Monday, June 16, 2014

Let Us Bear One Another's Burdens

Recently, I had a family issue which was very troubling to me.  I would find myself stressed and in tears sometimes by the end of the day.  I really felt that I was all alone in my problem, and there was no one I could call.  After several days, I found myself feeling hopeless and crying out to God that I didn't know how much more I could take emotionally.  It was in the hopelessness that I realized that with God I should never feel hopeless.  I also had a light bulb moment when I realized that not reaching out to anyone to help me with my situation was exactly where Satan wanted me to be.

When I came to that realization, I picked up the phone and called a sweet friend who prayed for me and waited patiently for me to pray after her.  I was crying so hard I could hardly even speak, but what I felt at the end of the conversation was as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.  She hadn't fixed the problem, but she had prayed for me.  She had beared my burden with me, and I knew I was not alone

As a church, we are called to bear one another's burdens as in Galatians 6:2 (ESV) which says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  Satan deceives us when he convinces us that no one wants to hear our problems, or no one cares.  There is no better place for him than for us to be ashamed of what is going on in our families or with a friend or being caught up in our own sin.  As long as he can keep us quiet, no one will ever be praying for us or interceding before the throne of the Almighty God on our behalf.  He sure doesn't want that, because that my friends has some real power.

One of my, let's say, Christian pet peeves is when Christians say, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle."  Do I believe that?  Yes and no.  I think it is mainly a misinterpretation of the bible verse from 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) which says, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."  The bible verse points towards being tempted beyond what you can handle.  However, I do believe He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), or what I am going through has not been sifted through His hands (Job 1:6-12), or that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13, NIV)

There are biblical examples of God's chosen ones having "too much" such as Moses judging over all of the people from morning to night.  His father-in-law witnesses this and intervenes by saying, "Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out.  For this thing is too much for you, you are not able to perform it by yourself." (Exodus 18:18, NKJV)  His father-in-law proceeds to suggest some elders to be in charge of different amounts of people and then Moses would only hear the hardest cases or disagreements among the people.  Here is an example of something being "too much" for the human.

I was so encouraged as I was reading yesterday about Elijah.  He is arguably one of the biggest prophets in the bible, and in 1 Kings 19:4b-5 (NKJV) it says, "He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die.  'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life;  I am no better than my ancestors.'"  An angel came and delivered bread and water to him.  The angel came back a second time and delivered bread and water again and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." (1 Kings 19:7, NKJV)  Elijah was renewed and was able to continue on his journey.

There are times in our lives that sin creeps in or problems or tragedies happen in our lives.  We might feel that it is too much for us to handle.  When we feel that way, we can know that we are never alone.  God is always there to intervene even in a supernatural way as he did with an angel for Elijah.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  There are people in our church or across the street or a phone call away who can pray with us and bear our burdens with us.  Satan wants nothing better than to make us feel that we are all alone, but praise the Lord, we never are.

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)

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