Lots of us are carrying lots of problems. We carry the pressure of making that proverbial dish: ends meat. How are we going to make those ends meet? We carry the strain placed upon us by the jobs we hold, or the stress of trying to find a job. We carry the tension of distributing the money we do earn in the wisest ways. And don’t let an unexpected expense get thrown into the mix; now there’s a new problem to juggle.
Apart from finances, we carry the burdens placed upon us by our relationship issues with spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, children, friends, ex-people, bosses, business associates, co-workers, teachers/mentors, employees, and neighbors. Additionally, we are surrounded by the problems in our world. Terrorism, taxes, and tension from every side all conspire to add to the load we’re lugging around.
So it may not seem comforting to read “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you…” (I Peter 4:12-14 NKJ). Even though this passage goes on to say that we ought to “rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings,” it doesn’t sound appealing to think about carrying yet another load.
So what’s the good news in all of this?
- First, we can be comforted in knowing that Jesus knows how we feel. He had a cross to carry. John 19:17 tells us that He physically carried the cross on which He was crucified. By bearing that cross and actually allowing Himself to be attached to it, He carried our sins away from us.
- Next, Jesus speaks directly to us about this issue saying, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, andfollow Me” (Matthew 16:24).
- Then, Jesus offers to handle our burdens His way. First Peter 5:7 tells us to “[cast] all [our] care upon Him, for He cares for [us].”
- Finally, in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus offers us rest from our heavy loads by putting those down and picking up the ones with which He intends for us to deal. He says, “Come to Me, all youwho 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.”
We can stop carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. Worrying means we don’t trust that God can handle our situation. How is worrying about the problem (carrying the heavy load) helping to change it? God does intend for us to responsibly participate in life; however, the shouting good news about this is that He is with us every step of the way, helping us to carry only that which He intends for us to carry. And as we do so, He blesses our lives.
©2018 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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