Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trials, Tribulations and Burdens: How to Respond, Survive and Grow

Burdens and troubles are a part of life, as Jesus said it best, " do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. " But what are we supposed to do when we are heavy-laden with burdens? What are we supposed to learn? And why are they part of life?
The following is a bible study I prepared either for a Sunday School lesson, or a Friday night bible study that I have in my home.
James 1:2-12
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
  • Definition: Burden / Heavy-laden
    • A heaviness of the heart
    • A heaviness of the spirit
    • A heaviness of the soul
    • Anything that weighs you down emotionally, spiritually, mentally.
    • You just know that there’s a weight upon you. It may be a result of something you have done, or something that God has sent.
Purpose of Burdens
  • God Given for the purpose of a giving a specific word to a person or people:
    • Zec 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place …
  • God Given for the purpose of giving a specific task to a person or people:
    • Num 11:11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me?
      • God placed the burden of the Hebrews on Moses shoulder for the purpose of saving them.
  • God given for the purpose of revealing sin:
    • Psalm 38:4 For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
  • God given for the purpose of testing our Faith
    • James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
      • Do you have strong faith?
      • Do you have weak faith?
      • Do you have wavering faith?
      • Untested faith is unreliable faith.
  • God given for the purpose of providing direction:
    • To witness to someone
    • To pray for someone
    • To give someone something
    • Conviction of Sin
    • To perform some task
How do you have your burden Lifted or Removed?
  • There is a difference between removing a burden and lifting a burden.
  • God will sometimes remove it entirely.
  • Other times, He will lift it and allow you to carry some of it. But He will only allow you to carry that part which is necessary for you grow.
    • 2Co 12:7-9 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Before He will Remove or Lift our Burdens, we must …
Reject the sin of pride and accept the blessings of a humble spirit that trusts in the Lord
  • James 4:6-7,10 ... Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. … Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
    • We must shed our pride in the burden we have found upon us.
    • We must submit ourselves to God and draw close to him.
    • We must acknowledge that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
  • James 4:16-17 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
    • Do not rely (boast) in your abilities – Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall make your paths straight.
Humble yourself before Him
  • Mat 11:28-30 (Jesus says) "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
    • Consider the invitation:
      • Come to Me – ALL
          • The Greek word used to translate into our word “all” is very interesting: it literally means “all”
          • 2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
        • It is necessary to realize that ONLY coming to Jesus with a burden doesn’t remove the burden.
        • Sometimes we just discuss (pray about) the burden with Him. Discussion is not the issue at hand, and it doesn’t resolve the problem. You will walk away from the discussion still burdened.
    • Consider the instructions
      • Take my yoke upon you
        • Consider the oxen yoked one to another.
          • It appears to be painful and frightening – you think you have to give something up that is precious to you.
        • The idea of the yoke is “submission”. Jesus is saying, “surrender to me and I will take the weight off your shoulders”. It is to become His slave; it is a surrender of your will.
        • Some people think that Jesus is a dumping ground for our burdens. We think if we fast and pray and cast it upon Him, he’ll take it. That’s not going to happen. You can fast and pray without surrendering your will to Jesus.
      • Learn from me
        • Learning is a process.
        • What do we have to learn? You have to learn:
          • Who He is.
          • He is trust worthy – which means we should believe His word.
          • His love.
          • His forgiveness and cleansing.
          • His chastisement. We are to learn that chastisement is motivated from His love. Jesus is not in the business of condemning. The Holy Spirit is in the business of convicting, never condemning.
          • That Jesus is in the business of transforming your life, not destroying it.
      • The conclusion:
        • He will not remove or lift your burden without taking you.
        • He will not remove or lift your burden without you submitting yourself and your will to His yoke.
        • He will not remove or lift your burden without you surrendering your will to Him.
Be willing to cast it upon the Lord AND trust in Him
  • Psalm 55:21-23 His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.
    • What does “sustain” mean?
      • You don’t have to live with the burden
      • God will Uphold you
      • God will Provide for you
      • God will Motivate you
      • God will Equip you
      • God will Energize you
      • God will deal with you in a way that expresses His love.
Be willing to chose to let God bear your burden
  • Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation.
Be willing to believe that there is nothing that is too heavy for God.
  • James 1:5-8 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
    • He will enable you to
      • Walk with the burden
      • Live with the burden
      • Sleep with the burden
      • You’ll be able to live peacefully in the midst of the burden
      • Talk about it
      • Think about it
      • Deal with it.
Be willing to accept that He may let you bear some of the Burden
  • 1Pe 5:6-10 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
Find Gods purpose in your burden
  • Abandon your self to God
  • Cast your cares upon the Lord
  • Learn from the Lord
  • Ask the Lord for Scripture that speaks to your burden and engraft it into you life
  • Abandon your anger
    • James 1:20-22 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
  • Memorizing scripture is like putting a post-it-note on your brain. While it is perfectly good and right to memorize scripture, it is better to have it “engrafted” (KJV) or “implanted” (NASB) into your soul. Things that are implanted or engrafted have had a special place dug out of that which receives the graft which is just the right size and shape to receive the thing to be engrafted. Consider the grafting trees one to another.
    • James 1:26-27 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
      • Be a doer of the word – Submit to the Lord through your trial, tribulation and burdens by surrendering your will to Him.

2 comments:

Jim said...

That is a superb study and definitely puts people in their right relationship to God. Humble.
And humility as a prerequisite for healing. I hope a thousand pastors pick that up and preach it Sunday.

marry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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