Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because 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 CJB
Struggle (according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary) means
- a forceful effort to reach a goal or objective
- to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition
- to proceed with difficulty or with great effort
We all know #thestruggleisreal and it is many times accompanied by burden and weight. Even though the struggle is real, is it bearable? Can we endure and overcome? As real as it is, I do believe that we can endure it and come out victorious.
When we are in the midst of a difficult time, it can be burdensome, tiresome and can feel hopeless. This is why, I believe that Messiah Yeshua has offered us a way to persevere through the struggle. He has provided a key, which gives us access to endurance of and perseverance through the struggle. That key is found in the scripture above, Matthew 11:28-30.
Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you … for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
The way that we get through and out of the struggle is to wear the yoke of Christ. This is the key. Now, how do we do this or what does this look like?
A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the neck of two animals and attached to the plot or cart that they are to pull. It signifies EFFORT.
A burden is a load, typically a heavy one.
Going through a difficult period, many times, comes with a sense of loneliness. This often times carry a weight of hopelessness, overwhelm and depression. However a yoke requires two animals joined together, working together in unison to get the work done. Through this, the load and weight is shared between them and what would have been too much for one is now easily done by two.
This is what Christ desires to do for us. He is asking us to be yoked with Him because His “yoke is easy and burden light”. If we examine this further, we will see that He is referring to two things:
- GRACE – a God given ability to do and/or endure something with little to no force or pressure
- UNITY – being one with Him
When we take the yoke of Christ on us, we become one with Him and in so doing, we receive the grace we need to endure and to experience rest in the struggle. Thus, His yoke = the yoke of grace.
3 reasons why we should take His yoke – the yoke of grace – on us:
1. To Learn From Him
In order to learn from Him, we need to study Him, experience Him and be taught by the Spirit of the LORD. In so doing, we will gain and acquire much needed knowledge of who He is as well as the skills needed to be like Him and become one with Him. Taking His yoke on us will make us aware of who He is and gives us the teachable spirit we need to decrease as He increases in us through the struggle.
2. Because He is Gentle and Humble in Heart
Wearing the yoke of grace will cause us to take on the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, especially gentleness and humility. As we become one with Christ, we become like Him. Thus instead of allowing the struggle to make us harsh and angry, we become gentle, patient and kind. The yoke of grace will allow the struggle to bring us to the place of humility that will lead to exaltation. It strips us of pride as we recognize that without the hand of God in the process we would be burdened and bitter, rejected and resentful.
3. To find rest for our souls
When we take on the yoke of grace, we engage in an instance, time and/or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity. We receive the ease to do what is required and to endure and persevere through the struggle. The emotional weight that comes with worry, anxiety, stress, fear, overwhelm, distress is replaced with the ease of faith. We rest easy knowing
that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose; (Romans 8:28CJB)
Regardless of what struggle we face or what impending struggle may come, let us take this key available to us and use it to our advantage. May we choose to be yoked with Christ that we may be one with Him and experience the grace we need to get through and to receive rest in the struggle.