January 12 I Wednesday
“Come to Me, all 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.” —Matthew 11:28-29
Most of us know someone we would consider to be a desperate soul and that may even include ourselves. There are all kinds of scenarios that drive people to desperate acts, and the one thing they have in common is extreme anguish.
Many leading characters of the Bible could have been described as desperate souls at one point or another. Abraham, when he lied about his wife being his sister to save himself; Jacob, after deceiving his brother out of his birthright and wrestling with the Lord all night; Moses, when he killed an Egyptian slave master and had to flee for his life; David, who to cover up his adultery, placed Uriah on the frontline of battle to ensure his death; Solomon, who married pagan women who had lured him away from God but then wrote the book of Ecclesiastes; and Saul of Tarsus, determined to annihilate the Christian movement. Did God desert these people? On the contrary, God built them up to accomplish His purpose through them.
Regardless of how desperate we may feel, God has a plan for our lives and will carry it through to completion. The only requisites are trust in Him and obedience to Him. God knows our struggles, and at His discretion, will use them so that in our humility and weakness, we can be made strong in His power. If we understand how God works in this way, we not only begin to feel our anguish diminish, but our dependence upon God is reinforced. In turning to God, whatever plagues us becomes a means for Him to draw us near. It provides a highway for Him to navigate His way in our lives and lead us to where we truly discover His power, His grace and His utter sufficiency.
In these times, our faith is tested and dependence upon God is crucial. The essential ingredient in the spiritual growth of every Christian is going to be the presence of Christ living in us. We are not alone. Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened,” not simply so that we may be comforted, but so that He may be in us the dynamic force that sustains us through hardships and accomplishes His purpose in it.
It is into the depth of our despair that Christ Himself will step in. His Spirit will give us a different perspective in which the wounds of our lives become the ministry of our lives. To have experienced Christ over a time of desperation is never to be desperate again, because we know whatever befalls us, Christ is all we need. Do we trust the sufficiency of Christ in our hardships?
Prayer: Dear Lord, it is comforting to know that I am not alone in my hardships and that Your presence in me defeats any sense of desperation. Thank You for being all I need. Amen!