Study 5 WHAT TO DO WITH LIFE’S BURDENS
(Scripture Portion: Psalm 55)
The key-verse of this study is Psalm 55:22. Look it up, for it introduces a theme that must make an appeal to all; we all have to carry burdens! This is a world of burden-bearing. Sorrow and trouble come alike to all mankind. There is no respect of persons; the rich have their share as well as the poor. How true are the statements in Job 5:7 and 14:1! Some have to carry heavier burdens than others, and some of us have little conception of the hidden burdens that some, maybe our own friends, are carrying. Often the deepest and most poignant burdens are not seen.
1. What kind of burdens do people carry?
- 1. Burdens to do with the home. To most of us home is “sweet”, but not to all. In many homes there is poverty, sickness, and strained or broken relationships.
- 2. The burdens of business responsibilities.
- 3. Burdens in connection with the Lord’s work (2 Corinthians 11:28).
- 4. Burdens to do with our friends (see verses 12-14).
- 5. Physical burdens (2 Corinthians 12:7).
- 6. Temperamental burdens, which make us particularly prone to fear, worry, depression, and even despair.
- 7. The burden of loss and bereavement (John 11:19).
- 8. The burden of disappointment.
- 9. The heaviest burden of all - sin. Look up Job 7:20. Oh, the burden of unforgiven sin, of a guilty conscience, of an uncontrolled temper… the burden of sin!
There are many other burdens; but what are we to do with them?
2. In this psalm we are told several things we are NOT to do in relation to our burdens.
- 1. We are not to doubt God. Look at verse 1. Doubt easily assails us when troubles come, and maybe God seems far away. But there is no relief in doubting God.
- 2. There is the temptation to complain. Verse 2 gives us an illustration of this; but there is no relief in complaining and self-pity.
- 3. The danger of despair. It is easy to give up, and let trials and disappointments overwhelm us - see verses 4-5; but relief from our burdens is not found this way!
- 4. The desire to escape. Read verses 6-7. Have you ever felt like that? But that is not the answer. You cannot escape - so there is no relief here!
3. What ARE we to do with life’s burdens?
Three things are indicated in our key-verse – Psalm 55:22
- 1. ACCEPT the burden FROM the Lord. The word “burden” here literally means “that which He has given you”; or the word may simply mean “gift”. Did you ever think of your burdens as a trust from God? To understand this is to take the first step in the transformation of trouble. That trial, disappointment, loss - is that God’s doing? Yes, He has permitted it; He has trusted you with it for some very wise and loving purpose – Romans 8:28. It has not come because of “fate” or “bad luck”; it may have come from the Devil, but only with the Lord’s full permission. Therefore, accept it from His hands. One reason God gives us burdens to bear is that they may bring us closer to Himself - look at verse 19. It is easy to forget Him and become slack when things go smoothly, when there are no “changes”! Compare also Psalm 119:67,71. Will you accept your burden from the hand of the Lord?
- 2. CAST the burden UPON the Lord. The word “cast” here means “fling” or “hurl”. It requires and denotes action and effort. Daniel was cast into prison (Daniel 6:7-16); Jonah was cast into the sea (Jonah 1:15); John was cast into prison (Matthew 4:12); the Devil will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10); and you and I are to cast our burdens upon the Lord (Psalm 55:22). He is the great burden-bearer, and His gracious word to sinner and to saint is Matthew 11:28-30. Here we see a further reason why He gives us these burdens: that in our weakness we may prove His strength and the all-sufficiency of His grace. He wants us to learn the great two-fold lesson that WE CANNOT, BUT HE CAN! Read about Paul’s heavy burden: from whom it came, why God permitted it, how Paul prayed for it to be removed, and what God said to him - 2 Corinthians 12:7-9(a). Now see what he was able to say after God had spoken to him - verses 9(b) and 10. Will you cast your burden upon the Lord? Will you let Him carry it for you? It is too heavy for you!
- 3. LEAVE the burden WITH the Lord. Once we have cast our burden upon Him He assumes full responsibility for it and for us, and He promises to sustain or uphold us. How wonderful this is – “HE will sustain YOU”! But more – “He will NEVER let the righteous fall.” Never? No, never – so Psalm 55:22!
Fear not, I am with thee, O, be not dismayed!
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid:
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.