What Do You Do When Your Burden Is Overwhelming?

Cast your burden on the Lord… —Psalm 55:22

We must recognize the difference between burdens that are right for us to bear and burdens that are wrong. We should never bear the burdens of sin or doubt, but there are some burdens placed on us by God which He does not intend to lift off. God wants us to roll them back on Him— to literally “cast your burden,” which He has given you, “on the Lord….” If we set out to serve God and do His work but get out of touch with Him, the sense of responsibility we feel will be overwhelming and defeating. But if we will only roll back on God the burdens He has placed on us, He will take away that immense feeling of responsibility, replacing it with an awareness and understanding of Himself and His presence.

Many servants set out to serve God with great courage and with the right motives. But with no intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ, they are soon defeated. They do not know what to do with their burden, and it produces weariness in their lives. Others will see this and say, “What a sad end to something that had such a great beginning!”

“Cast your burden on the Lord….” You have been bearing it all, but you need to deliberately place one end on God’s shoulder. “…the government will be upon His shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6). Commit to God whatever burden He has placed on you. Don’t just cast it aside, but put it over onto Him and place yourself there with it. You will see that your burden is then lightened by the sense of companionship. But you should never try to separate yourself from your burden.

Beware of pronouncing any verdict on the life of faith if you are not living it. Not Knowing Whither, 900 R

OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Believer’s Task

Romans 12:6-8

Christians sometimes misunderstand the gift of salvation. It is not given, as some believe, for the purpose of making our lives happy, easy, and “smooth-sailing” (in fact, verses such as James 1:2-4 indicate trouble can be expected in this life).

Instead, our heavenly Father has a number of other reasons for redeeming us. In addition to being able to express His great love, He also wants to be glorified through the lives of His children. This happens as His followers become increasingly conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29), make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19), and do the good works He created us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” The Father blesses each of us with abilities and circumstances that enable us to do His work—He planned all this even before we were born. In addition, when we are saved, He gives us spiritual gifts that perfectly fit His purpose for our lives.

The Lord wants us to discover our unique talents and spiritual gifts so that we will be able to use them for His glory. That is the only way we will find genuine joy and fulfillment in this world.

Are you serving Christ in a way that utilizes the gifts you have been given? If you need guidance to discover your areas of strength, you might benefit from taking a spiritual giftedness inventory test. Inquire at your church or check online for an evaluation tool.

When . . . Then

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)

Moses knew Israel would tend to succumb to various temptations in the Promised Land and encouraged them not only to obey God’s law but to use temptations as an opportunity for growth in character. Standing on the border, he proposed three “when . . . then” situations and exhorted the people to decide in advance how they would react.

“When the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land . . . to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildest not, . . . Then beware lest thou forget the LORD” (6:10, 12). Moses knew that a satisfied people, recipients of easy wealth, would forget the Lord. The remedy: “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name” (v. 13), and “ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God” (v. 17).

Next, “when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies . . . which the LORD our God hath commanded you?” (v. 20), the fathers were to instruct them with: “The LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand” (v. 21). “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive” (v. 24).

God also knows our tendencies to compromise, and “when the LORD thy God . . . hath cast out many nations before thee, . . . thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; . . . Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; . . . For they will turn away thy son from following me” (7:1-4).

In these and other situations, we would do well to follow Moses’ exhortation and decide beforehand how we will react. JDM

God’s Justice

And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. —Revelation 16:7

You sometimes hear it said, “Justice requires God to do this.” I’ve probably used this expression myself, though it is semantically improper. The human language staggers when we try to use it to describe God. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New put such pressure on language that words groan and squeak under the effort to tell the story. We must remember that justice is not something outside of God to which God must conform. Nothing ever requires God to do anything. If you have a god who is required to do anything, then you have a weak god who has to bow his neck to some yoke and yield himself to pressure from the outside. Then justice is bigger than God. But that is to think wrongly.

All God’s reasons for doing anything lie inside of God. They do not lie outside of God to be brought to bear upon Him. They lie inside of God—that is, they are what God is. And God’s reasons for doing what He does spring out of what God is….

God is justice, and God will always act justly—not by compulsion from the outside but because that’s the way He is Himself. Justice must always prevail because God is the sovereign God who will always prevail.

Lord, may we remember that You are not compelled to do anything, but that You will always be fair because You are justice itself. Amen.

We Are Running Life’s Race

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

The writer to the Hebrews gives us good New Testament counsel: “Let us run the race with patience.”

The Holy Spirit here describes Christian believers as runners on the track, participants in the race which is the Christian life. He provides both strong warning and loving encouragement, for there is always the danger of losing the race, but there is also the victor’s reward awaiting those who run with patience and endurance. So, there are important things each of us should know and understand about our struggles as the faithful people of God.

For instance, it is a fact that the Christian race is a contest. But in no sense is it a competition between believers or between churches! As we live the life of faith, we Christians are never to be in competition with other Christians. The Bible makes this very plain!

Christian churches are never told to carry on their proclamation of the Savior in a spirit of competition with other Jesus-churches. The Holy Spirit tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus not on others who are also running the race!

Each of God’s saints is sent into the world

Each of God’s saints is sent into the world to prove some part of the divine character. In heaven we shall read the great book of the experience of all the saints, and gather from that book the whole of the divine character as having been proved and illustrated. Each Christian man is a manifestation and display of some position or other of God; a different part may belong to each of us, but when the whole shall be combined, when all the rays of evidence shall be brought, as it were, into one great sun, and shine forth with meridian splendor, we shall see in Christian experience a beautiful revelation of our God.