Sunday, July 28, 2019

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Give Your Burdens to the Lord

As I was growing up, my dad taught my brother and me to be self-sufficient and to bear our burdens alone. From those lessons, we were never to let anything stop us from doing what we were supposed to do. Illness or injury were not something that stopped us from our work or chores. Unless something required us to visit the doctor, we were expected to live with our pain, discomfort or whatever. 

I am sure that most of us grew up the same way. We were to do whatever it took to do what we needed to do without complaint or rest. It was just expected. So, giving our burdens and problems to anyone is an alien concept to us. It is often difficult for us to give our problems to someone. For some of us, we see it as defeat. We believe that we should be able to overcome whatever problem we face.

As a husband and father, I often find myself doing more than I should do. As I look at my father and what he did, my example remains firmly planted in my mind. I am to be the breadwinner and persevere no matter what. But, there comes a point in every person’s life when slugging it out alone just does not work. You feel overwhelmed and things just do not seem to be improving. I know that many of you have had those situations come up. Rather than getting better they seem to be getting worse with each passing minute.

Almost two years ago, I faced probably one of the worst illnesses anyone could have faced. It was an illness that nearly ended my life. With less than 1,000 cases of it per year, many doctors have never seen it or even heard of it. When I was finally diagnosed and treatment began, there were those on the care team that thought I would not make it. Facing a possible brain infection with swelling and coma, I did not know what to do. The doctors could only do so much.

Each morning while I was in the hospital, I would lie in bed waiting for the phlebotomist to come in to draw that day’s samples so that the doctors and specialists had the results by the time they met with me. I often found myself in tears as I stared at the ceiling. There was nothing I could do to change things. Everything was outside my power or control. I felt alone with nowhere to turn. I felt that I should be able to overcome all of this. After all, I had faced other things before and made it through them. This time was different. No amount of skill or thought was going to get me out of this situation. I alone had neither the knowledge or power to skate through this.

It was at that point that I remembered the words of the psalmist. I opened the Bible and read from Psalm 55. David cried out in distress to the Lord. He was surrounded by his enemies and problems that seemed insurmountable. What was he going to do? He realized that he could not go it alone or face those problems and his enemies without the Lord. 

David writes, “22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. 23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.

As I let those two verses sink into my soul, heart and mind, I began to realize that no matter what happened to me, I knew that the Lord would sustain me. In the last part of the last verse of that beautiful psalm, David writes, “But as for me, I trust in you.

That one sentence changed everything. No matter what the outcome of my illness, I had to remain faithful and trust completely in Him. By doing so, I also realized the promise that He provided in the earlier verse. The Lord will sustain you and will not allow you to be shaken. In the end, it all comes down to knowing that no matter what you face, you have to give your cares to the Lord and trust Him completely. He will see you through whatever you face. Though you maybe beset on all sides, you know with certainty that our Heavenly Father will see you through it. You just have to learn that you do not have to go it alone.

For me, it was the hardest lesson and it remains a hard lesson each day. There are times when I try to wade through my life and fix things on my own. I face problems and torments daily and believe that I should be able to overcome them. When I feel myself trusting in myself and my knowledge, it’s then that I do not trust God completely. I begin to trust in myself alone. 

As I begin to slip back into my old ways, I remember the words of Proverbs 3. It states, “5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

We cannot and should not depend on our own understanding and knowledge. Both will often be misled or fail us completely. But, when we seek His will in our lives and we trust in Him completely, He will show us what path to take and we will know that we will not be shaken or left to fend for ourselves. The Lord will provide what we need to make it through our problems and raise us up in victory.

Peter writes in chapter 5 of his first epistle, “7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

The Lord truly cares for you. If He did not, He would not have sent His Son, Jesus, to be the one and only atonement sacrifice for our sins. Paul writes in chapter 6 of his letter to the Romans, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you lie in bed looking at the ceiling and dreading the next dawn? Do you feel that you have to suffer through life and its problems alone? Do you want to change all that and have a life that is filled with joy and victory? It is so very simple. You can have a relationship with God the Father by accepting Christ Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord of your life. He is the good shepherd that will lead you to green pastures and the living water that will restore your soul. When you walk through the valley of darkness and despair, you will know that Jesus is there to lead you and stand with you as your friend. His words will be the music in your ears when the noise of life gets louder. His whisper will draw you to him when things seem to be going downhill for you. Trust in him today.

As I close this message, I want you to always remember that you can turn to the Lord and know without doubt or fear that He will sustain you. He will be there to accept your problems and troubles and see you through each one. When you are able to overcome the human tendency of relying on yourself through faith and trusting in Him, you can stand firm in His grace.   

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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