Summary: God is our great burden carrier! Let me share with you 5 ways God does this – 5 ways He is our great burden carrier.
One of the great contrasts between Christianity & other religions is that in Christianity God is the great burden carrier for His followers - where in other religions it is the followers who seem to carry the burden of their gods.
The prophet Isaiah brings this out in the 46th chapter of his book. He writes, “Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity” (46:1-2 NIV).
Bel was the Babylonian form of Baal & Nebo was the god of learning. But here’s the point – these people believed these false gods were real. They believed in them & had given their lives in service to them, but these gods could not deliver & protect their followers from being conquered by Cyrus or even protect the idols that were made to represent them. And so here are these people who have believed & followed these gods, & yet they are having to carry them as they succumb to slavery. They have become a burden, literally a heavy burden as they have to carry or haul them around with them. The people had to work for them; they had to work to carry them off into captivity so they could still worship them.
It is just the opposite with Christianity’s God. He is the 1 who constantly bears & carries us. And because this is true about our God, it helps us understand some of the things that happen to us in this life. For you see 1 of the reasons why God, who is sovereign over everything, including everything that touches you & your life & your families’ life – 1 of the reasons this sovereign God allows difficult things to invade your life is in order to prove His total faithfulness in being that great burden carrier/bearer for you. If you never had any burdens, if everything always went smoothly for you because you were a child of the King then you would never know God as the great burden carrier, would you? And so it is not out of a lack of love or out of a lack of power that God allows these things to touch your lives but it is so you can come to know & experience Him in deeper & fuller ways as you experience Him as your great burden carrier.
And this is not a lesson you learn 1 time through 1 experience & then you pass the exam & never have to learn & experience it again. No, you have to come back to it again & again & again. At least that has been my experience. And as you do, you discover to your wonder & joy that He is a faithful burden carrier, a versatile burden carrier for no burden is too extreme or too unique for Him to carry. And He is a constant burden carrier. I take that from a verse in the Psalms that I am so grateful for, 1 that I have relied on many times & have shared it on many occasions w/ ones facing a burden. It is Psalm 68:19 NASB – “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden.” Aren’t you glad for that? Are you glad that He bear you & your burdens instead of, like in Isaiah 46, you having to bear Him?
Now as we think about this theme – God, our great burden carrier, let me share with you 5 ways God does this – 5 ways He is our great burden carrier.
1. God Has Carried Our Sins!
The greatest burden we have is our sin & the reason why it is our greatest burden is 2-fold:
1. Because sin ruins our life & those we love.
2. Because it condemns us to eternal damnation.
Sin ruins lives. It destroys marriages. It breaks up families. It abuses children. It enslaves individuals. It wastes a person’s potential. It would be horrible enough if it only affected the person choosing to sin but like an epidemic – it spreads out & affects a host of others, even future generations. It is our greatest burden because it ruins lives.
It is also our greatest burden because it condemns us to eternal damnation. There is a holy God who will not allow sin in His presence. There will be a judgment as the Bible declares in Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Ecclesiastes 12:14 takes it even further – “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” So there will be a judgment. And there is a literal hell where every single person will be sentence too if they do not have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ that evidences itself in a transformed life. I know this is not a popular message in our day, but it is the truth.