Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cast Thy Burden Upon the LORD

 As I look around me, I see so many people who are hurting. So many people going through a time of trial and testing. Family members, friends and loved ones. Myself included. All dealing with some kind of hardship. And I'm talking about saved people. People that love the Lord and are
doing their best to serve Him.

I've written about trials and testings recently, but when you're going through difficult times, it's a time to fall to your knees and search the scriptures looking for wisdom and help. In these times, I find that certain verses tend to jump out at you and take on a whole new meaning.

Psalm 55 was brought to my attention through a sermon and I began to think about King David's life and the difficult circumstances he found himself in.

Here was a man who had people wanting to kill him. And we think we have it bad! I'm sure none of us have someone seeking our life. Our time, our energies, our advice, our resources, but NEVER our life. Yes, these things feel like they are sapping the life out of us, slowly and painfully.

David states in Psalms 55:5
Fearfulness and trembling
are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.

Of late, I have had times when I feel like this. I am fearful and trembling and the trial feels like a horror overwhelming me. It is then I want to cry out like David did in verses 6 and 7: “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”

How many times do we wish ourselves somewhere else? We wish we could just fly away to the wilderness and remain their forever. All our troubles gone. But, you know, I thought about that, and well, then we'd be all alone with a miserable sinner. Ourselves. Saved by grace, yes. But, miserable. I think pretty soon, the excitement would wear off and we'd find ourselves even more lonely and miserable than we were to start with. Besides getting hungry!

But, David doesn't stop there. When we get down to verses 16 and 17 he says, As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”

David realised where his salvation lay. In the Lord. And he decides to call upon God to save him. And not just once either. Evening, morning and noon.

How many times do we cry out to God and then despair that He didn't answer right away? God desires us to come to Him continually.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”
His ways are not our ways. His thoughts not our thoughts. So, just because we are going through a period of testing, doesn't mean that God will answer in the way you want, right away. He has a purpose for these seasons in our lives. And we can come boldly to Him and pray for deliverance, over and over until God brings the peace that we need.

In the sermon, it was said this way, “Keep on praying until you have the victory. Keep on praying until peace comes. When peace settles in , then you can stop praying”. We all know that peace that only God can bring. And we know the moment it is there. The burden is lifted and we feel like we've broken through the gates of heaven into God's heart and He is lifting that heavy burden off our backs and we don't have to carry it anymore.

As a child, I saw the film “Pilgrim's Progress”, and one scene that has never left my memory is of Christian, when he makes it to the bottom of the hill, and he looks up, and sees the cross. He climbs the hill to the cross and as he kneels there, his heavy burden falls off his back and rolls down the hill into an empty tomb. Oh, the blessedness of that very moment. I didn't understand the significance of that moment until I was much older, but Oh how many times I have lived through that very situation and God has brought peace to my troubled heart.

This brings me to one of my favourite verses of scripture found in this passage.

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

I started looking at the Hebrew meanings for some of the words in this verse and I actually found the word “Cast” to be very interesting. It has the meaning of: to throw out, down or away (literally or figuratively):—adventure, cast (away, down, forth, off, out), hurl, pluck, throw. Did you see that? Hurl. Throw. This is not a passive act of letting the burden slide slowly off our backs, half-heartedly, because we really don't want to let go of our burden. “Just wait Lord, I have to undo the straps. Oh, and there's another buckle, oh, and a tie, and, well, you might as well go about your business Lord, this could take a while” .

No! Emphatically No! The meaning here is to HURL! PLUCK! THROW! Wow! How many of us hurl our burdens upon the Lord? Actually, literally, meaningfully, really truly cast
our burdens upon the LORD.

We like to hang onto our burdens don't we? Maybe we think that we might be able to get it sorted without God's help. Maybe we're worried how it might turn out if we really give them over to God.
We hand them over, only to take them back again. How foolish we are! Just like in the little poem at the start of this, we like to “cast our confidence away and carry all our cares.”

I know reading this Psalm was a challenge to me to see all David went through, yet he trusted the Lord to pull him through. His life was in danger, yet he cried out to God. Because he had grasped the fact that there was only One who
could save him and that was the LORD.

When we really get a hold of this truth, that God will never leave us or forsake us and that he WILL sustain us when we cast our burdens on Him, it says, “He shall NEVER suffer the righteous to be moved.”

What a great comfort that should be to our souls.

I'll leave you with a verse that has been a comfort to me through many difficult times.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Written by John Bunyan