In July 2002, Israel Houghton & New Breed released a song entitled Trading My Sorrow (Yes Lord) on their New Seasons CD.
The lyrics are as follows:
I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord
I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord
Did you get that? Israel says, “I’m laying down my life’s problems and I’m going to pick up the joy of the Lord.”
Those lyrics hold a significant message when you consider that sorrows, shame, sickness, and pain weaken us by sapping our strength leaving us drained physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, when we cast our cares on Jesus’s feet, we can pick up his joy. The wonderful benefit of the Lord’s joy is that it is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! So, in effect, we lay down our burdens and picked up the Lord’s strength! That is what I call The Great Exchange. The Bible is filled with passages of scripture that describe this exchange whereby you and I can bring God our pain and heartaches and receive in exchange His bounty and blessing.
This week, I’ve been meditating on Matthew 11:28-29 where Jesus said to his disciples, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jesus invites us to come to him for an exchange.
Weary and Burdened
First, he said, come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden. Does that sound like you? Are you weary and burdened? Then humble yourself, accept the invitation, and come to Jesus with your cares and concerns. See yourself standing before Jesus with all your bags filled with worries and burdens. Lay all that baggage at Jesus’s feet and in exchange, receive from him the rest that he promised you.
Take My Yoke
The purpose of a yoke is to harness strength for plowing. However, the yoke of the world binds you to oppressive situations and restricts your movement. Let Jesus remove the world’s yoke from your shoulders and allow him to lovingly fit you with his yoke. Imagine Jesus looking into your eyes and saying, “come on, we’re going to do this together.”
Meditate on the scriptural promise that says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” Once again, you see there is an exchange. You and I come to Jesus with our weaknesses and insecurities, and he gives us his strength.
Learn from Me
What can Jesus teach us about living life? Everything! Jesus said, “My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life (John 10:10 NLT).” Jesus taught us not to worry, how to be reconciled and have peace with God, how to forgive those who have wronged us, and how to be light in a dark world. These are all benefits of abandoning our way of doing things in exchange for learning how to live life his way.
Gentle and Lowly
Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics. Do you ever find yourself being overly critical of your performance? We beat ourselves up for not doing enough, not knowing enough, or not being good enough. Jesus, on the other hand, is gentle and lowly in heart, meaning he’s approachable and humble. Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses. He understands our frailties, but he doesn’t beat us up about them. Instead, he says, “Let me help you with that.”
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:15, 16
Rest for Your Soul
You can learn a lot about a person by watching how they handle pressure and adversity. Let’s take a few examples from the life of Jesus. He was perfectly at ease and asleep in the boat while a fierce storm threatened to sink the ship as he and his disciples crossed the sea (Matthew 8:23-37). Jesus didn’t fall apart when he received the news that his friend Lazarus had died, and all his friends accused him of not doing enough to save him (John 11:21-37). Jesus didn’t lash out when the soldiers mocked and nailed him to the cross. As a matter of, he said, “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing (Luke 23:24).” In exchange for learning from Jesus how to handle the pressures of life, you’ll receive rest for your soul.
Time for Your Exchange
Do you have something broken in your life that you need to exchange: a broken heart, a broken relationship, a broken marriage, broken dreams, or broken finances?
· Exchange your anxious thoughts for his peace (Philippians 4:6, 7).
· Exchange your weakness and inadequacies for his grace and strength (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10).
· Exchange your uncertainty for his wisdom (James 1:5).
· Exchange your lack for his abundance (Philippians 4:19).
Whatever it is, bring it to Jesus, and make an exchange. I promise you will get so much more in return when you surrender your hold on your brokenness and pick up his promises, provision, and power.
The Power of Agreement uses scriptural references, biblical examples, the Quick's personal stories, and testimonials from family and friends describing how working in agreement produces powerful results. Order your copy today!
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