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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE BURDENS OF LIFE

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

A burden is described as a heavy load. It can be a heavy load you are carrying on your back, on the back of a pack animal, or the heavy load of a cargo ship. Figuratively it can also be a heavy work-load in your profession. You can also be burdened with a heavy load of family duties and responsibilities. Or you can be burdened with grief or sorrow. There are times when the burdens of life, whatever they may be, seem to be too heavy for us to bear. Then there are the times the psalmist David referred to in the lesson text. In it, God is saying that He will sustain us in such burdensome times. He will help each of us bear our burdens. He will lighten our loads. How are we able to cast our burden on God? The text indicates that God will sustain those that live a righteous life - a life of doing His will. David put this into practice. In verse 16 of this Psalm, David said, as for me, I will call upon God. And in verse 19 he concludes, God will hear me.

Within our lifetime we have experienced, personally, or have observed others experiencing, many heavy burdens. There have been times when our finances have been severely strained. Job layoffs, companies closing down, and extremely high medical bills are a few reasons some experience financial difficulties. In extreme cases, and for various reasons, some families go hungry, lack sufficient clothing, lose their homes, or have their automobiles repossessed. Such times are extremely burdensome. Sickness and ill health can be great burdens, they can be devastating and certainly a heavy load to bear in life. We have all seen this take place. Either we have experienced it ourselves or have observed it with other family members, friends, neighbors, or fellow Christians.

There are many other times in life when burdens seem too heavy to bear. Many times we tend to blame others and even blame God for the heavy burdens of life. Burdens may tempt us to abandon God. There is a passage in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that should be comforting to us in such burdensome times. 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. When one gets into such straits where burdens seem extremely heavy, just be assured that there is a way out. The trials we face in life will never be above the strength that we have in God.

We can also help our relatives, friends or neighbors bear their burdens. Not only can we do this, but God has placed the obligation on us to do so. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2). The law referred to here is recorded in Galatians 5:13-14: by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Bearing one another's burdens is what God expects from each of us.

In Jesus Christ we can have our heavy burdens lifted. He tells us, come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matt: 11:28-30). These verses tell us that we can trade our heavy physical loads of life for the spiritual burden of accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. He tells us that His burden, that is, leading a Christian life, is light and easy to bear. The burdens of life are a heavy yoke around our necks and upon our shoulders. This heavy burden, Jesus will lift and help us bear if we are willing to bear His yoke of obedience. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Sin is the final burden for each of us. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 6:23). This gift of God can be found in the blood of Jesus Christ, ...if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9). God will lift all the burdens of life, including the burden of sin. And finally he will lift the burden of death by assuring us of the hope of eternal life in heaven. Trust Him, come to Him, and obey His commands. Although the burdens of life seem heavy, His burden is easy to bear.