What does one do when the world around you seems to have gone insane? Contemplating it can make us feel hopeless. Some of my Christian brothers and sisters may just shrug and say it’s just proof that Jesus is coming back soon. That may be so, but I should remind you that Jesus already came back…for you. In fact, He’s living inside of you right now.
This answer is quite simple, yet few seem to believe it so they don’t pursue it. Again, we don’t need to wait for heaven while we’re living in the latest version of hell humans have devised for themselves…if heaven is already living in us.
On that hopeful note, I want to share one of my favorites verses in the Gospels as an antidote to crazy. It might even be your favorite, too. This rendition is from the Passion Translation:
28 “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” (Matt.11:28-30 TPT)
The first thing that strikes me about this passage is that Jesus is the antidote to what’s weighing us down, whether it be worry, fear, anxiety, anger, stress. Whatever name you give it, Jesus’ name is above that name.
What I like about this particular translation is where it says, “for I am your oasis.” An oasis is a fertile area in the middle of a desert. It’s a place of refreshing, where there’s life in the midst of what seems like death. What Jesus is saying here is that when we intentionally join our life to His, we find constant refreshing and rest for our wearied souls. And this refreshing rest is not passive.
This refreshment restores and actually upgrades our life. Rest means that I’ve fully surrendered my heart to Jesus and now my life is empowered by His life. Beloved, we were never meant to live our lives apart from being continually sustained by His life.
Of course, this is a perception issue. We must first have a revelation of our true identity, not the counterfeit one we came to Jesus with….
20 My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine! (Gal.2:20 TPT*)
Do we understand what Paul is saying here? Because understanding this brings true rest. It’s His life and His faith that empowers ours. So, it’s just silly and even foolish for us to want religion instead of this abiding life in Christ. Religion is of this world—man-made—it just replaces one kind of weariness for a religious one. On the other hand, learning how to open our heart to Jesus so He can “dispense His life” into us is the essence of true Christianity.
One more thing I would like to point out about Matthew 11:28-30:
“Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please….30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”*
Notice the words I’ve highlighted. Does that sound like your experience in Christ? Because if it doesn’t, you’re still believing in a religious facsimile of Jesus, not one that will bring you into a place of rest. Because, what I’m finding out is that when I experience Christ, I find it not only refreshing, but pleasant. I also find that He is easy to please.
What’s sad is that many devoted followers of Christ prefer religion—they need something hard and demanding—someone in authority to remind them of their sin instead of who they are in Christ. They think it’s the way to freedom from their issues.
All I can say to you if you believe this is, that’s is an endless hamster wheel to constant disappointment and fruitless frustration. Jesus’ simple answer to all of this is “Come to Me.”
Now, let’s contrast what Jesus is saying to what we experience in the world. It’s anything but restful! Very few people are easy to please. Especially, if you disappoint them or upset them. But Jesus is not like that at all. He says He’s “easy to please.”
This is the truth that makes us free (see John 8:32 NKJV). It doesn’t just sets us free like some pardoned criminal. This truth is found in a Person—Jesus Christ. And we’re a completely new species in Him!
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Cor.5:17 NLT)
Hanging on to our past is like hanging on to stolen property. Jesus owns our past. So, give up whatever is holding you down to Him. Let it go. No, really….let it go. You can trust Him. He will give you true rest, even when the world around you is losing its collective mind.