Thursday, October 27, 2005
Our children got together and gave us a special gift for a recent milestone wedding anniversary - a couple of nights in the beautiful place where we honeymooned years ago. Part of their gift was a picturesque, horse-drawn carriage ride through some of the area's beautiful scenery. At one point, our carriage was headed up a relatively steep hill and another carriage was starting down that hill, full of people. It had to be a real workout for the horses. Our driver pointed out something that I found intriguing. He said, "Notice that the driver is holding the brake on as they come down the hill. That's to keep the horses from bearing a load that's too heavy for them to bear. With the driver holding the brake, they still feel like they're on level ground."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Burdens That Could Crush You."
If you belong to Jesus Christ, you have a God who does for you what that driver did for those horses. He holds back the load you could not bear. Now you may be carrying a very heavy load right now - and you may even be wondering about the accuracy of what I said. Be assured that He knows how much weight will make you stronger - and He'll allow that much in your life. But He also knows when it's weight that would crush you - and that's when He puts on the brakes.
He promises that in many places in the Bible. One of them is in our word for today from the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, "God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted (or the word can mean tested) beyond what you can bear." God never breaks a promise, and He won't break that one. Without Christ in your life, God is not yet your Father and there's no guarantee about how much of a load will come to you. But He promises His children, those who have opened their lives to the love and the power of Jesus Christ, that He will always protect you from what would be unbearable.
Protection is one way He will keep you from being overwhelmed by the weight. Provision is another way He does it. He guarantees that "My grace is sufficient for you" ( 2 Corinthians 12:9) and that "your strength will equal your days" ( Deuteronomy 33:25). No matter how much strength any given day's burdens require, He is committed to give it to you. Your load will never outweigh the strength He will give you. We're invited to "come boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" ( Hebrews 4:16). The Greek word there for "help" in that verse is used another place in the Bible to describe holding a ship together in a storm. That's what He's promised to do and to be for you.
God has one other way to keep you from a load you can't bear - it's His participation in carrying it. Psalm 68:19 says, "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." In fact, He tells us that we should be "casting all your care on Him because He cares for you" ( 1 Peter 5:7). He is the great Burden-Bearer for His own. But you have to leave it with Him, not just tell Him about it. Something amazing happens when you take a burden that you've made all your own and you roll it off on His shoulders and you tell Him, "Lord, it's Yours now. This battle is the Lord's." You begin all bent over with this massive weight on your back. You walk away standing tall, knowing that Jesus Himself is taking that burden now.
So take courage if you've been trusted with a heavy load. Your Lord knows when to apply the brakes and when it's more than you can bear. Any burden you have He's either decreed or allowed - because if you only lift what you've lifted before, you'll never be any stronger than you are now. So, weary one, would you listen to this precious invitation from Jesus, not as if you're hearing me say it, but as if it's Jesus Himself speaking to you. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" ( Matthew 11:28).