just feels wrong.  It’s so easy and light.  It can’t be right.  So a lot of us go back to our old, heavy yokes.  They’re painful, but at least they feel like they fit.

And then all of us Christians who have taken back our yokes (if we ever actually took them off to begin with – most don’t), sit up at night and worry just like everyone else.  And we live just like everyone else, because God can’t really think I’d be able to go there or do that – He knows what an unreasonable burden it would be.   That’s for saints and missionaries, not for everyday Christians like me who are just trying not to get into trouble.

And this is exactly how we lose our saltiness.  Then we wonder that Christianity is seen as fit for nothing more than to be trampled underfoot.  But Jesus’ yoke is easy.  His burden is light.  That’s a good thing to, because there’s no way we can go to the crazy places God wants to send us carrying our own yokes.   We just have to be willing to trade our worry and sorrow for peace and joy.  Give up our safety and respectability for gentleness and humility.  And trust that God will cover us.  And He will.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39. 

About these ads

74 thoughts on ““My yoke is easy and my burden is light . . .”

  1. Fantastic, Rebecca.

    God is at work, right now, in the heart(s) of your husband’s future employer. Do not be discouraged, God will honor your husband’s diligence.

    “The heart of a king is like a river of water in God’s hand to do with as He pleases.” (Proverbs, somewhere.)

    Like this

  2. I liked what you said about Christianty being hard it is so true today somedays are burdens are so bad all we can do is say help God.
    Another prayer I like is God help me to do your will today and throughout my lifetime.
    When things are really tough I try to imagine my self in front of the cross jesus died on and all I can say is, help, it gets me to sleep in tough times.
    I love the song you never promised me a rose garden.

    Like this

  3. Every so often, I come out of my shell and read other’s blogs here on wordpress. I enjoy this and should do it more often. I have really enjoyed your post today. It is a good reminder of how clearly and absolutely we should rely completely on the Lord. And you’re right, all to often we don’t. Thank you for writing what is on your heart…

    Like this

  4. Rebecca,

    Came over from the crunchy cons blog. Great thoughts and I think you nailed it.

    In times of suffering and sacrifice in makes NO sense for the yoke to be easy and the burden to be light but I guess that’s why it’s the upside down world, right?

    Like this

  5. I’m new here and haven’t gotten around to exploring very much. I randomly clicked on your post and was so pleasantly rewarded. I relate completely to what you’ve written. I’ve felt and thought everything you’ve spoken of. I felt I could have written it myself. Thank you for reinforcing what I already know; that He is there, and we are covered.

    Wonderful post.

    God bless.

    Like this

  6. Pingback: Timing is Everything « The Upside Down World

  7. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light…Matthew 11:28-30 seems like foolishness. For 60 years now, I know that when I travel life with Jesus, I travel light. I see this in Mathew 11: 28-30. In my life, when the going gets rough, I remember this verse and, sure enough, Jesus lifts me up and carries me through. In times of adversity I have always tried to witness for Jesus. When I do, it is like being hitched to a star, the yoke not only is easy, the burden is not only light, but I become filled with peace and joy. Having peace and joy inside in times of adversity is awesome and does not make sense from the world’s point of view but Jesus also said the He came to confound the wise. 1st Corinthians 1:25 says “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” Having peace and joy in times of adversity seems foolish, but, in kingdom of God, it turns out to be wisdom! – John Oltesvig, joltesvig@yahoo.com, Carthage, NC, May 12, 2008

    Like this

  8. Hi there, I’m Fiona from Wales, UK, and I just googled the verse Rebecca wrote about because I’m speaking on this subject tomorrow in my church family service. Your words are so right, so moving, and I hope you won’t mind that I will use some of what I’ve read, both by Rebecca and by those who’ve responded, in my talk tomorrow.

    My church is just a little country church with a very ordinary, mostly elderly congregation. But they each have their burdens to bear – a partner with Alztheimers, a daughter dying of cancer, an autistic child. And some simply have the burden of themselves to bear – we all do – the burden of our own sinful humanity.

    But isn’t Jesus wonderful? He promises that we can give Him these burdens and He will carry them for us – in reality, He has already carried them, on the cross of Calvary. And yes, He does give us a different burden to carry, but when we trust Him, doesn’t it always somehow turn out right? And what a joy when we follow the path and look back over the years (which may not have been easy) and see that He was right? It is truly the case that “in His presence is fulness of joy”.

    So when we moved to Argentina for six years, I suffered, but I suffered with purpose. After a couple of years, my Spanish was good enough to allow me to take a Sunday School in the ‘villas’ of Buenos Aires. And though it cost at times, the joy that came every week after being with those children made the yoke feel very light!

    For many years I bore the burden of my husband’s lack of faith, but I kept praying and I kept trusting in His plan, and now he has come to Christ too. We both bear our light burden together – and oh, how much lighter it feels when we share it together!

    Thank you for your words, and God bless you,

    Fiona

    Like this

  9. It’s 1:30am. I just happened upon this post after a search for “burden is light.”

    I am a 34-year old husband of an amazing and beautiful wife and father of three awesome kids. I was recently diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, though I’ve suffered with it for a number of years.

    I don’t even know why I’m commenting here other than to say thank you for your words. About 30 minutes ago, I was sitting in my living room, weeping, talking to God and listing off all the things that I can’t carry anymore. And Matthew 11 came to mind…

    I got this vision of my youngest son. Sometimes when we’re cleaning up, I’ll tell him to pick up something that I know he can’t even begin to carry. To which he responds in true two-year old dialect, “Too big!” And then I reach down with one hand and pick up something that’s so heavy he can barely budge it but I can usually snag it with a few fingers and carry it with all the other stuff I’m picking up.

    And I think I’m beginning to understand how Father allows us to see how heavy things are sometimes, then smiles and takes it for us. He doesn’t always take it away, but he takes care of it for us.

    So, while I hope and pray that the fatigue and the pain and the anxiety will go away, I have to remember that those are things that are far to heavy for me to carry, but Father just reaches down and grabs it up…and, to Him, it’s nothing.

    Like this

  10. Gospel
    Mt 11:28-30

    Jesus said to the crowds:
    “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
    and I will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
    for I am meek and humble of heart;
    and you will find rest for yourselves.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

    How wonderful is our Lord to offer this unto us? Really. I am never not amazed by God’s grace and love for all of us! There is not one person in this world who is not labored and burdened. If just for one day all people took his yoke, it would be heaven. That’s what I’m looking forward to! I am looking to become meek and humble of heart every day I live.

    Thanks you for writing this and thank you all for commenting. At 7:16 am this morning, I am now prepared to go fight the war against evil and succeed with these words of wisdom.

    God Bless you all and have a lovely CHRISTmas!

    Like this

  11. I have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, as was my father before me. I have terrible mental confusion and fear of death that haunts me, even when I make chicken on a grill and cooked it “butterfly” fashion recently. I had cut it and flipped it open and saw angel wings, which frightened me terribly and later had an anxiety attack, which is also part of the disease.

    But now, in the middle of writing to a dear and close Native American friend whom I have helped in her time of loss, and who now helps me in return, I wished I had a Bible to find the words my mother once sent to me in a time of crisis from a book by Dale Carnegie “The Power of Positive Thinking”. I remembered the part of the phrase …”my burden is light” and it led me here now.

    Thank you for being here.

    Like this

  12. Hi everyone,

    my name is Jeffrey and I’m a 23 year old from Toronto, Canada.

    As many of you did I stumped upon this blog because I was searching for this passage since I’ll be going into a church retreat tomorrow leading worship and devotion.

    it puts a smile on my face to see how everyone here appreciates Rebecca’s post, because like you all said, life is hard and we often don’t see the beautiful side of things.

    I was going to write a comment about the hard times I’ve been through, but after reading all of your comments I’ve come to realize that, hey, what’s been happening to me is no big deal, because God will always be there to take care of us.

    thank you for reminding me how comforting his grace is and how loved I am by him, the feeling of knowing all the tough times, all the challenges ahead of me are placed there because God allows them makes me think of one thing: God trusts that I will be able to get pass all these things, my God believes in me so much that he is able to let go and let me go through all this on my own; and when I fail, he’ll be there to catch me =]

    thanks again.
    Jeffrey.

    Like this

  13. Come to me all of 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

    I was in the hospital with a medical condition. The doctors said I was “fine” . I received a spiritual card that had the verse from Matthew in it. I was able to researched my medical problem online and then found the actual problem that I had, and two new doctors actually confirmed my aliment. I know that it was God that gave me the skills to find this information. That was several years ago. A few days ago, I was going thru one of those “tough days” that we all have. I prayed to God to give me help me get theu this perticular day… which I did. Upon driving home, the verse from Matthew popped into my head.. and at that point I have not thought about it for a while… I will now think about the verse for the rest of my life.

    Like this

  14. Hi Rebecca,

    Googled “my yoke is easy” for a talk I’m giving in DR Congo next week and your blog entry came up. One of my key tests for Theology is that it has to work both in Canada, where I live, and in the post-war communities, where I work. Thanks for writing with insight and good theology! I’m going to use your example in my talk. I’ll be blogging at http://www.healingstreamsblog.wordpress.com.

    Like this

  15. I like what you are saying, and I think you hit on a key point of coming to God like a child. I think that besides the faith in God relationship, the yoke pertains to the way of God vs. the way of the world. Just as much as concern for earthly riches burdens the heart, hatred and jealousy do as well. It seems intuitive to realize that coming to God as a child is removing our pride, falling flat on our face at His feet, without reservation and with an open heart.

    Like this

  16. I’m giving a chapel message at my school on this passage today. Thanks for the insight you’ve added to my thoughts.

    His yoke IS easy, He did all the work of Salvation, we do nothing, but because we love Him we do all He asks, of course this is difficult, unless we trust Him.

    Well said!

    Like this

  17. Thank you spool much for this. I have been feeling so stressed out by some of the things God has been saying. I thought that there must be something wrong with my yoke because it did not feel easy at all. I need to trust God more and give up my need for acceptance. We are as sheep among wolves, but my Father will ensure that I am not destroyed (spiritually) by their plans. Thanks a million for the encouragemt, I’ll see you up there!

    Like this

  18. Just searched for the “yoke is light” verse and found your post. I can so relate with this post and just shared a link to it in my blog. Thank you for writing!!!

    Like this

  19. Amen! God is so good! This is just the word I needed for my situation right now. I have had a difficult weekend with my husband abusing me and I have so much peace and joy in the midst of this storm. This word only confirms, what the Lord spoke to me in my spirit this morning. I thank God for his word!

    Like this

  20. Here’s a Poem Called ” My Royal Family”

    With your word you have set me free,
    Ignited my spirit, like you, I strive to be.
    Free! no ties , no lies, binding me.
    By your mercy, your grace, at last I can see.

    Your yoke hangs gently around my neck,
    easy and light, just like you had said.
    If not by you, then who? This I can not fathom,
    I belong to you, this is not random.

    By choice?… My choice?… How can this be?
    Wasn’t it He, who chose to save me.

    Mercy and grace, given abundantly.
    Eternally grateful for adopting me.

    From that day forward, I awake Free.
    No longer enslaved by powers other than thee.

    Royal garments, I now own.
    By my Father Given , who covers skin and bone.

    I Pick up My Scepter! On goes my Royal Robe!
    My Fathers the king, I now sit by His throne.

    First born yes! That is me,
    First born of His Royal family.

    By: Giovanni

    Like this

  21. Thanks for this post Rebecca! I totally get this now. One of my choir members, questioned the, lyric to a song we just sang, “It Ain’t Over Until God Says Its Over.” The 1st verse says, He never said it would be easy, but you’re a winner in the end. Then he quoted this scripture which prompted me to google and I found your post.

    God never said this life would be easy, but it is so easy to love, and trust him, if believe in him. Then the Holy Spirit comforts us through our struggles and we can praise our way through and witness to others of his goodness, grace and salvation. Paul did this over and over when he was
    in prisoned for teaching and witnessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Like this

  22. Any one that says Christian life is hard is allowing the Devil to use them and doesn’t know the God they serve. Jesus Christ told us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It is the truth. All heavy burdens come from the Devil.

    Put on your Spiritual Eyes and if you don’t have a spiritual eyes pray and ask Jesus Christ to give it to you through the Holy Spirit. Solomon told us God adds no sorrow to His blessings.

    For your Spiritual life to be easy and light has how Jesus Christ describe it you have to know who is the Devil. Do you actually think that our Heavenly Father was talking to a snake in the Garden of Eden. He was talking to the Spirit of Luicifer. Do you think when Jesus Christ told us that we have authority to tread on scorpions and snakes He was talking about the natural scorpions and snakes. Know who the enemy is and then your Christian Life will be as what Jesus Christ said.

    There is no lies in Jesus Christ. Put on your Spiritual Eyes and start reading back the bible from Genesis one. This is my challenge to you. You can get me at ksurrina.com after you start seeing what I have told you here. The enemy is not a snake he is a spiritual being and so he is an enemy of Christ Kingdom he is also a enemy of you. Know this and start living your life as the child that God sees in you.

    Declare to the Devil that this soul is not one for him. Jesus Christ yoke is easy and indeed it is light when you know who you are and what your Spirituality represent. Hugs and blessings

    Like this

  23. Hi I’m peter from singapore,

    I have been a kidney patient for over 3 years now and dialyse 3 times a week each time for 4 hours.
    This is really my burden and I accept it as my cross and the meaning only sinks in after I’ve experienced changes in my life.
    I’ve been able to organise my work, my family time, my hobbies around the dialysis schedule. That’s a lot to be thankfull for to be able to live normally.

    Come to me all of 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

    Like this

  24. Hi I’m Rich from Tampa,

    I too stumbled upon this blog by accident and found the words comforting. The world tells us what we should be, what we need to do for our families, what makes us good fathers and mothers. Well, sometimes we fail at meeting the worlds standards. Sometimes we don’t make enough money or send our kids to the right camps. Sometimes we make mistakes with our money or we have regrets about choices we have made. Life is difficult when we look only at our performance in our roles- it is a heavy yoke. No matter what the circumstances may be we always have God to turn to. Following Jesus does not require a College degree- or a large income. Following Jesus is not about becoming a “who’s who” and it does not require perfection. It requires a willingness- a willingness to try and to learn and to admitt defeat. Life kicked my butt and I need God. Thanks for your blog- it is excellent.

    Like this

  25. thanks for this blog! I just realized now that I am not alone here on earth- physically.. I have you and the rest of the saints through out the globe!

    1 Peter 5:9: “Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

    We are on the last days and God will pour out His spirit on us. We may think or feels that something strange is happening to us. In some point thinking that we are out of mind. But God is perfecting our faith and making us into His likeness to fulfill His purpose in us.Strangeness is what we feel as we are getting rid off our physical self (our sinful nature) and being transformed into God’s likeness holiness and righteousness through Jesus Christ!

    For flesh/sinful nature cannot agree with our spirit or vice versa. “abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.”

    God bless you! And Thank you for the revelation you have posted!

    Like this

  26. Thank you for your post. I recently moved far from home for nursing school and it has been the most stressful time of my life. Aside from the intensive curriculum, not having my family around hurts. I have been able to be strong but lately everything in me seems to be drying up. This helped me. I will seek my rest in God instead of constantly pursuing and striving.

    Like this

  27. OOps! I commented in the wrong section earlier ! It was meant to be here! I should have scolled down to see! Now I get it!! God bless everyone and Rebecca!

    Like this

  28. Something that I found recently that I thought everyone might find interesting (though it certainly doesn’t change what everyone has already said about the verse): “yoke” is common in Jewish literature as a metaphor for the Torah (Jewish law) or an interpretation of that law. Jesus was Jewish and would have known this. He is asking us to submit to his laws, because they aren’t burdensome like the laws and rules of the pharisees.

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
    And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’
    This is the greatest and foremost commandment.
    The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
    On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    Matthew 22:36-40

    Love God, Love people

    Like this

  29. Your post on burdens has blessed me tremendously. I can relate to every example you gave. One minute I’ve given Him my burden, the next minute i’m taking it back, because it seems like i’m being ridiculous and I need to “help” God in my situation. God was speaking to my heart through this post and I’m going to “really”cast my cares upon Him lol!!. Thank you for letting the Lord use you.

    Blessings,
    Tee

    Like this

  30. WOW!!! You sure do have God in your life. And i know how you feel, you know, Sometimes i wonder if I am just CRAZY, But even if I am and all the anti-Christ are right, at least i didn’t live for nothing. Mickey Mouse may be your god and DisneyLand may be your heaven, but it still ain’t right. You have a blessed day Rebecca.

    Like this

  31. Love this post. I too found it by searching for the bible verse and I think your explanation of it is incredible. My wife has told me she loves me, but isn’t in love with me and doesn’t think she ever was and so is seeking a divorce.

    After much “gnashing of teeth” I turned my marriage over to God and the peace that has come from that is incredible.

    For me the hypothetical conversation was the real kicker. I’ve had that almost word for word half a dozen times now, reading it here I was torn between laughing and crying.

    Like this

  32. i have been contemplating this verse. i wonder about some of the thinking here. what if our “enemies” are also Christians? how does God cover both ends then? i think this verse has nothing to do with anyone else or external circumstances. I think his yoke is our obligation to honor our true, holy, spiritual nature. it is natural and “easy” to do this. while there is the connotation that burden is negative and the differences in terms of weight, i got that burden means more so what i am carrying/offering is pure light, lightness of being, in tune with our true nature.

    Like this

  33. I stumbled into this site because I am in a difficult situation and decided to see if there was anything that would help me to understand what it means that God’s burden is light. During times like these, those are only words. When I suffer I didn’t think of praying to God because I thought suffering was the only way He strengthened me so I should just trust Him and keep my mouth shut. Because of this, I’ve felt despair and hopelessness. I never realized that I should quit trying to understand the feelings related to hard times or I will never get past despair and anxiety. I also learned that it is easy for me to keep taking back my yolk because it is more comfortable, no matter how uncomfortable it really is. Hopefully next time I will accept the Lord’s yolk when I relate being strengthened to despair and hopelessness. He says in Proverbs13:12 , ” hope deferred makes the heart sick.” In other words, why would the Lord “keep us working in the hardest of gyms without even a glass of water”
    Thank you for your replies

    Like this

  34. Wow! I was just googling “my yoke is easy” and came across your blog. This is awesome, and gave me some things to share with a friend who is going through an unbelievably difficult situation. Thank you so much! Praise Him for your service!

    Like this

  35. Isaiah 58:6
    Isn’t the fast I choose:
    To break the chains of wickedness,
    to untie the ropes of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free,
    and to tear off every yoke? Holman Christian Standard Bible

    Good spiritual food to make us strong.
    Thank you for the feast!

    Like this

  36. This was really refreshing to read, thanks for sharing honestly! I’ve wrestled with these verses also. I used to think and teach (wrongly) that Jesus’ yoke was pious works and obedience. As you point out, that is not true.

    Jesus is saying that you won’t find such rest for your soul in spiritual disciplines (what audience ever had more spiritual disciplines than the Jews present that day?). You won’t find it in your good works or in your faithful obedience. You won’t find rest for your soul in doing more good work. In essence, Jesus is saying to the Jewish audience, “stop” doing all your religious and pious activity and “take” My yoke upon you. In other words, if you want to know God, if you are tired of your weary and burdened religious life, you have to look at gentle and humble Jesus and learn Jesus from Scripture.

    For example, Jeremiah 6 seems to have several parallels to Matthew 11. Especially Jeremiah 6:16 “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”

    It is through trusting Jesus and accepting His grace that we not only find salvation, we find life (and yes, it is indeed a life upside down!).

    Like this

  37. Pingback: You Like Me, You Really, Really Like Me! « The Upside Down World

  38. I have thoroughly enjoyed this blog. It gave some insight that I had not thought about. We don’t usually want to think about serving God will require something of us. Great job! Enjoyed reading.

    Like this

  39. I’ve always believed in launching out first, then God will show up. Like in crossing the Red Sea. But, as you said, there must be trust in Him, or we will definately sink. I am in a place presently where He is beckoning me to do just that. Only knowing how much He loves me helps me do that more and more. I must say I am living a pretty safe life now,but don’t really feel that is where He wants me to be. So, I am on this journey of learning to let Him love me how He loves me, and with that perfect love received, I know that it will cast out all fear.

    Like this

  40. I have not read all the replies now, but will still read it. Tonight my friends and I were wondering about Jesus’ yoke and I googled to see if we can find some help. The first blog I open(this one)and I find some great clarifications! We were wondering why so many christians struggle and carry such heavy burdens when we are suppose to live differently from the world. One thing we realised is that even when we pray for a good outcome to our own and to other’s problems and things don’t turn out as we thought it would, He is always in control and whatever happens, He has reasons and good plans for it. It may be that our faith is tested or that the person you have prayed for needed to see an answer in their circumstances. We do not know. But I believe He is LOVE and that His plans are always good for us. Be blessed and thanks for the insights – it’s very edifying.

    Like this

  41. Tell me where you want me to go and I will go there. May every fiber of my being unite in reverence toyour name. With all my heart i will praise you. I will give glory to your name forever, for you love me so much!! You are constantly so kind! You have rescued me from deepest hell.

    Like this

  42. Unlike Rebecca, I think that Jesus’ yoke involves living in obedience, but like her, I think it involves trust. Perhaps one of the best words used in Bible to describe living with our neck in Jesus’ yoke is “abiding.” Jesus tells us to abide in Him. With a yoke, there can be a more experienced lead ox paired with a younger ox who is more submissive and will follow the lead ox. Christ wants us to simply go with Him. He will give us direction, He will offer His strength to get the job done, whatever He leads us into. I think that the yoke metaphor, like the branch of the Vine, gives us an image of being intimately connected with Christ. And that, I believe is the whole point of our salvation, being intimately connected to God. Like Rebecca said, He does ask us to do hard and impossible things. He does this on purpose. He wants us to give up trying to do things and deal with things in our strength and instead depend completely on His. It is when we feel weak that we will finally look to Him and receive His strength. Our God longed for intimate, loving fellowship outside of Himself to be added to the joyous fellowship He experiences within Himself. What did He do? He created us. We really are much more than just a charity case He feels sorry for. We are what He dreamed up when He desired fellowship. We are (or will be) the realization of Jesus’ “fantasies” about and desires for a Wife! He longs for intimacy with us, and to make it easy for this to come about, He made us weak on our own so we would have to be intimate with Him to survive. For when we are finally willing to be intimate, it is then that we see that the highest happiness is being loved by and loving Him, being delighted in and delighting in Him. His yoke is easy when we tell Him that we realize we can’t do what He has asked of us and desperately need His empowerment in both desire and ability. And when we start to dwell in this intimate connection with Christ, we realize that His yoke is not only easy, it is pure joy.

    Like this

  43. Good piece of writing Its still easier than the way of the transgresser ,yoked to the author and finisher of our faith as he leads thru the power of the Holy Spirit,not by power not by might but by my spirit the mountains shall be moved!

    Like this

  44. A most excellent article.

    I can absolutely relate to this, it’s funny when you think of it this way, it’s like we’re naturally inclined to rely on our own efforts, but it’s actually kind of silly when you really think about it.

    Like this

  45. Am Edwin from Ghana. I worship with the Church Of Christ Zebilla. I wanted to prepare notes about “yoke” for bibile teaching on sunday so i decided to google it and see if i could get any work on it and chanced upon this great work by Rebecca. There are numerous “prophets” in Ghana now who associate christianity with riches, popularity and real “comfort” only. It’s hard to convince a “christian” to be meek and sacrifice his riches and follow God. This work will help me more on my teachings tomorrow and i pray that people will chance upon this n many other worksby other brethren. Amen

    Like this

  46. ” Come to me all of 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

    this is truly a word in season for me. I have been bothered by how as Christians we seem to make it difficult for ourselves and others to seek, find, serve and walk in God’s way even though we profess to do the opposite.

    - We constantly device our own standards which is indeed heavier than the Burden of Christ and we constantly struggle and sometimes lose the plot completely instead of allowing the Holy Spirit lead when we cast every burden unto Christ and take on his easy yoke whilst knowing that he is in total control as we do that despite of the situation

    Like this

  47. I have a chronic illness that I have been dealing with since 1989. On top of that, ever since this illness came into my life, it has taken a heavy toll on my general health. I have had 11 surgeries since ’89, two of which went poorly and in each of those cases I spent more than a month hospitalized.

    Today was not a particularly good day. So as I often do, when I had cleared up most of my work I left my office and went to my bedroom for some rest. And laying there on my bed, i did what I was taught by the Spirit to do at times like this: I started naming one by one, blessings that I have been given by the Lord. I begin with the most recent blessing I have received and work backward until I have remembered for certain that “Jesus Yoke is easy.” It doesn’t take very many minutes of this kind of serious accounting to remind me that “God has me covered” today: Just like He has had me covered on every other day of my life.

    I have struggled often, but I have never struggled alone. First, God gave the Holy Spirit to comfort me, to strengthen me and to teach me prayer. Then He gave me friends, teachers, a Bible, a wife, a family and multiple other protections and loving protectors. His yoke is easy because I am never carrying it all by myself. And I will never have to. If I lose all else: Friends; wife; grandchildren, medication, freedom, money, rule of law, He will never abandon me.

    Your log entry is now four years old, but it still speaks to people. It speaks to people because it is the inspired truth. Over the course of four years, the words you put here have lifted many people like me, 57 of whom took the time to tell you so.

    God bless and keep you always.

    Like this

    • Fred, what a beautiful and encouraging testimony! Thank you so much for sharing and for your encouraging words. They are very timely for me. I’ve been struggling with bitterness and a heart made sick by hope delayed and I will have to remember your practice of recalling God’s blessings to help me counter that. Blessings!
      -Rebecca

      Like this

  48. I blog quite often and I really thank you for your content.
    Your article has really peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about
    once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.

    Like this

  49. Pingback: Women and God’s Kingdom « The Upside Down World

  50. Pingback: Women, Church and God’s Kingdom « The Upside Down World

  51. Pingback: The Double Minded Man « The Upside Down World

  52. Pingback: When Everything Falls Apart, Give It To Jesus

  53. Rebecca,

    I’m like everyone else who commented, googled yoke and stumbled upon your blog. It was ordained by God that I found it. I have been trying to handle all of my life on my own, without my husband, without my kids, and most importantly without God. I mean, I love God and read and pray alot. But when the adversary came along and threw a curve ball, I didn’t give it to God. I tried to do what I knew was best, not praying or asking God what He would have me do. I have been tormented by anxiety and fear for 4 months now. As soon as my eyes open in the morning it starts, sometimes it last for only an hour, other days it lasts all day. But your blog just broke my spirit, I was weeping as I read it and just felt His peace come over me. I feel so much better as I’m typing this. I have to give my life struggles to Jesus, I cannot handle them on my own. I have to let Jesus fight my battles, He has already won the victory at the cross, all I have to do is believe and let go. You used so many scriptures that I have been studying all morning, thank you for sharing, God bless you.

    Like this

  54. Praise God for His revelation is given to those whom He desires… only few people know this truth. I 100% agree to this post. Thanks and God bless us all no matter what the cost might come. We love and obey God and His will.

    Like this

  55. I was reading up on something called: Dark Night of the Soul, and somehow came to this blog.

    Very interesting opinions and I am thankful for reading them. However I have 2 question: why do so many people assume that God is their maid, and that He will clean up the collective (or personal) mess we have created?

    The second question: how honest are you being in your love of God? What if you got absolutely nothing in return, not even emotional comfort, – would you still be so interested in God?

    Like this

    • Oh, Emilio. You just haven’t read my more recent stuff. You could search for a post called “God is Good” or one which I think is called “Starving People” for starters on that subject.

      Like this

      • Thanks Rebecca – I’ll have a look. I indeed believe that “God is Good” but you as a mother know that kids don’t learn anything by you always cleaning up their “messes” – that was the point I was trying to put forward. Anyhow, I will definitely click around your blog more.

        Like this

  56. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the net
    the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly
    don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon
    the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects ,
    people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.
    Thanks

    Like this

  57. Pingback: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light . . .” | Pots, Pans and Proverbs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s