Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
Jesus doesn’t want you to carry the weight of the world yourself. He wants to carry it for you. Sometimes I think that I need to be the perfect Christian, and lead a perfect life for God to love me. But the Christian life is not about you doing the best you can and then God will do the rest. Instead, its about complete surrender to Jesus where He is in control. He takes the responsibility of carrying your burdens. He died on that cross so that we wouldn’t have to carry all of our burdens alone, because if we had to do that, we would be crushed. Give your burdens to Christ. Will you give Jesus total control today? Will you surrender your life to Him? Whether you’ve been a Christ follower already for years or are just starting your walk with Christ, Jesus wants to be your all in all. Put up a white flag and confess Him as Lord of your life. Let Him have control of your life. He will take better care of you than you could ever take care of yourself.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. – Philippians 4:6
It’s easy to fall into the trap of worry. As college students, we are constantly living in a life of stress and worry over classes, homework, work, relationships, and the list goes on and on. However, this verse challenges us to do things differently. It challenges you to pray about things instead of worrying. It also challenges you to tell God what you need instead of worrying about things. When you do this, it displaces worry in your life. God will do what is asked. It may not be in the way we expect or even want, but He will come through(Mathew 7:7). When I am getting stressed or worried, a prayer that helps me is “Heavenly Father, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like a turbulent sea. I can’t seem to find my balance so I stumble and worry constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me. I trust your Love God, and know that you will heal this stress. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night. Please bring me clarity with the light of God.
In your name I pray, Amen.”
A final thing to keep in mind is to thank God for all that He has done. When you begin to thank God, you take the focus off yourself and your problems and look to God and all the good things you have going on in your life. Today, challenge yourself to not worry. Instead go to God with the things that bother you and be thankful.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16
The beginning of this verse is a tough one for some people. I used to not like the idea of going up to a friend and confessing my sins to them, because I don’t want them to see me in a different way. I used to
be embarrassed to tell other people my sins, but it was something that should be done. We need to be a community of Christians, a community that doesn’t judge someone because of their sins, and a community that prays for each other. We need to be able to tell each other our sins because we need to be prayed for. When we pray for one another, amazing things start to happen, and we begin to heal. The last part of the verse talks about the prayers of a righteous person. We know from the Bible that if we’ve accepted Jesus then we’ve been made righteous, so this verse is talking to Christians. This verse tells us that as Christians our prayers aren’t just some words that we hope that God hears and does something about. It shows us that our prayers produce wonderful results. When we pray, we shouldn’t think “I hope God hears this,” we need to be thinking “God I know you hear this prayer and know my heart, and I trust you.” It is important to know that God hears you, He knows our heart, and He knows you on a level that no one else is lucky enough to know. When we pray to Jesus, it produces wonderful things! He provides just what we need when we need it and that is just such a great blessing.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. – Hebrews 12:2
I have played tennis for eight years, and something my coach always told the team was to keep our eyes on the ball. Our coach knew that for anyone of us to be successful at playing tennis, we had to watch the ball. We couldn’t serve the ball if we weren’t watching it. We couldn’t hit a ball if we didn’t have our eyes on it. That’s a lot like what we are encouraged to do in Hebrews 12:2. We’re encouraged to keep our eyes on Jesus. To be a success in tennis, its all about keeping your eye on the ball, and to be a success in life, its all about keeping your eyes on Jesus. Jesus should always be your true focus. In each decision you make, you should be keeping your eye on Jesus and wanting to make a decision with Him in mind. So in the craziness of life, be sure to take some time to keep your eyes on Jesus. Spend some time thinking about Him and all He’s done for you.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! – Matthew 18:21-22
There is nothing more difficult than dealing with someone who has treated you wrongly. Maybe someone laughed at what you said, or what you wore to class. Maybe someone didn’t do what you wanted them to do. The normal thing to do in situations like this is to get back at them. You might want to treat them like they treated you. Mathew 18:21-22 challenges us to do something different. It challenges us to not only forgive someone, but to keep forgiving them. That means they might keep doing the same thing to you and you are to keep forgiving them. Forgiving someone like that might seem impossible to do. That’s why Jesus gave us what we needed to love and forgive others. The Bible talks about how God’s love has been placed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5). So when Jesus tells us in this verse that we are to forgive and keep forgiving, its not something that is impossible for us to do. We can do this because He gave us the love we need to do it. We just have to choose to let that love flow out of us. I highly recommend listening to the song Losing by Tenth Avenue North because it is about the exact verse and is so good!