Unlock the secrets of soul rest with insights from Matthew 11:28-30. This in-depth post explores how experience soul rest from burdens that weigh you down. Jesus’ invitation leads to profound spiritual peace, offering guidance on how to lighten life’s burdens through a deeper relationship with Jesus. Includes personal examples of how Jesus is teaching me to release burdens to experience soul rest.

“Come to Me, all 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. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light” –Matthew 11;28-30 NASB

Rest is more than getting enough sleep or taking a break after physically demanding work. Jesus invites us to experience soul rest by entering a relationship where He leads and we follow. This way of living and working is the secret to soul rest, spiritual peace, and a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Woman holding a much works on computer for post on finding soul rest.

Soul rest is not freedom from work or burdens.

The offer in Matthew 11:28-30 is not to find rest by not having to work, free from any kind of burden. This rest is not about the absence of life’s challenges but about how we engage with them, relying on Jesus to guide and strengthen us. Soul rest does not depend on the absence of problems or pain, but in bringing our burdens to Christ. Being yoked with Jesus isn’t about escaping work or life’s pressures but about handling them through His strength and guidance.


Jesus invites us to depend on Him and follow His lead and His way as we work in relationship with Him. “Come to me…and I will give you rest…” implies that rest is a gift we receive from Jesus. Soul rest is a gift, attained not by our efforts, but through accepting Jesus’ invitation to live and learn from Him. Share on X


This is a relational invitation. Jesus promises to teach us a different way of living and working in His “easy yoke.”  This yoke is a training tool to help a young ox learn from a stronger ox bearing most of the burden of the work. The younger learns, trains, and grows, becoming stronger and experienced over time. What a concrete picture of our relationship with Christ as we work and learn with Him. I often think of this image of being yoked with Jesus as He bears the weight and guides my steps.

Jesus speaks to the soul-weary burdens that weigh us down.

In this familiar passage, Jesus speaks of two specific challenges we all face in life. The first word is translated “weary” or “labor,” meaning fatigue from hard work, burdens, or grief.

The second problem is being “burdened” by carrying a heavy load  placed upon us, much like a heavy pack is placed on a donkey. When the expectations and demands of others weigh us down, we may find ourselves bearing a heavy load we were not intended to carry.

This is an interesting distinction. In context, Jesus refers to the heavy load that religious leaders had placed upon the people. These were extra laws and practices to keep them from disobeying any of the commandments. Jesus came to free us from the burden of the law, the burden of our sin, and our inability to keep the law.

But there are other implications of the many burdens that weigh heavy on our soul. Here are a few I often experience:

  • Motivations, mindsets, and lack of boundaries
  • Other people’s opinions and expectations
  • Unrealistic self-expectations or goals
  • Pressure of trying to control outcomes
  • Relying upon our own resources, abilities, or strength for success
  • Unresolved conflict or harboring unforgiveness

Which of these burdens have you felt lately? Jesus offers a way of living and working that we can only experience in a dependent relationship with Him. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus helps us identify and to bear our burdens. He can show us how to experience the soul rest we need.

The role of spiritual disciplines in experiencing soul rest.


Quote on spiritual disciplines and finding rest on white backgroundSpiritual disciplines aren’t just practices; they’re pathways to the rest Jesus promises.

These Jesus-lessons are personal for each of us. It all starts with the daily habit of coming. If we do not develop the habit of “coming to Jesus,” we miss out on what He wants to teach us. To “come” is to rely on Christ, to trust Him, to listen for His words, to attend to what He is teaching. Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and journaling help us learn from Jesus in a personal way.

To truly find soul rest, engaging in spiritual disciplines is essential. Practices such as prayer, reading the Bible, and meditation deepen our connection to Christ. They help us to learn from Him and recognize the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Though spiritual disciplines help us learn from Jesus, being “yoked” with Jesus is about far more than whether we have a “good Quiet Time.” Spiritual disciplines help us give time and attention to what Jesus wants to teach us. They train us to recognize when the Holy Spirit speaks to our thoughts, patterns, tendencies, and struggles. His lessons can come at any moment of the day when we cultivate the habit of paying attention.

“Lord, what do you want me to know about this burden/situation today?”

This simple prayer has opened many moments for learning from Jesus. Sometimes He gives insights in the moment, but often a thought will flash in my mind when I’m doing something else. Journaling and meditating on related Bible verses helps me process His insights more deeply.

Personal examples of learning from Jesus to live in soul rest.

I want to share a few ways Jesus helps me discover soul rest from the burdens that weigh me down. These are personal examples of what Jesus is teaching me about soul rest from of burdens that weigh me down.

Here’s my how: This simple prayer has opened many moments for learning from Jesus: “Lord, what do you want me to know about this burden/situation today?” Then I pay attention to what He brings to mind. Sometimes He gives insights in the moment, but often a thought will flash in my mind when I’m doing something else. Journaling and meditating on related Bible verses helps me process His lessons more deeply.

  1. I’m learning to let go of burdens that aren’t mine to carry. Jesus teaches me to differentiate between burdens I should carry and those I shouldn’t. I am often tempted to pick up burdens, to take responsibilities that belong to others. Sometimes I take on the weight of their emotions, decisions, or behavior. This can be a simple doing someone’s chore because I don’t want to hold them accountable. It can also include feeling stressed about things that are someone else’s responsibility.
  2. Jesus teaches me to entrust my loved ones to Him. I sometimes attempt to control outcomes or fix problems that are not mine to solve. As a wife and mom, I sometimes often worry about emotional well-being of my family. He helps me to give them space to make their own mistakes and learn from their own struggles. He reminds me that He is working in their lives, so I can rest.
  3. Jesus helps me let go of the shame of failure or disappointing people. He shows me when I fall into the old pattern of allowing hurtful words or opinions to define my identity. Unrealistic expectations of myself can create the burden of shame. He reminds me of the difference between truth and opinion. The Spirit helps me recognize when false beliefs creep into my thinking.
  4. Learning to trust Jesus with the results of my efforts brings rest and freedom. Jesus teaches me that my work is to trust and depend on Him for both motivation, process, and outcome of my work. I have control over my thoughts, motivations, decisions, and effort. The results and the outcomes belong to God.
  5. Jesus shows me the difference between a good desire and a God-given desire. There is only so much time and energy in a day and for a life. Trying to do too much is exhausting. Working at the wrong things or for the wrong reasons creates burn out. Navigating the gap between “should” and “called” is a journey of discovering the dreams God has placed in my heart.
  6. Relying on Jesus to fulfill my calling is daily process of following His leadership. It is a different way of working that feels like the joyful freedom of a child coloring outside the lines to create something unique and new. From beginning to end, I am learning to work in reliance and partnership with Christ.

Does this list of personal examples bring to mind burdens that are weighing you down? How can you trust and follow Jesus to experience the soul rest you need today? Consider a few of the following practical steps to put Matthew 11:28-30 into practice in your life.

Practical steps to experience more soul rest from burdens that do not need to weigh you down.

Soul rest not soul stress quote on white backgroundAre you responding to the invitation of Christ who offers to give you rest for your soul as you live and work with Him? Consider a few specific ways to let Christ teach you His way of soul rest:

  • Trust God with the people you care about.
  • Pray, “Lord, what do You want me to know about this burden/situation?”
  • What ways are you trying to control things you cannot control? How can you release them to God?
  • Are there situations or relationships where you are taking responsibility that isn’t yours to bear? Entrust them to Christ.
  • Ask Jesus to help you learn how to rest in pressure, conflict, or uncertainty.
  • Rest the outcomes of your efforts in God’s capable hands and release the stress of performance.

As Jesus teaches you how to rest, He will help with the burdens that weary your soul. Which of these suggestions do you most need apply today to discover what Jesus wants to teach you about soul rest?

Soul rest comes when you accept Jesus’s invitation to walk with you, help you, and teach you, every step of the way. Accepting Christ’s invitation means learning to live and work in partnership with Him, recognizing that He is the source of our strength and peace.

Leave a comment and share what your biggest need for soul rest is right now.

Recover Your Best Rest

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Soul rest is an invitation to experience life as God intended—with peace, not pressure. Renew and refresh your body, soul, and spirit with this practical resource made with you in mind. One of our most popular freebies in The Deeper Life Collection.


Thrive in Your Soul with Holy Choices

A powerful encouragement for anyone who struggles to overcome anxiety, perfectionism, insecurity, or other mindsets that hold us back. Each of these challenges can become burdens for our souls. Grow in holiness without the pressure to have everything “just right.” Through gentle encouragement, biblical insights, and applicable ideas you can experience a deeper life of freedom in Christ. Transparently sharing my own struggles, I want to help you live from the reality of hope, healing, and holiness. Learn more about rest in the chapter entitled, “Moments to Rest.”

Check out the award-winning book, Holy in the Moment. Join Ginger Harrington for an encouraging look at making the most of daily choices to to trust God in the moment. Overcome anxiety, perfectionism, insecurity, and other flesh traits that hold us back. Find freedom in Christ one moment at a time!

My Favorite Books on Rest

I’ve benefitted from reading books on the importance of rest. Here are a couple of my favorites. Each of the following are affiliate links.

What I loved about this book was the way Saundra Dalton-Smith explains how we need different kinds of rest with practical suggestions for ways to best fit our rest to what we most need.

John Mark Comer builds a compelling case against the culture of hurry that characterizes our digital age. Detailing the cost to our emotional health and spiritual vitality, Comer gives us good cause to re-examine how we use our time and the important need for rhythms of rest.

I appreciate Buchanan’s through discussion on the importance of the Sabbath and how we can benefit from practicing intentional rest in our lives.

If you’ve benefitted from this article and resources, please share with a friend or on social media. This might be the encouragement someone deeply needs today. Help spread the message!

*This post includes affiliate links for books recommended in this post at no cost to you. Disclaimer: This post is written for spiritual growth and encouragement.

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