Do you feel overwhelmed or heavy-hearted? Do you worry about your health, your family, your finances, your future, and your safety? Do you need to catch your breath? Jesus gives us a wonderful promise of hope, freedom, and more in Matthew 11. The Passion Translation has an especially beautiful account.
Jesus does not want us to carry burdens He is meant to carry for us. We were not called to carry burdens of worry, guilt, shame, despair, oppression, anxiety, etc. Jesus came to set the captives free and offer release from the weight of this world. Jesus promises a refreshed life when we join our lives with His in relationship. Once we have accepted the gift of salvation, all burdens of sin and affliction were placed on Jesus forever. He has dealt with it all on the cross. It is finished. All aspects that burden us, He carries.
Psalms 68:19 TPT “What a glorious God! He gives us salvation over and over, then daily he carries our burdens! Pause in his presence”
So how do we give our burdens over to God? Peter gives us the answer. Firstly, with humble hearts, we realize that we are not the ones in charge, but God remains in control. We can give all our burdens, concerns, and worries to Him, our Abba Father Who loves us. Secondly, releasing our cares is a mindset of faith and trust in God. To cast means to “place it upon” the Lord. It is choosing daily not to worry or think constantly about our troubles but giving it to God in prayer. Thus, to burden the Lord with it. Our cares are not an inconvenience. God wants to take control of all those things that give us anxiety because He cares deeply about us, and all that ails us.
1 Peter 5:6 – 7 AMP “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
The Passion Translation encourages us to leave our worries with God. It is a big step of faith to leave things completely with God, and not to “take it back” by worrying about it all over again. Ask yourself this: ”How big is my God?” If you really believe that He cares for you always, you will give your burdens to Him and happily leave them in His capable hands.
1 Peter 5:7 TPT “Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.”
God wants to give us His rest and inner peace. According to Hebrews 4, The Israelites could not experience that rest and peace due to their unbelief and disobedience. God offers it to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the fact that He took all our burdens upon Himself on the cross. We can only enter God’s rest when we put our trust or faith in Him.
Hebrews 4:3a AMP “For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power] …”
He promises further to sustain us when we leave all our cares in His hands.
Psalms 55:22 AMP “Cast your burden on the LORD [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail).”
The definition of sustain in this context is: to keep alive, to strengthen or support physically or mentally, to give support or relief to, hold, affirm, bear without breaking or falling. The Lord will make sure that we will not fall or fail when we give our burdens to Him. He promises to give us the strength, support, or relief we need from whatever is worrying us. He remains our source for all we need.
There is an interesting story in 1 Kings 19, where Elijah flees to the wilderness from Jezebel. He had just performed an amazing miracle on mount Carmel, killed 450 Baal prophets with a sword, and the Lord gave him supernatural strength to outrun Ahab’s chariot. Still, after experiencing the miraculous power of God, he was fleeing for his life because he was afraid. In the wilderness, he felt so worthless and despondent that he asked God to take his life. He fell asleep and the angel of the Lord woke him twice to eat bread cake and drink water the angel had prepared. That meal sustained Elijah for forty days while he traveled to Mount Horeb. At Mount Horeb, God spoke to Elijah and gave him his next assignments, including the appointment of Elisha as his successor.
It is comforting to know that a significant prophet like Elijah also felt fear. In his human response to difficult circumstances, even after witnessing God’s faithfulness, God was still with Him and sustained Him. What God provided, sustained him for a very very long time and helped him to the place, where God gave further direction and instruction.
How much more will God sustain us, when we also have the gift of Jesus and His salvation? Elijah ate bread cakes that sustained him physically and mentally. We have Jesus, the Bread of Life, Who promises life and also a sustained life. I believe it is not only implying eternal life, but a life where we are able to endure and stay upright under emotional, physical, and spiritual pressures because God promises to uphold us.
Eat from the Bread of Life my friend. Read His Word. When you are burdened and need a break, seek God’s face and His presence. There is your oasis where you will find rest and peace. When you lay all your burdens at His feet, surrendering your will and ways, you can fully trust that God will take care of it all. While God is working behind the scenes, allow the peace of God to fill your soul. Rest in Him. Worry will not change a thing, but God can. Trust that He knows and will do what is best. Know that He will also sustain and strengthen you along the way. Like Elijah was on His way to Hebron where God directed Him to the next season in his life, there is also something new on the horizon for you.
Stay resolute my friend.