Suggested Reading: Psalm 55:1-23
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ—Galatians 6:2
A burden is defined as “a load, typically a heavy one; a weight, anything pressing on one physically, or that makes a demand on one’s resources.”
Scripture defines burdens as, “A load of any kind (Ex. 23:5) a severe task (Ex. 2:11); a difficult duty requiring effort (Ex. 18:22)
Burdens can also be mental, physical, relational, financial, and emotional. Many people are carrying burdens through this life. The burdens of some are so heavy they can hardly get out of bed and face the day. Just because people show up at something, smile or hold a conversation does not mean they are not carrying a burden. You cannot always tell by appearance alone whether a person is burdened or not, because burdens are most often like invisible bags and heavy luggage that people lug or carry around through their day and life. Carrying on their back, pulling behind them, dragging through life and daily activities.
Being or feeling burdened is nothing to laugh at or shrug off. When burdens are so heavy and unrelenting people can tire, become weary and their burdens can be emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually draining, even debilitating. Oftentimes depression enters in because there is no rest or break from the burdens of life. People feel they want to give up, after all, what’s the use of going on day after day, year after year when nothing seems to change anyway?
That feeling of being burdened can keep us from feeling hopeful or seeing any silver lining or relief ahead. When we are burdened in this way Satan seizes opportunities to make us feel even worse, to push us to our limit emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. He will pile things on, so we feel even worse, adding to the burdens we already have and feel. He wants to push us so hard and if he can he wants to accomplish pushing us over the edge, even to our physical death.
Jesus said, “In this world (life) you will have trouble (burdens) but take heart I have overcome the world (burdens) (John 16:33) Jesus came, not only to die for our sins and become the perfect sacrifice needed to redeem sinful people and assure eternal life, but to show us how and help us get through this life as unburdened as possible. He is telling the truth: in this world we will have and experience so much trouble, trouble we cannot even imagine, we will have so many things that could become a burden to us, weigh us down, press down upon us so hard we can hardly make it through the day or sleep at night, but Jesus has come, not just to lighten our load but to lift those burdens to assure we can make it through life.
We won’t live a trouble-free life, but we don’t have to live a burdened-down life either. Christ is willing to take those burdens and when we share our burdens with him he will lift them regardless of how they came about. Whether they are self-inflicted burdens or coming through the experiences of life.
When we are feeling burdened it’s a good idea to ask ourselves wny because we may be able to identify the source: are we worrying about something? Because worry can become a burden all by itself. Have we allowed too much to come on our life-plate? Do we have unconfessed sin that we need to talk to God about?
We have a Christian duty to share the burdens of others. When we share in the burdens people experience or are going through, we cannot take them from them, only Jesus can do that, but we can talk with them, pray for and with them, point them to Jesus, and if we have the resources, share these with them. Jesus calls us to share the burdens of others, but we can never carry someone else, fix them or their problems, take full responsibility for someone in a way we should not be doing, and God has not intended.
So many things could contribute to our feeling burdened in life. Jesus wants to help us work through these things and lift our burdens from us, not later, or down the road, but today. Let’s Pray,
Dear God, the words of our Savior stay with us—just as they should—that “in this world we will have trouble”—May we do as he has said and, “take heart” knowing he has not only overcome the world, but our troubles also so we are not weighed down or burdened. Help us, Father, through the power of your Holy Spirit to give our burdens over to Jesus as quickly as we realize anything has become a burden. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen