The Review and Herald

184/1902

August 2, 1881

Rest for the Weary

EGW

Jesus invites the weary to come to him for rest: “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. RH August 2, 1881, par. 1

Many who hear this invitation sigh for rest, and yet press on the rugged path, hugging their burdens closer to their heart. Jesus loves them, and longs to bear their burdens and themselves also in his strong arms of love. He invites them to lay the heavy burdens on him. Your fears and uncertainties, that rob you of peace and rest, he would remove; but you must come to him, and tell him the secret woes of your heart. He invites your confidence as the proof of your love for him. Jesus would rather have the gift of the humble, trusting heart than all the wealth riches can bestow. He invites through his messengers the gift of yourselves. Only come to him in the simplicity and confidence with which a child would come to its parents, and the divine touch from his hand will relieve you of your burdens. RH August 2, 1881, par. 2

Let us not forget that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. The compassionate Saviour invites all to come to him. Let us believe the words of our Lord, and not make the way to him so hard. Let us not travel the precious road, cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in, with murmuring, with doubts, with cloudy forebodings, groaning, as if forced to an unpleasant, exacting task. The ways of Christ are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace. If we have made rough paths for our feet, and taken upon us heavy burdens of care in laying up for ourselves treasures upon the earth, let us now change, and follow the path Jesus has prepared for us. RH August 2, 1881, par. 3

We are not always willing to give our burdens to Jesus. We sometimes pour our troubles into human ears, and tell our afflictions to those who cannot help us, and neglect to confide all to Jesus, that he may change the sorrowful ways to paths of joy and peace. Self-denying, self-sacrificing love gives glory and victory to the cross. The promises of God's word are very precious. We must study his word, if we would know his will. The words of inspiration, carefully studied and practically obeyed, will lead our feet in a plain path, where we may walk without stumbling. Oh, that ministers and people would take all the burdens and perplexities to Jesus, who is waiting to receive them and give them peace and rest. Jesus will never forsake those who put their trust in him. RH August 2, 1881, par. 4

We are living in an age when wickedness prevails. The perils of the last days thicken around us, and because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold. This need not be if all would come to Jesus, and confidingly and in faith trust in him. His meekness and his lowliness, cherished, will bring peace and rest and moral power to every soul. RH August 2, 1881, par. 5

The shortness of time is urged as an incentive for us to seek righteousness and to make Christ our friend. This is not the great motive. It savors of selfishness. Is it necessary that the terrors of the day of God be held before us to compel us through fear to right action? This ought not to be. Jesus is attractive. He is full of love, mercy, and compassion. He proposes to be our friend, to walk with us through all the rough pathways of life. He says to you, I am the Lord thy God; walk with me, and I will fill thy path with light. Jesus, the Majesty of Heaven, proposes to elevate to companionship with himself those who come to him with their burdens, their weaknesses, and their cares. He will make them his dear children, and finally give them an inheritance of more value than the empires of kings, a crown of glory richer than has ever decked the brow of the most exalted earthly monarch. RH August 2, 1881, par. 6

It is our duty to love him as our Redeemer. He commands our love, and as a friend he invites our love. Christ's invitation to us all is a call to a life of peace and rest,—a life of liberty and love, and to a rich inheritance in the future immortal life. Why, then, should we resist his invitation and refuse his love? If we choose to live with Christ through the ceaseless ages of eternity, why not choose him as our best and most honored and loved companion here? Christ calls us to walk with him in this world in the path of humble, trustful obedience, which will secure a pure, holy, happy life. Which will we choose,—liberty in Christ, or bondage and tyranny in the service of Satan? It is our privilege to have a calm, close, happy walk with Jesus every day we live. RH August 2, 1881, par. 7

We need not be alarmed if this path of liberty is laid through conflicts and sufferings. The liberty we shall enjoy will be the more valuable because we made sacrifices to obtain it. The peace which passeth knowledge will cost us battles with the powers of darkness, struggles severe against selfishness and inward sins. The victories gained daily through persevering, untiring effort in well-doing, will be precious through Christ who hath loved us, “who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.” The excellence of Christ we should seek to obtain. In the face of temptation we should school ourselves to firm endurance, which will not provoke one murmuring thought, although we may be weary in toiling, and in fighting the good fight of faith. RH August 2, 1881, par. 8

Thank God that some have passed through afflictions with light undimmed. Their hope and faith are strong, because acquired by conflict and nurtured by suffering. If it were not for these heroes of faith, who have learned to endure, and to suffer and be strong, the outlook would be indeed discouraging. How could any of us know how to sympathize with the sorrowing, the burdened, the afflicted, and be to them the help they need, if we had never experienced similar trials ourselves? We cannot appreciate our Redeemer in the highest sense until we can see him by the eye of faith reaching to the very depths of human wretchedness, taking upon himself the nature of man, the capacity to suffer, and by suffering putting forth his divine power to save and lift sinners up to companionship with himself. Oh, why have we so little sense of sin? Why so little penitence? It is because we do not come nearer the cross of Christ. Conscience becomes hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, because we remain away from Christ. Consider the Captain of our salvation. He suffered shame for us that we might not suffer everlasting shame and contempt. He suffered on the cross, that mercy might be granted to fallen man. God's justice is preserved, and guilty man is pardoned. Jesus dies that the sinner might live. Shame is borne by the Son of the Highest for the sake of poor sinners, that they might be ransomed and crowned with eternal glory. RH August 2, 1881, par. 9

The cross of Calvary appeals in power, affording a reason why we should love Christ now, and why we should consider him first, and best, and last, in everything. We should take our fitting place in humble penitence at the foot of the cross. We may learn the lessons of meekness and lowliness of mind as we go up to Mount Calvary, and, looking upon the cross, see our Saviour in agony, the Son of God dying, the just for the unjust. Behold Him who could summon legions of angels to his assistance with one word, a subject of jest and merriment, of reviling and hatred. He gives himself a sacrifice for sin. When reviled, he threatened not; when falsely accused, he opened not his mouth. He prays on the cross for his murderers. He is dying for them. He is paying an infinite price for every one of them. He would not lose one whom he has purchased at so great cost. He gives himself to be smitten, and scourged, without a murmur. And this uncomplaining victim is the Son of God. His throne is from everlasting, and his kingdom shall have no end. RH August 2, 1881, par. 10

Come, you who are seeking your own pleasures in forbidden joys and in sinful indulgences, you who are scattering from Christ. Look, O look upon the cross of Calvary; behold the royal victim suffering on your account, and be wise while you have opportunity, and seek now the fountain of life and true happiness. Come, you who complain and murmur at the little inconveniences and the few trials you must bear in this life. Look on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. He turns from his royal throne, his high command, and lays aside his royal robe, and clothes his divinity with humanity. For our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. RH August 2, 1881, par. 11

The Son of God was rejected and despised for our sakes. Can you, in full view of the cross, beholding by the eye of faith the sufferings of Christ, tell your tale of woe, your trials? Can you nurse revenge of your enemies in your heart while the prayer of Christ comes from his pale and quivering lips for his revilers, his murderers,—“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do?” RH August 2, 1881, par. 12

A work is before us to subdue pride and vanity, that seek a place in our hearts, and through penitence and faith to bring ourselves into familiar and holy converse with Jesus Christ. We must not shrink from the depths of humiliation to which the Son of God submitted in order to raise us from the degradation and bondage of sin to a seat at his right hand. We must deny self, and fight continually against pride. We must hide self in Jesus Christ, and let him appear in our conversation and character as the One altogether lovely, and the chief among ten thousand. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize Christ, and the salvation he has wrought out for us at such a cost to himself. While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced, and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like him. We shall bind ourselves in willing, happy, captivity to Jesus Christ. It is high time we devoted the few remaining precious hours of our probation to washing our robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb, that we may be of that white-robed company who shall stand about the great white throne. RH August 2, 1881, par. 13