What Faith Makes Possible, Love Makes Easy

“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29:20).

LIFE CAN BE HARD NO DOUBT, BUT WE OFTEN MAKE IT HARDER THAN IT HAS TO BE BY ATTACKING OUR PROBLEMS IN THE WRONG WAY. By the brute power of will, we try to force doors open that would yield quite easily to desire and affection and love. Driven only by “have to,” we lose the boundless energy of “want to.”

One of the most cherished of all Jesus’ sayings is the one in Matthew 11:28– 30: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” But how many of us really do find this to be true? Do we truly experience Jesus’ yoke as being “easy” and His burden “light”?

Loving God is the key to the easiness of His yoke and the lightness of His burden, because if we love God, we’ll also love to do His will. Even the concept of God’s law will be one we find congenial. “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). What John wrote is true: “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Those who love God will be diligent to keep His commandments, certainly. But more than that, it is only those who genuinely love God who will find His commandments easy. That which would be burdensome to willpower alone is found by love to be light indeed.

As we seek God, let us be sure that our seeking is energized by love. Our adversary will surely place obstacles in our path, and these will be difficulties that have been crafted by his shrewd intelligence. But while it is sobering to realize how much the devil knows about our strengths and weaknesses, the one thing he does not understand is love, and his strong-arm tactics are simply no match for that patient power. Just as the seven years Jacob served for Rachel “seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her,” the years of our pilgrimage in this difficult world will hurry by if it is love that moves us forward.

“Love has the power to give in a moment what toil can scarcely reach in an age” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe).