Posted by: rcottrill | July 26, 2009

Lord’s Day Meditation – The Burden Bearer

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved (Ps. 55:22).

Our “burdens” are the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Particularly difficulties, not of our own making, that beset us as we seek to do the will of God. The promise of His Word is that if we will bring such burdens to His throne, we’ll find that the Lord will sustain and nourish us so that we are not shaken out of our place. That is, the Lord will assure that the enemy is not able to hinder our work for Him, or render our service ineffective (cf. Ps. 37:23-24). It should be a settled habit with us that we bring our burdens to the Lord.

Can He handle them? Yes, of course. Surely the One who has strength enough to bear the government of the world upon His shoulder one day (Isa. 9:6) will hardly balk at supporting one weak saint in his or her extremity. He may not take away the problem–though He does this at times. But we can be assured He will at least sustain us in it, and bring us through it.

However, there are a couple of common problems with doing this. At least, I confess they are ones I have. Perhaps you do too.

  • First, there is that craving in our sin nature to be independent, and a root of pride that tells us we can handle whatever it is. This can lead to prayerlessness. Peter exhorts his readers to humble themselves before the Lord, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (I Pet. 5:6-7). To bow at His throne and admit our need of Him, that is where we must begin.
  • Second, perhaps we do readily bring our burdens before the Lord in prayer. But when we leave the place of prayer, we often drag them away with us! Casting our burdens on the Lord means we entrust them to Him and look to Him for the resolution of the problems. Committing burdens to Him is not intended to be a brief moment of relief while we are at prayer. It is to be a lasting remedy.

David’s utter confidence in God, expressed in Ps. 55:22, is reflected in Ps. 31 as well. “I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God, my times are in Your hand” (vs. 14-15). A practical example of such sustaining faith is found in the experience of Job (Job 2:20-22). And in more recent times, the trust that transcends circumstances was illustrated by Horatio Spafford and his wife, at the loss of their four daughters in a tragic shipwreck. Out of his steadfast assurance Spafford, he gave us the hymn:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows role;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”


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