Every one of us carries a burden for something in our lives. We carry burdens for our families, our finances, our health, the lives of those we love and, as Christians, we should also feel the weight of being burdened for the lost. Jesus definitely carried a heavy burden for the lost, more than for any other thing, and it propelled and motivated and impassioned Him right to the cross, and that burden is what kept Him hanging there, humiliated, bleeding and in pain. And in Jesus’ reality? He said that burden was the “light” one! (Matthew 11:30)
Carrying burdens is not what you were created for! It’s not God’s will for you to carry around weight that He never asked you to carry. “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) But when your hands are so tired from carrying burdens, how will you have the strength to lift them and worship? If you are weighed down by the burdens of life, how can you carry the burdens Jesus does want you to bear? Jesus Christ was a real person with the full reality of the human experience, so He understands that the burdens we carry are very real things. They weigh on the mind. They affect the emotions. They cloud perspective. They drag you under emotionally. Yet not only does Jesus not expect you to carry your burdens, but He also offered to carry them for you! But here’s the thing: If you want Jesus to carry your burdens, you have you release control and stop trying to carry them yourself – no matter the outcome. Do you trust Him or not?
We say we want God to answer our prayers when, in reality, we want Him to meet our expectations.
“Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you,” Peter wrote. (1 Peter 5:7) What does that look like in reality? How can Jesus really carry your burdens, the ones about your marriage, the burdens for your health or the health of your loved ones? What about the burdens for your job or your mortgage? What about the burdens of things you hoped for that haven’t happened? This will challenge you: We don’t carry burdens hoping God will lift them from us; what we really want is to see them resolved and worked out as we’d hoped and until we see that, we continue to carry them. Remember this: The Lord doesn’t meet the expectations we set. He carries out the plans He makes. The Lord doesn’t make our dreams come true, He gives us the desires of our hearts. He doesn’t resolve our issues, He makes a way! (Psalm 50:23) We say we want God to answer our prayers when, in reality, we want Him to meet our expectations. THIS IS IMPORTANT: If the burdens you carry are weighing you down, you’re carrying the wrong ones!
Thought for today
Two things need to happen as you learn to let go of control and cast your cares upon Him. 1) Lift up those empty hands to the Lord in worship and 2) Now that your hands are freed up, take up your cross and follow Him. Jesus didn’t say to walk around empty-handed. He said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me.” (Matthew 11:29) You need to release the wrong burdens and take up the right ones. Ask the Lord to show you so you can cast them onto Jesus day by day, second by second if you have to, taking thoughts into captivity under the authority of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), aligning your mind with the mind of Christ through your examination of His Word; worshipping and ministering to the Lord who is an ever-present help in time of need. (Psalm 46:1) Does that change your natural reality? Maybe not. Will it change your spiritual and emotional reality? Absolutely. The burden Jesus Christ had was not for “people” – it was for the lost. He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10) and give His life to bridge the gap between man’s sin and God’s holiness. Jesus never said don’t be burdened. He just wants you to be burdened for what He is burdened for. If you’re struggling under the weight of the burdens in your life, struggling to see the joy, peace and victory, get into the presence of God. He will show you which burdens to carry and if you’ll let go of control, He’ll carry the rest.