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What to Do With Your Burdens

Gal. 6:2-5



We don’t all have wealth, but we all have burdens…

[health/talents/dream home/children/hair!]


We all have burdens.  They are very real.  Their weight presses upon our back.  And they are all different. 


Ill.—Chinese woman had suffered a great loss and was in much pain/could not find comfort/went to wise old man and asked what to do/ “go to a home that has no sorrow or grief, and bring me a mustard seed, and I will show you how to find relief” /several days went by, and she returned and said, “I have been so selfish in my grief…sorrow is common to every home.”


        Every day of life here on earth brings to us its own assortment of burdens, and we will be blessed to study God’s answer to the question, “What do I do with my burdens?”  It all depends upon which kind of burden you are currently bearing.


1.     Some burdens are meant to be shared [by others]

v. 2          Examples of burdens to be shared:


  • Faults and failures of others


v. 1          When a fellow believer stumbles and falls into sin [not those who CHOOSE to live in sin], rather than pointing accusing fingers or shooting our wounded, we should reach down and give them a helping hand to lift them up, and help them get back on track.  We are supposed to encourage/strengthen one another when it comes to faults and failures.


v. 2-3       The only thing which will keep us from doing v. 2, is to think that you yourself are above ever needing this help.  They are self-centered.  There are people that, in their mind, never do anything wrong.  Consequently, they never apologize.  They subconsciously consider themselves God’s gift to the world, and actually feel superior when others fall…which is self-righteousness, or “value by comparison.”  This is self-deception.  We all need each other at times.


Joke—preacher asked if anyone had ever known a perfect person / man in back raised his hand / “I don’t know him, but I’ve heard a lot about him…my wife’s 1st husband!”


But the truth is that we are all “prone to wander”, and we all fall at times and need each other.


  • Sorrow and grief


At any given time at FBC we have several under a heavy load of grief.  We have had a lot of spirit-filled services recently with a great atmosphere, but always there’s someone present going thru an awful time.  They would like to laugh and feel God’s blessings, but they are burdened down and shrouded by clouds of sorrow common on this cursed planet.


“Be kind to everyone for everyone has sorrow of some kind.”


Tragedy, sorrow, disappointment, depression, and grief will eventually visit the house of every person. 


Ruth 2:13 [to Boaz]

    Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid…


She was a stranger in a foreign land…an outcast.  She expected to be ostracized, and not fit in, and to have to do without.  But someone came into her life and comforted her.


Whom have you comforted recently?  Who has comforted you?


This is one reason God allows sorrows to come to us…so we can be comforted, and then in turn comfort others in need once we’ve been thru it.

II Cor. 1:4

    Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.


Let’s not wallow in self-pity and allow our pain to be wasted…God wants to use them for good in others.  Many of you have been thru things that uniquely qualify you to help others I cannot help!


And let’s be patient and kind, understanding that everyone has burdens.


Ill.—J. Vernon McGee tells of a church member criticizing him for “ignoring him” on the subway.  This wasn’t his usual way, so he asked when it was.  Then he remembered that day, and the very bad news he had heard, and the burden he was carrying.  He apologized as he told the man the situation.  The man’s heart broke as he empathized and realized his Pastor wasn’t perfect and had a life of his own, and didn’t exist merely for others at all times…and he apologized and became more patient and kind.


So lift a burden with a kind word or note…because some burdens are meant to be shared. 


That’s v. 2…but now look at v. 5…it almost seems contradictory.


But I believe this is talking about 2 different kinds of burdens.  Some are to be shared by others, but…


2.     Some burdens are meant to be shouldered [alone]

v. 5          There are some burdens which no one else can help you with.


Examples of burdens to be shouldered:


  • Consequences of personal sin


We live in a day and time in which people want to sin and ignore the consequences. [or try to avoid them entirely]  But we reap what we sow.


The attitude today is:  “It’s not your fault…it’s the way your parents raised you.” [dominating mother/rejecting father/momma gave you oats too early/made you play with dollies/what your “ex” did to you or your boss, maybe the doctor used forceps to deliver you!]


I’m not minimizing the effects our past can sometimes have…I’m saying that in Jesus Christ you CAN get past your past!  And so much of what we go through we bring on ourselves and can’t be pinned on someone else.


When you take on the former attitude too far, you are shrugging off all personal responsibility for your life…you develop a victim’s mentality and everything is someone else’s fault.


We’re in a mess today as we don’t take personal responsibility for the choices that we make!


I understand that certain things in our past can “predispose” us to certain things, but we still make our choices, and when we make our bed, we have to sleep in it!


Your parents lifestyle may have exposed you to adultery [anger, lying, gossip], but you still have a choice to make when tempted w/ immorality.  We can rise above it and break the cycle if we want to, with God’s help.  There’s victory in Jesus if we want it!


But we like to play the blame game…and we’re world-famous for passing the buck. 


Ill.—it all started in the garden of Eden when Adam said, it’s that woman you gave me, God [and we’ve been using that one ever since!]…and then the woman said, it’s that snake [referring to Adam?  No, Satan!]

        By the way, Adam wasn’t just blaming the woman.  Who else?  God!


When will we grow up and rise up and fess up and say, I’m responsible?!


We can choose to sin, but we cannot choose the consequences!

v. 7-8       We run up quite a tab of sin.  But eventually God reads our meter and sends us the bill!


On the cross, Jesus took our eternal consequences.  Praise God!  But that doesn’t mean He takes away the present consequences here on earth.  I’m glad God forgives, but forgiveness and consequences exist on two separate planes until we go to heaven.


The consequences of bad choices must be shouldered…


  • Judgment

This is serious.


Hebrews 9:27

    And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:


Everyone here will someday stand before God…alone!  I cannot stand with you and no one with me.  Your parents won’t be beside you nor your attorney.  We will all have to give an account.


The saved will be secure, but we still will have to give an answer at our personal judgment.  Thank God, the Christian’s sin has already been judged at Calvary, but we will give an account for how carefully or how carelessly we lived our Christian life.  Some will suffer loss.  If you think you can live a haphazard Christian life and get away with it you are badly, sadly mistaken.

Our service will be judged, our stewardship, our motives, and then rewards will be given for that which was done truly for Christ, who knows the heart.


The lost will have no hope at their judgment.  They will stand before God w/ the burden of sin still on their back.  There’s only one sin for which a person will go to hell…the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior.  If you need to be saved today and you reject the opportunity, you are inviting this scene to take place, alone before God, and you and your burden, forever strapped to one another, will be cast into the lake of fire.


No matter which judgment you appear at…all the veneer and excuses are stripped away…it’s just you and your Creator.


Shared, shouldered…


3.     Some burdens are meant to be shed

Psalm 55:22

    Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.


Jesus is our great burden bearer.  Sometimes we cling to a burden and try to carry it ourselves.  We can be deceived into thinking God wants us to carry something by ourselves as if we are somehow serving God by doing so…but some burdens He wants to carry for us, if we’ll let Him.


Matthew 11:28-30

    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.


When it’s more than you can bear and you don’t think you can take another step, you can lay it on Jesus.


For some reason sometimes, we feel like we can make it ourselves.  But there are times when we need to let go and let God!


[use small boy for illustration…lay a burden on his back and have him try to climb the steps to the platform…not able to make it under the load]


One of these two things will happen when we cast our burden on the Lord:


  • The Lord will lift the burden


I’ve seen people have a health need, and they pray, and it goes away.

Financial need…and God provides the money.  It’s always great when that’s how it happens.  But that’s not always how God works…


Look again at Ps. 55:22 which says, “and He shall sustain it” ???  No, “He shall sustain thee.”

        Sometimes the Lord doesn’t lift the burden…sometimes


  • The Lord will lift you [pick him up]


[now you know why I used a small guy for this illustration!]


The Apostle Paul is an example of this.  Three times He asked God to lift a burden he was carrying.  We preach about it and say that God’s answer was “no, but I’ll give you grace”.  But really, 3 times God said “yes…I’ll lift that burden, and you too!”


Some of you are getting bitter toward God because you’ve asked Him to lift your burden and it doesn’t seem that He has…but please realize it may be His will to lift you up, and carry you and that burden through it all.  But when we throw a perpetual pity party we don’t allow Him to carry us or the burden either!


“He shall sustain THEE!”


ill.—man walking down road w/ big sack of potatoes on his shoulder / so heavy, sweat on his brow / somebody pulled up in a pickup truck and offered him a ride / climbed in, but kept sack on his shoulder / after a while the driver looked over and said, “Man, put that sack in the floor and relax” / he replied, “No sir, I’ll not do it…it’s enough that you’d carry me to town, I’m not gonna ask you to carry these taters!”


And that’s just what we do to the Lord sometimes.  Some of you today are carrying a burden the Lord never intended you to carry…but you seem to insist!


“I must tell Jesus, all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone

in my distress He kindly will help me,

He ever loves and cares for His own.” [then chorus]


Come to the altar today and cast your burden on the Lord [symbolically leave it there], and also ask Him what He’d have you shoulder/share.

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