Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Come to Me

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly 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’ve been feeling rather discouraged lately in my struggle against sin.
There are certain sins that are so deep rooted that it feels like they keep rearing their ugly head, no matter what my resolve is. No matter how hard I try, I see and feel these sins lurking in the depths of my heart. And, when they break through in my words and actions, my soul longs to tear them, roots and all out of my heart. But I cannot. No matter what I try to do, they stick.
It’s interesting when you first become a Christian, that it seems like so many sins just fall away. You look back and wonder, ‘where did that go? Why do I find no joy or satisfaction in doing the things I used to do?’ The joy that is felt when you see how God has changed your heart and changed the longings of your heart. You desire to please Him. You long to do His will. You want to know more about Him and who He is.
But that ‘high’ doesn’t seem to last. Often the sin of pride starts to show as you wonder why others aren’t growing or haven’t grown as you have. Then you see more sins that are much harder to fight than the more ‘outward’ sins of your actions. You start to see how wicked the heart really is. How it is just steeped in sin—rotten to the core.
This is where discouragement can settle in as it has with me. I see how wicked my heart is. I see my failings, and short comings, and then I try to fight it. On my own.  And, that is where the mistake is made. I cannot fight sin on my own. I cannot live a life that is good enough or that pleases God. Oh, I long to. I so desire to please Him and yet I know that even my best attempts are as filthy rags before Him, all my labor is in vain. And, in my looking at myself, and my rottenness, I forget to look at Christ. I forget to look to Him and His righteousness. The righteousness He has clothed me in. I forget to cling to Him—to take His yoke upon me. I forget to learn from Him. I forget to immerse myself in His Word, and to cast my prayers at His feet. This is when my soul is heavy laden—cumbered with a load of care.
May I continually cling to Him, to find my joy and salvation in Him alone.  Not in my own works, not in my feeble attempts, but in Him alone. May I find rest for my soul in Him for He is gentle and lowly in heart. 

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

-Joseph M. Scriven

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