"THERE IS REST FOR THE WEARY"
"Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11.28)
INTRO.: A song which invites those who are lost to come to Jesus for rest is "There Is Rest for the Weary." The text was written by Jessie H. Brown Pounds (1861-1921). The tune (Will You Come?) was composed by James Henry Fillmore (1849-1936). The song was first published in the New Christian Hymn and Tune Book, Part III, of 1887, edited by Fillmore. Mrs. Pounds and Fillmore collaborated on many other songs used in our books, including "Will You Not Tell It Today?" and "We Are Going Down The Valley." Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "There Is Rest for the Weary" appeared in the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 edited by E. L. Jorgenson; and the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2 edited by L. O. Sanderson.
The song mentions some of the blessings that are available for those who come to Christ for rest.
I. Stanza 1 talks about pardon or salvation for the lost
"There is rest for the weary, if rest they will seek;
There is cheer for the lonely, and strength for the weak.
There is pardon and blessing, and endless reward,
There perfect salvation in Jesus the Lord."
A. Whatever spiritual blessings we receive from the Lord, we must seek them: Acts 17.26-27
B. One of the greatest spiritual blessings that God offers us is pardon from sin for those who will seek it: Isa. 55.6-7
C. But this pardon or salvation is found only in Jesus the Lord because all spiritual blessings, including redemption, are found in Christ: Eph. 1.3-7
II. Stanza 2 talks about sight for the blinded
"There is sight for the blinded and cure for the ill;
There is balm for the wounded–be healed if you will.
There is zest for your labors, and sweetness in rest;
There is all that is purest and dearest and best."
A. Many people are spiritually blinded and need the light of the glorious gospel to shine upon them to help open their eyes: 2 Cor. 4.3-4, Eph. 1.17-18
B. Blindness is a kind of spiritual sickness, so in Christ God offers healing: Mal. 4.2, Matt. 13.14-15
C. The fact is that those who come to the Lord for rest will find zest for their labors, sweetness, and all that is purest and dearest and best because Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly: Jn. 10.10
III. Stanza 3 talks about peace for the troubled
"There is peace for the troubled and freedom for slaves;
There is hope for the hopeless, and light upon graves;
O hear the glad message and heed the sweet call;
There is room and a welcome with Jesus for all."
A. In Christ, God offers us a peace that passes all understanding: Phil 4.6-7, Col. 3.15
B. One thing that troubles so many is slavery to sin, so in Christ God offers freedom: Rom. 6.16-18
C. Those who take advantage of this freedom will find hope that will sustain them: Heb. 6.18-20
CONCL.: The chorus then asks those who need to respond to the invitation of Christ to come.
"Will you come, will you come to the Lord?
Will you come? Will you come?
O ye souls that have seen Him revealed in His word,
Will you come? Will you come?"
Christian Hymns No. 2 reads a little different in the last couple of lines of the chorus:
"Will you, trusting His word, give your all to the Lord?
Will you come? Will you come?"
Both Jorgenson and Sanderson were not above altering songs, so I do not know which reading is the original, if either one. In any event, those who are outside of Christ or who have wandered away from Him need to know that "There Is Rest For The Weary."