Burdens

<<load, weight>>

Excess pressure or responsibilities can wear us down causing fatigue and discouragement, but they can also be a challenge and stimulus for us to overcome by being determined that we will not be defeated but through the trials become stronger.  Satan’s desire is to destroy, to make us bitter and ineffective for God.  Meanwhile God’s desires is to bless by enabling us to overcome and so be better people able to minister effectively to others in similar circumstances (Jn 10:10; 2 Cor 1:4).

“The Lord lifts up those bowed down, He is near those who call upon Him” (Ps 145:15,18).  He invites us to cast our cares on Him because He genuinely wants to ease our burden as we are joined to Him – He doesn’t give us more than we are able to bear, and in fact our load is comparatively light when we are fully yielded and have intimate relationship with Him so the load can be shared
(Mt 11:30; 1 Cor 10:13). Just as the burden of sin can’t be addressed by ourselves alone, it needing the intervention of the blood of Christ, so we are incapable of adequately coping with the demands of life on our own. What He requires from us is a far lighter load to carry than Satan’s (Ps 55:22; Mt 11:28-30; 1 Pet 5:7).  When you have cast your burden on the Lord, you don’t have to carry it any longer. How do we give our burdens to God for Him to carry?  “By prayer and supplication make your requests known to God... Praying for one another” (Phil 4:6; Jas 5:16). Walk in close relationship with Him and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

By helping to carry another burden’s we are fulfilling the law of Christ, who in love bore the penalty for our sin which we were incapable of bearing.  However, there are certain things we must carry alone, and not expect others to do for us what we should do for ourselves.  At judgment day we will individually stand responsible and answerable to God (Rom 14:12; Gal 6:2,5).

The religious leaders of Jesus day gave unbearable demands to their followers, while the early church leaders did not burden the converts with a lot of requirements (Lk 11:46; Act 15:19,28).  False religions are based on self-effort and the keeping of rules to make a person acceptable to a deity while the basis of Christianity is about a relationship with God and the release of our burdens.

With some burdens or challenges in life when the lesson has been learnt and God’s purposes achieved there is a set time of release from the load. “My plans are to prosper

you; not to harm you, but to give you a future and hope” (Jer 25:11,12, 29:10,11).

  Cast your burden on the Lord –                                            Psalm 55:22

It is wise to set in place an escape strategy for when the pressure is really on – know your limits and when to say ‘no’ to further demands on your life, have clear priorities, what are non-negotiable aspects and what things can be compromised or are non-essential. If possible, take a bit of time out to regain perspective such as a good brisk walk, or relaxing time with friends.  God knows what He is doing. Job declared, “When He has tried me I shall come forth as pure gold” (Job 23:10).

We each have our own tolerance level – the amount of weight we can comfortably shoulder without it seeming an unbearable hardship. This point can fluctuate with our physical and emotional state.

‘Burden of the Lord’ is a term sometimes used to denote a deep distress that won’t lift till the matter has been prayed through, then comes a time of peace when it is sensed the issue is under divine control.

See also: baggage, bondage, perspective, trials, weary.

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