Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
It is said that pain and hardships are part and parcel of human life. Some people pass through trouble with a remarkably positive attitude while others are all shattered by their difficulties. Are you here with a load of care? Is the stress of life tearing you apart? The Bible has answers to enable us overcome our burden of life.
Today we are going to see how to manage the burden and stress of life.
BURDEN OF OUR ACTIONS.
First of all we must understand that there are some burdens that we bring upon ourselves. Sometimes our past actions are the reason for our present trouble.
Psalm 38:4 My guild has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.
Galatians 6:4-5 4Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.
Remember, we are in control of our actions. We choose to do good or bad. So, the burden that comes as the consequence of one’s actions has to be borne by the same person.
Galatians 6:8 A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Many are burdened with the consequences of their past actions. Today, I have a good news for you. God is a merciful God. We have faced enough consequences and God is telling, “I am going to wipe your past shame clean.” Isaiah 1:18 Come now let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool. These were God’s people who were acted in sin but God was willing to restore them back when they repent in his presence. Micah 7:19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depts of the sea. God is speaking to you who are in pain and remorse, “I am going to take your iniquities away and make you clean.” Amen!
BURDEN PASSED ON BECAUSE OF OUR BACKGROUND.
Some of you are under a yoke that is pressed upon you. You say, “I was born in a poor family. I did not get my due from my family, people were partial to me. I did not get a fair life. My friends had all sort of comfort but there was no one to take care of me.”
Look at Ishmael. He was the son that Abraham had out of wedlock with his maid Hagar. Sarah and Abraham were trying to help God for the promised child. It was Sarah that told him to have a child through Hagar. Finally, Ishmael was born. We always talk on Abraham’s perspective but think about Ishmael’s perspective.
Ishmael did not get to choose who his mother would be. He did not get to choose where he could be born. He could not help the fact that he was a child of Abraham’s mistake. Eventually Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the promised child.
Overtime Sarah became very bitter toward Hagar and started mistreating her. Here Abraham is in the middle of it trying to keep 2 women happy. You know that is impossible. If he is nice to Hagar, Sarah gets upset and vice versa. There are all kinds of problem in this family. It got so bad that Sarah gave Abraham an ultimatum; I am not going to stay with that woman, either Hagar or me. Abraham says, “Come on Sarah, you are the one that told me to do all this.” She was not ready to listen. Finally, with deep pain Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert.
I can imagine Ishmael playing with Isaac out in the front yard. Hagar comes and says, “Come on Ishmael, we need to go.” “Mummy let me play some more time.” “No we cannot stand here even for a minute, just out of the house as you are.”
Many times in life I have seen people leaving homes because of bitterness or problems, your own family had been unfair to you, peace has been torn and people part ways. But most of the time the people who boldly come out of homes are well settled, they have a job, they have friends for strength, they know how to survive. But that was not the case here.
Hagar and Ishmael are helpless. They are walking out into the desert with a loaf of bread and little water. A few days later, they are out of food and water, about to starve to death. Not able to watch her innocent child die, Hagar put Ishmael under one of the bushes and sat a bowshot away. Ishmael was crying in desperation. Neither his father nor his mother came to help him. The Bible says God heard the cry of Ishmael. Not that God heard the cry of his mother but God heard the cry of this little boy, born into dysfunction with all kinds of negative baggage because God loved Ishmael. God had a plan for his life. God said he would make him a great nation. Listen, it was the same promise that was given to Isaac.
Is it not interesting, even though he was not the promised child, even though he is seen by people as a mistake, God in his mercy said, “Ishmael you had a bad childhood, your family history is not all that great, but I am still your God. I still have a plan for you. I am going to remove that yoke that is holding you back. I am going to lift that burden that was put on you and I am going to cause you to fulfill your destiny.”
Like Ishmael, you may have had a dysfunctional family, you would had been overlooked by many, people would have cheated you, looked down upon you, now you are in the point of nothingness. God is telling, “I am taking that burden out and I am going to bless you.” God still has a great future for you. No person can keep you from God’s destiny.
BURDEN BECAUSE OF INJUSTICE.
Some of you here have faced great injustice in life. Maybe you are facing injustice in your family, or at workplace, not getting that due promotion, you are being exploited, overlooked, your finances are not enough, you are covered with debt.
The Israelites had been in slavery for 430 years in Egypt. God said: Exodus 3:7-8 7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
God sees every burden, every unfair situation, everything that you struggle with. God says, “I am coming down. I am going to put an end to the struggle you are facing today. I am giving you a new deliverance and setting you free to walk into a new realm of your life.” Friends, God is removing the burden of injustice now.
Like the Israelites you may have struggled in life for a long time. Do not go through life thinking it is always going to be like this, I am always going to be lonely, depressed, overworked, struggling for survival. God has already set an end to your difficulty. Do not get comfortable with it; God is removing that yoke now.
God raised Moses as their deliverer and as they were leaving their country, God caused them to have favour with their captors. The Egyptians and they gave them sliver, gold, and livestock. They did not leave Egypt empty-handed; they left loaded with God’s blessings. That was God paying them back for 430 years of slavery. God saw the injustice, he knew what they owed, it was all accumulated in God’s account. They left doubly blessed.
God is removing that burden of poverty out of you. Your blessings are accumulated in God’s account and God thrusts it into your account when the yoke is broken. I can see the yoke of injustice and financial burden being lifted. You are going to see God’s favour in a new way.
BURDEN OF GENERATIONAL CURSE.
Some of you sitting here do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour. You are suffering for what your forefathers have done. Listen, when a man or woman take that decision to accept the Lord, generational curses are broken.
The Bible speaks of Rahab, a Canaanite woman. They were descendents of Noah’s son Ham. Ham was the one who saw his father Noah drunk and naked, but instead of covering him up, he went and told everybody about it. Noah cursed Ham and his descendents. Years later, Rahab, a descendent of Ham is a prostitute living in Jericho. Her family is under this curse. She could have thought, “It is my luck, that curse is passed down to me. I will always struggle. I will not come up in life.” No she did something to break that burden.
One day, the Israelites were about to attack her city, Jericho. Joshua sent 2 men to spy the land. The king of Jericho came to know about it. Just as they were about to be captured, Rahab took the spies and hid them in her home. They said, “Since you have helped us, when we are going to come and attack this city, we are going to spare you and your family.”
Even though Rahab had all this negative baggage, even though she was living a dishonorable life, she made a decision to honour God. That one choice changed the course of her family. God broke the curse that had been in her family for generations. The yoke is broken when we honour God.
Some of you like Rahab are one decision away from getting out of your burden. You are one decision away from failure to victory. Accept the Lord, do not delay, you have been wearing that yoke long enough, today is your day of miracle. This is your season, this is your time. God releases his unconditional favour when you accept Jesus Christ as Lord.
Here is how good God his. Rahab went on to marry a Jewish man, they had a son named Boaz, Boaz had a son named Obed, Obed had a son named Jesse, Jesse had a son named David. This means Rahab, a former prostitute is in the family line of Jesus Christ. This is what happens when you make decisions to honour God. The burden is broken; you step into the fullness of God’s potential. What am I saying, what has been passed down to you does not have to keep you from your destiny. If you rise up now and honour God, God will bless you inspite of past.
Some of you are in Christ but not yet a disciple. You are having a little bit of the world and a little bit of God. God is still not the number one priority for you but you are struggling a lot in life. You are working hard but nothing really is changing. You have lost a lot of chances. Child of God, you are that one step away, step on to be a disciple and that yoke will be broken.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. This is a Beatitude, sermon on the mount and Jesus is speaking this to his close disciples. God will take your burden and comfort those who mourn. What is the mourning Jesus is speaking of here? When a man comes to the understanding of who God is and compares himself with God, he finds that he is way too short of God’s standards. This is the experience that Isaiah had when he saw the Lord high and lifted up. He said, “Woe unto me for I am a man of unclean lips.” Isaiah felt that his life is nowhere compare to the standards of God.
Discipleship is to be like Jesus, to obey his command, and exercise his Lordship in your life. Jesus comforts the disciples. You can turn God’s favour on you can come to the next level of your Christian walk if you get into discipleship.
Isaiah 10:27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken . Yoke is something they put around the neck of an ox to help control the animal. It limits its movement. It was a constant burden. Even though the ox was very powerful, credibly strong this small yoke could keep it from doing what it wanted to do.
God is telling that there is a provision for your burden to be lifted from your shoulders and the yoke that is so heavy on you to be broken. How? Because you have grown so fat.
Do you get the picture? Here is an ox with a yoke on its neck, enslaving it to the will of its master. But eventually, the ox gets so healthy and fat that the yoke simply bursts from its neck, the ox is now free.
This is what happens when we come to the next level of discipleship. When we feed on the Word of God day and night, give God the priority, worship God, and have a closer walk with Him our spiritual man grows fat and the yoke or burden is automatically broken. Discipleships break the yoke. Let’s get to the next level of our Christian life, discipleship.
GOD SHARES SOME BURDENS.
Let me tell you brothers and sister there are some burden that God shares. The world around us is bad and the burdens are heavy. There is sickness, death, then there are the demands of day-to-day life, work pressure, family all of which will not leave us till the end and many of you are weary today.
Jesus said: Matthew 11:28-30 28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
God is asking us to take his yoke; discipleship is the yoke of Jesus. The burden which Jesus brings within that yoke of discipleship is very light, the burden which we take upon ourselves by passing through life’s stages are heavy.
Here is the secret. Yoke is a two positioned device. When one follows Jesus in true discipleship and takes God’s yoke upon himself, Jesus says dear friend, “I will carry your yoke.” Jesus said, “Come unto me. Take my yoke upon you because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus is more than willing to share your part of the yoke. You get to pull the yoke in harmony with Jesus.
Psalm 68:19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our saviour, who daily bears our burdens.
Dear friend, if the burden is so heavy, I would invite you in your heart to cry out to your saviour the Lord Jesus Christ and tell him, “I have been carrying the burden. I have been living in my own strength. I have been trying to pull my own yoke. Would you please forgive me, let me have your yoke, let me learn of you. I will come unto you.” Amen!