Do you have any burdens you are carrying inside? Is there anything weighing you down – in your family, marriage, work, health, finances, friendships, or spiritual life? As we walk through a broken world, we often find ourselves carrying not just one burden, but several in these important areas. We can end up going through our days feeling heavy, like we’re carrying around a sack of rocks. The heavier the load the slower we move.
God has a solution and a promise for us. It’s found in both the Old and New Testament. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” And, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” How can we apply God’s word and experience the joy of a lighter load? We can do it in four ways.
C – Clarify your burdens. Open the backpack of your heart and look at the stones you’re carrying. Ask yourself, “What’s weighing me down? What exactly has me worried, anxious, and afraid?” Remember how scary things looked in the dark when you were a kid trying to sleep? Just turning on the lights changed everything. When we take our fears from the hidden places and hold them up in the light they often lose their power.
A – Ask God for help. Once we clarify our burdens we lift them up to God in prayer. When worries and troubles come our first reaction is to ask others for help. If we are wounded and bitter we talk to other people about the person who has us down. Worse still, we hold on to burdens inside and stew and fume over them. God says, “Cast all your anxieties on me.”
Notice how Moses did this in Numbers 11:13-14 when faced with the challenge of feeding over a million Israelites traveling through a wilderness – “Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.” When there’s no one to turn to you can always turn to the Lord.
S – Stand on his promises. Why should I clarify my burdens and then lift them up in prayer? There’s a promise. Again, Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you…” When God says he will do something he always comes through.
T – Trust God with your burden. The apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote this wonderful promise. Before following Jesus, Peter was a professional fisherman. He made his living casting his nets. On one occasion he and his co-workers fished all night and caught nothing. Nothing is more discouraging for an angler – lots of investment with no return. But, early that morning Jesus said, “Cast your nets on the right side of the boat.” When Peter cast his burden out again he found the catch of a lifetime.
Essential to the casting process is the release. We have to let go. Here, God invites us to give him all that concerns us so he can carry it for us. We can give God every problem knowing that in his hands it will work for good. When we give them to God we let it go and we leave it there. We may not know what the future holds, but we know he’s holding our future.
If Jesus was able to shoulder the burden of our sins on the cross, he’s more than able to carry whatever burdens we have today. So, take him up on his promise. Cast all your burdens on him and he will sustain you. He cares for you.