Sabbath, July 23, 2011

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.

“Those who take Christ at His word, and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. The Lord says, ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.’ Isaiah 26:3.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 331.

Misery, worry, and trouble

1. What has characterized the existence of mankind ever since the fall into sin?
Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
Job 5:6, 7 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Psalm 102:3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.

“Whether they know it or not, all are weary and heavy-laden. All are weighed down with burdens that only Christ can remove. The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. If we were left to bear this burden, it would crush us. But the Sinless One has taken our place. ‘The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.’ Isaiah 53:6. He has borne the burden of our guilt. He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 328, 329.

2. What do people do to escape the burdens facing them every day?
Isaiah 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

“God knows that if we were left to follow our own inclinations, to go just where our will would lead us, we should fall into Satan’s ranks and become possessors of his attributes. Therefore the law of God confines us to His will, which is high and noble and elevating. He desires that we shall patiently and wisely take up the duties of service. It is for our present and eternal good to work the works of God. If His will is cheerfully and gratefully accepted, the results will be seen in the service rendered and in the character developed.” –The Signs of the Times, July 22, 1897.

One worthy of trust

3. Who should not be trusted?
Psalm 146:3, 4 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.

“Take hold of the arm of God, and say, ‘I am nothing, and Thou art everything. Thou hast said, “Without me ye can do nothing.” Now, Lord, I must have Thee abiding in me, that I may abide in Thee.’ Then advance step by step, by living faith abiding in Jesus Christ. This is wearing His yoke, the yoke of obedience.” –(Manuscript 85, 1901) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, p. 1092.

4. In the Old Testament, to whom was happiness promised? With what promise did Jesus confirm this truth?
Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.
Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

“‘Come unto Me,’ is His invitation. Whatever your anxieties and trials, spread out your case before the Lord. Your spirit will be braced for endurance. The way will be opened for you to disentangle yourself from embarrassment and difficulty. The weaker and more helpless you know yourself to be, the stronger will you become in His strength. The heavier your burdens, the more blessed the rest in casting them upon the Burden Bearer. The rest that Christ offers depends upon conditions, but these conditions are plainly specified. They are those with which all can comply. He tells us just how His rest is to be found.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 329.

5. What other promises reveal God’s great, drawing love?
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

“The Elder Brother of our race is by the eternal throne. He looks upon every soul who is turning his face toward Him as the Saviour. He knows by experience what are the weaknesses of humanity, what are our wants, and where lies the strength of our temptations; for He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. He is watching over you, trembling child of God. Are you tempted? He will deliver. Are you weak? He will strengthen. Are you ignorant? He will enlighten. Are you wounded? He will heal. The Lord ‘telleth the number of the stars;’ and yet ‘He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.’ Psalm 147:4, 3.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 329.

Great blessings follow surrender to Him

6. What responses to God’s loving call will result in relief from the burden of sin? How are the resulting peace and blessing described?
Matthew 11:29 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.
Isaiah 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Isaiah 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.

“‘Learn of Me,’ says Jesus; ‘for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest.’ We are to enter the school of Christ, to learn from Him meekness and lowliness. Redemption is that process by which the soul is trained for heaven. This training means a knowledge of Christ. It means emancipation from ideas, habits, and practices that have been gained in the school of the prince of darkness. The soul must be delivered from all that is opposed to loyalty to God.

“In the heart of Christ, where reigned perfect harmony with God, there was perfect peace. He was never elated by applause, nor dejected by censure or disappointment. Amid the greatest opposition and the most cruel treatment, He was still of good courage. But many who profess to be His followers have an anxious, troubled heart, because they are afraid to trust themselves with God. They do not make a complete surrender to Him; for they shrink from the consequences that such a surrender may involve. Unless they do make this surrender, they cannot find peace.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 330.

7. What enormous difference is there between our yoke of sin and His yoke?
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

“There is a condition to the rest and peace here offered us by Christ. It is that of yoking up with Him. All who will accept the condition will find that the yoke of Christ will help them to bear every burden needful for them to carry. Without Christ at our side to bear the heaviest part of the load, we must indeed say that it is heavy. But yoked with Him to the car of duty, the burdens of life may all be lightly carried. And just as a man acts in willing obedience to the requirements of God, will come his peace of mind. He will give evidence of clear judgment and a steadfastness of character in cooperating with God to redeem himself through faith in Christ….

“To the true follower of Christ there is a pleasure in doing the things that Christ has done in his behalf. He does not regard the Lord’s requirement as an arbitrary exaction, but a clear specification of his only safety from the advances of the wily foe, who is ever seeking to entangle his feet and make his path difficult.” –The Signs of the Times, July 22, 1897.

For meditation

“Meekness and humility will characterize all who are obedient to the law of God, all who will wear the yoke of Christ with submission. And these graces will bring the desirable result of peace in the service of Christ. In learning Christ’s meekness and lowliness, we shall submit the entire being to His control. Then the transforming grace of Christ will work upon heart and character, making human beings, fallen in sin, complete in Him.” –The Signs of the Times, July 22, 1897.

For additional study

• Isaiah 26:3; 48:17

The Desire of Ages, pp. 328-332

The Signs of the Times, July 22, 1897

For personal reflection

• Which have I chosen–my will, or that of the Lord?

• What obstacles hinder me from surrendering my will to Him?

• What experiences have followed my accepting Jesus’ yoke?