Friday, 21 May 2021

Offload Your Burdens

 Scripture: Matthew 11 v 28 - 30: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

One of the most beautiful things about Jesus is the rest He gives to His followers.  Our lives get too heavy for us at times.  Too many demands on our time, extra pressure, people letting us down, burn out or melt down.  Burdens can be overwhelming.

We can orchestrate our own problems too.  We bottle things up inside until we explode, causing hurt to those around us, then have to do damage control that very often backfires.  That's when we become heavy laden.  It can result in health problems like high blood pressure or heart problems.  It can cause nervous or mental breakdowns.

When Jesus went to the Cross He took everything we could possible suffer upon Himself to spare us these burdens.  In Isaiah 53 v 4 - 5, the prophet reveals: "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

He died to give us life.  He was cruelly whipped with hooks that stripped the flesh off His back, and each of those lashes or stripes covered a category of every disease or affliction known to mankind.  He took our punishment for wrongdoing and sin because He died to set us free.

He bore our griefs and sorrows which takes care of every kind of depression.  Why do we spend thousands on tranquilizers or anti-depressants when the Word says the joy of the Lord is our strength.  In the Bible depression is called the spirit of heaviness.  

There is an instant remedy for this.  Put on the garment of praise to be released from the spirit of heaviness.  Start praising God for all your blessings.  Rejoice and be glad for all He has done for you.  Depression flies out the window because Satan hates a praising  Christian.  He does not hang around when we are praising our Saviour all the day long.

Frank Foglio, author of "Hey God!", wrote about his mother who was of short stature.  They were Italian, and Roman Catholic, until they met Jesus and were born again.  After His mother was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was her mission to evangelize every Italian in her area.  House by house, day by day she knocked on doors, alone.

One day she approached the door of a known mafia hit man, a huge monster of a man.  He invited her in and before she could say anything he was choking her.  She asked for a moment of prayer before she died.  He released her and she knelt in front of him.  She forgave this man even for her murder, prayed for God to deal gently with Him and that his soul would be saved.  By this time he was on his knees weeping, repenting of his sins and getting born again.  Every day thereafter he was her bodyguard, and nobody refused to be saved. 

Jesus wants us to be filled with peace, joy and love.  That is His nature.  He is also patient, kind, faithful, meek   and has perfect self-control. He is our prototype and its our job to become like Him.  We must be clothed with righteousness like He is.  We are in Him and He is in us and we must reflect His glory.

He says His burden is light and His yoke is easy and He invites us to take His yoke upon ourselves.  He is saying join yourself to Me and participate in the things I lead you to and you will find peace and rest for your souls even while you are doing them.  I am personally the most happiest when I am praying with people and seeing God bless them, than any other thing I could be doing.

These days some of our greatest burdens are financial as when debts mount up.  Especially since the pandemic hit us without warning.  In John 10 v 10: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

When we are struggling under this type of debt we need to examine where the thief, Satan, has been at work.  He not only kills and destroys people's lives, but he steals our jobs, or our promising projects, or causes costly illness or in many other ways tampered with our money.  

Because he is unseen we tend to blame that which is known and visible, practical and immediate.  We never see his plans ahead of time unless we are in real fellowship with God, our Father, who alerts us and causes us to pray about specific issues that directly affect us.  He wants us to live in His abundance but we must obey Him moment by moment to achieve it.

Recognize what Jesus has done to enhance our lives, and to remove ourselves from the burdens of the world.  We must have faith in God to meet our needs and we will be surprised at how He achieves this.  Just lay our needs before Him and pray over our debts.  

He is faithful and will make a way of escape for us to offload our burdens.  In Mark 11 v 22 - 26: "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 
23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses."

We must do our part and recognize our failings.  If we have bitterness in our hearts towards any its a barrier to the blessings of God.  The only person hurt by our bitterness is ourselves.  Because if we do not forgive then God does not forgive us.  That's a big mountain that does not move until we obey the Lord.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You have freely given us salvation and life, what can we do for You?  You made it possible for us to offload our burdens, and enter into Your rest.  Let us not be deceived into carrying unnecessary burdens and heavy yokes, but doing that which is light and easy. May You be glorified in all we do. In Jesus' name. Amen.