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Burdens – Pull Up A Chair

~Psalm 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

What are cataracts? According to Webster, cataracts are:

A clouding of the lens of the eye or of its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light.

If I was too look at today’s picture above on a bright sunny day, it would be easy to see through the trees for hundreds of feet. However, on a foggy day, my vision is clouded. It’s much like having cataracts. Both my parents had cataracts and had to have surgery. Once the patches were removed, they saw so clearly 🙂

Do you have spiritual cataracts? When you are discouraged, your spiritual eyes become clouded. Why do I say that? If you suffer from discouragement, look at your Bible reading life. ARE you reading?? Chances are you are not because you do not feel motivated to read. Cataracts are progressive. One does not develop them overnight. In fact, many times one does not know that they even have them until their vision is really clouded. It’s the same with your spiritual eyes, dear friend. You allow discouragement to come in bit by bit and then deep discouragement has arrived! What’s the remedy?

~Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Confess your sin before God and tell Him you’ve failed and have allowed your spiritual eyes to become clouded. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart and to renew your spirit! What is the result of such a prayer?

~Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

God will restore your spiritual sight as well as your joy. Don’t you love that? Noah Webster defines the word “uphold” as: To support; to sustain; to keep from falling or slipping. The Lord will keep you from falling and slipping with His free spirit! How? If you stay in the Word and allow the Word to cleanse you from the inside out, the Lord will clean your heart, renew your spirit and restore your joy, and will keep you from falling!

Oh Christian, isn’t that a beautiful picture of the love of our Heavenly Father? Won’t you put aside your blinded vision? You can – with the Lord’s help.

Psalm 100:4-5, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (4) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (5)”

As I read these two verses this morning, the first thing that struck me was that we are to enter the Lord’s presence not only with a thankful heart but we must put action to that thankfulness by saying so and blessing Him. We have so much to be thankful for, my friend!

If you are one who looks at the world with a pessimistic viewpoint, you won’t be able to see why you should be thankful. In fact, you’re reading this and saying, “Yeh, RIGHT! Easy for you to say! You don’t know what I’m going through!” Do you truly believe that you are the only one going through trials? (Ecc. 1:9) Every believer has a cross to bear. Every last one of us has something they are going through. What makes you think that your trial is greater than someone else’s? Everyone is allowed the wonderful opportunity to deny himself and follow the Lord. In so doing, they “pick up their cross” [whatever the trial(s) of their life will be] and follow the Lord. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23 Notice the word daily? It’s not a one-time thing – each day has its challenges and each day we must choose to take that challenge and follow Christ and His will for us.

I doubt very much any of us can say that we have been tried as much as, or even as close to, Job. If you haven’t spent time in the Book of Job, you should. You would glean so much and it would help you through your trials – especially if you are that pessimist. I know from my own experiences that each trial the Lord has allowed me to go through has built my faith in Him. The more my faith is built, the more I trust Him to take care of these and future trials. With this comes comfort – what’s in my heart will show on my face. The pessimist’s face reflects how he handles each trial – it’s written all over his face. He does not stop worrying or complaining. He does not spend the extra time in the Scriptures that he so desperately needs. He does not rejoice in the midst of the trial to encourage himself. This was true of Job when his friends came to see him. They didn’t recognize him. (Job 2:12) Now I can’t say as I blame Job because the trials he went through were enormously overwhelming. However, we still have something to learn from this.

Our trials are also a testimony to believers and unbelievers alike. They can see where our trust lies through our actions. Our trials also reveal who our true friends are – we saw this evident in Job’s own life. These friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu) didn’t lift Job up in his time of need. We must remember that our friends are sinners like we are and will fail us from time-to-time. We must also remember that we have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother and that is Jesus Christ. (Prov. 18:24) He will NEVER fail us. Be careful where your counsel comes from in the midst of a trial. Be sure that all counsel aligns with the Scriptures before you act on anything. I’ve learned this through experience. We are not thinking at our best when we are in the midst of trial. It is best to wait on the Lord and let Him show us what He wants us to do. (Isaiah 40:31) The Lord is faithful and will show you what to do, whether through the Word, the counsel of your spouse, or your Pastor, etc. HE will encourage you!

My trials have always confirmed my faith in the Lord. After reading Job, I see that God restored his earthly possessions, his health, gave him more children and God even restored his marriage. Job was struck from all sides yet look how blessed he was of God because he depended on the foundation of his faith. How much more should we? We have the Scriptures to encourage us and speak to us! Are we tried more than Job was? I don’t think so. Are we tried more than those precious saints in Fox’s Book of Martyrs? I don’t think so. Yes, some of you are struggling with physical problems that seem to overwhelm you. But your trial is no greater than the dear woman who has gotten saved and yet her dear husband remains unsaved. I’ve been down that road and would never wish this on anyone. Yes, they are two different types of trials, but trials none-the-less. Each person feels as though their trial is the greater one. Each person feels as though they are at the end of their rope. Don’t belittle someone’s trial to make yours appear greater. If you are doing this, you are focused on yourself, my friend, and not on the will of God.

Remember, your “cross” (your trial) is yours! It’s not more than you can handle because that would make God a cruel God and we know that He is a faithful God. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor 10:13) Only you can glorify God through this trial – no one else. Do you take this trial as an opportunity to bring glory to God or to wallow in self pity? Do you take this trial as an opportunity to grow in your faith or do you run from it and smear God’s precious name in the mud? The choice is yours.


Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Oh what a blessing this verse is when one of God’s children is going through trials. Sometimes our burdens seem to weigh us down. But my friend, we born again believers have a Heavenly Father who cares for us and desires to relieve us of our burdens. The God of all creation wants us to call upon Him. As I pondered this thought, I did a search in my Bible software on the phrase “upon the Lord” – what comfort and joy the search results brought to me. Let me share some of them with you:

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears. (2 Sam. 22:7)And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. (1 Chron. 21:26)

Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers. (2 Chron. 13:18 )

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. (Psalm 18:3)

In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (Psalm 18:6)

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 37:9)

Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them. (Psalm 99:6)

I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (Psalm 118:5)

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. (Psalm 123:2)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isa 40:31)

And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. (1 Cor. 7:35)

Our Father cares for His children so much and longs to have this close relationship with us. So many of us take this for granted and don’t go to Him with all our cares. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pet 5:7) Don’t you desire to run to a place where the Father is waiting to listen to your every word? He is not distracted by the television. He is not indifferent to your needs. He will be as close to you as you allow Him to be.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Regrets and disappointments come in many sizes and varieties. I have had my share of them in my lifetime. Some are easier to let go than others, however. Is it wrong for a Christian to live with regrets and disappointments? In my own life, “living” with them is harder for me, spiritually speaking, than it is to simply let them go.

Living with regrets, in my opinion, produces a negativity in my life. If I dwell on these regrets too long, it affects me and those around me. It especially affects how I deal with day-to-day circumstances. I believe the Lord can take anything negative and turn it into something that He can use for good. A good example is the devotional on impossibilities – about Jochebed’s dilemma of having to give up Moses as a baby and how the Lord used this very difficult situation for His good! Just as the Lord used an impossible situation, He can use my regrets and disappointments to teach me something good

Like a cancer, nurturing these regrets and disappointments in our heart will cause us to grow resentful. I’ve been there and I don’t like the person I become when I allow this to happen! Yes, you read right: I allow these things to happen! There is not one thing I can do to change what has happened – it’s a done deal. However, there is something I can do today and that is to leave these life changers at the feet of the Lord and allow Him to work in my life.

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. II Timothy 1:12

The Lord can take these regrets and use them as lessons. The scriptures are filled with parables which the Lord used to teach His disciples. Oh that I would allow Him to do the same to me! My circumstances are not parables – there are real people involved and the situations are in the here and now. The same God that helped Paul to write these blessed words is the One who will help me. Some of my regrets are irreversible. But there is nothing I can do about that at this point. However, I can learn now so that it doesn’t happen again!

Each time I can be taught as I sit at the Master’s feet, I grow more like the image of the precious Lord! He desires to impart teaching in me – teaching that I will learn and apply to my life – not just read/hear and do nothing with!

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Philippians 1:6

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: Psalms 138:8a

We need to let go of things that keep us focused on our walk with the Lord. The devil would love nothing more than to keep us loaded with burdens of care and worry. When we allow this, we become useless to the Master’s cause! Don’t you see that? Day-to-day drama in our lives cause us to look away. Regrets and disappointments will NOT change unless WE do something about it. Can we change the past? No! But we DO have the ability to affect the future. Since the path we’ve been walking has produced heartache and disappointment, why continue down it? Rather, walk His new path – learn from Him – be refreshed by Him – and let go of those burdens that weighed us down! Amen?

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Let’s allow the Lord to have a hand in each area of our lives – including those disappointments and regrets. He can heal them – He can teach us how to move forward – and He can take our lives and use them for His ultimate glory! I have “preached to myself” today. Things that have happened in my life have been such a regret and I have found myself, as I get older, wishing I had done things differently. Dwelling on such thoughts are not spiritually productive – in fact, quite the opposite! Lord forgive my lack of trust in Thy faithfulness. You are the Author and Finisher of my faith and I leave those things behind and press forward toward the mark!

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~Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

It seems at times that our lives are filled with burdens and cares. It’s as though there is no relief in sight.  But there is relief in sight for the believer! Our Heavenly Father has given us the gift of His Son who has promised rest to those that come to Him.

There is no better place for the Christian to be than at rest from life’s burdens!  Despite the tumultuous seas about us, we are promised that our hearts can be at peace!  This speaks volumes to a world that has no such peace!

Thank You, Lord!

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~2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

How many times can you say that you have asked God to take away a certain trial you are going through? I know I have asked quite a few times. Most recently for me was when my beloved was diagnosed with cancer. The road has been a long one. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose not to remove this trial but instead, carried us through it!!!

In the span of time, our cancer trial was but for a moment. However, it seemed as though time stood still as we were going through it. I do not know how people who do not know the Lord can make it through a trial such as this. It is truly by His grace that we have gone this far!

~2 Corinthians 4:16-17 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

I realize that these verses refer to Paul’s afflictions for the cause of the Gospel. However, it applies in our day to day trials as well. Our spirit is renewed and refreshed daily as we seek God’s face in the Word, through friends, through the message at Church, etc. As well, we are encouraged because we know that our trial is for a moment (in time) and will bring joy in the end when we reach our Heavenly home!

Be encouraged, dear soul! You are not alone in your pain and suffering. Turn to the One who can help. He may not take your trial away, but He will help you go through it! As you go through your trial, help someone else! Use the experience that the Lord has allowed in your life and be a blessing to someone else!

~Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

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Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

How do we encourage a friend in need? How do we encourage a perfect stranger? The Apostles John, Paul and Peter penned the phrase “love one another” twelve times in the New Testament! I found this interesting, actually.

We should not have a judgmental attitude toward anyone for who are we to know that God has not placed this individual in our path just for the purpose of encouraging that dear soul? Job’s friends showed up when he had lost everything. Instead of encouraging him, they did the exact opposite!

~Job 6:27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.

This is not the kind of person we should strive to be! We must make ourselves available to encourage those that Jesus puts in our lives. For what do you know about this person, really? They could be going through financial troubles – emotional problems – loneliness – etc. How can we help someone if we are judging?  Be ready to share Christ if they do not know Him.  Be ready to encourage them down the paths of righteousness if they have gone astray.

Whatever you do, leave yourself out of it and let the Holy Spirit guide you to be an encouragement to someone today!  What does it take?:  a smile, a hug, a note card, a phone call, sharing your time, sharing yourself!

~Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

There have been times that I have been at the end of my rope and felt that the only thing left to do was to give it to the Lord. When I stopped to think about it, that should have been the very first thing I should have done instead of waiting until I was so stressed. The Word tells us that when we cast our burdens upon the Lord, He will take care of us. Furthermore, he promises that we won’t be shaken by our circumstances.  How wonderful to have this comfort and assurance in time of need!

You’ve been there, haven’t you? I’m sure I can’t be the only one – wondering why God allowed a certain plan to fall through when, in my eyes, it seemed perfect. However, in the end, we find out that His plan was much better! What a beautiful picture it is indeed – taking our cares and burdens and turning them over to the Lord because His shoulders were quite capable of taking the load.

Thank You, Lord, for taking them on!

“Our Heavenly Father never takes anything from His children unless He means to give them something better.” – George Muller

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