God’s precious promises – Day 20

The promise of peace

Nothing disturbs us more than when we are aware that our personal or national security is at risk. All that most people want is to be able to lead relaxed lives in harmony with one another.

On the international level that is not always achievable. Wars, economic crises, health fears and acts of terrorism has brought the unacceptable to our doorstep. On our home front drought, unemployment, poverty, crime and corruption are very much a reality. The stresses to which we are subjected can play havoc with our health and peace of mind.

The sad reality is that the world has been in a continuous state of turmoil ever since Adam and Eve rebelled against God and were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23). Once sin came into the world, there was a chasm between God and man. A chasm that only God’s love in Jesus Christ could bridge.

Then came Jesus to minister on earth. He gave sight to the blind, cared for the lame, healed lepers, enabled the deaf to hear and raised the dead (Matthew 11:4-5). His promise of tranquillity to those in anguish is an open invitation to all who are weary and burdened.

The Jews in Jesus’ day were compelled to bear the Roman yoke. It was a heavy yoke imposed by the harshness of Roman rule. Iron discipline combined with oppressive taxation can break one’s spirit and force a subject nation into submission. The Jews hated it.

In contrast Jesus does not force his yoke on anyone — instead he invites all who are suffering to accept his yoke, promising that his burden is light and easy to bear. However, like all biblical promises, it comes with a command: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.”

Learning and being obedient to his teaching requires discipline and perseverance, but it guarantees rest for our soul.