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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | Rest in His Presence

Picture someone who has ventured out too far into the ocean. The tide is pulling them further from shore and they are struggling to keep their head above water. Exhausted, scared, and unable to make it back to the beach, they see a lifeguard diving into the water swimming toward them, ready to rescue and bring them back safely to shore.

Jesus speaks to the weary and exhausted in Matthew 11:28, saying: “Come to me...and I will give you rest.” But immediately before Jesus gives this gracious invitation, Matthew has Him portraying the disciples as “insiders”—those to whom the Son chose to reveal Himself (v. 27). Jesus knew that living as His disciples on mission would not always be easy. His followers would not be understood or appreciated, and following by faith would create all sorts of difficulties.

Jesus invited the disciples, and us as well, to find rest in Him. Jesus does not invite the “wise and learned” (v. 25) to come to Him but those who are feeling overwhelmed and swept away by life’s currents. Jesus not only offers rescue and safety but also true rest (v. 28).

Jesus’ presence certainly doesn’t make us immune to struggles, but it does promise us comfort and rest during our trials. His very presence provides a refuge where we can lay down our heavy loads and catch our breath. Once we accept Jesus’ invitation to find rest in Him, and once we share our burdens with Him, we experience profound peace that only He can give. No matter how heavy our burdens, we can discover rest in His presence, and help others do the same.

Go Deeper

Are you weary, burdened, or overwhelmed? Humble yourself and accept Jesus’ invitation. Find a quiet spot to draw near to Him in prayer, reading and reflecting on His Word. Find rest in His presence. He will renew your strength and bring peace amid your weariness.

Pray with Us: In our weariness and discouragement we remember Your words: “Come to me...” (Matt. 11:28). We share our burdens with You today and find rest in Your presence, Lord. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isa. 40:31).

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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