Proverbs 1:33 says, "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely and will be secure, without fear of evil" (NKJV). It is not the will of God that we live our lives dreading each day. Dread and anxiety steal the joyous life that God designed us to experience. The kingdom of darkness would like to steal the joy from our lives by making everything we do difficult.
The Amplified Bible expresses it this way: "The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance—to the full, till it overflows" (John 10:10).
Jesus has paid the price so we can enjoy a life free from dread, anxiety, and struggle.
Our lives were meant to be enjoyable, not burdensome, not a struggle, not dreaded! In fact, Jesus wants us to enjoy life to the point that it overflows!
If life is filled with difficulty and lacking joy, then it's safe to say that somewhere along the way we have been detoured from the plan God has for our lives. But we can't let it discourage us because it's easy to get back on the path God has designed for us!
Acts 3:19 gives us the solution: "...repent—change your mind and purpose; turn around and return to God, that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing—of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air—may come from the presence of the Lord" (AMP). As we enter the presence of the Lord in an attitude of repentance, we will be refreshed and revived!
When we begin doing things that are not initiated by God we will begin to dread our lives. Look again at Matthew 11:28-30 from the Ben Campbell Johnson paraphrase. Here, Jesus fully extends an invitation to those who are overburdened:
"Come into fellowship with me if you are tired and burdened, and I will refresh and release you. Take the burden of responsibility I give you and thereby discover your life and your destiny. I am gentle and humble; I am willing to relate to you and to permit you to learn at your own rate; then, in fellowship with me, you will discover the meaning of your life. My fellowship will release you, and my companionship will direct you on your journey."
When we are tired and burdened by responsibilities, Jesus invites us into His presence and exchanges our burden for relief and refreshing. When we begin to dread getting up in the morning, when life feels difficult, Jesus invites us to come into His presence and receive rest and refreshing.
If we accept His invitation today, His companionship will direct us on our journey. He is gentle. He will not push or pressure us along the way.