By Gary Sheirer


Jesus made a claim that is almost unbelievable. He said his burden was light.

Matthew 11:28-30:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Think what he did and endured! How could his burden be light? How can this be when our own burdens, which are not worthy to be compared to his, seem so heavy a load? Speaking for myself, I am retired, have a set amount of money coming in, and I don’t have to put up with all the things I had to endure when I worked for the United States Air Force. Yet I can tell you the burdens did not go away! I still seem to have them.

The Word teaches us there are two kinds of burdens. Galatians 6:2 tells us there are burdens that can be shared, but Galatians 6:5 tells us of burdens we must bear alone.

Galatians 6:2, 4-5:
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

When you think about burdens, I want you to think of playing on a football or basketball team. Even though you have teammates, you are only responsible to play your position the best that you can. You do not play all the positions. It is not up to you alone to score the winning goal or hit the shot to win the game. You do your part to get the team into a position to win the game. Even the greatest player cannot win the game by himself. Those who try will hurt the team.

God made us adequate to enjoy this game called life.

Colossians 1:12:
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [adequate, enabled] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Circumstances and people (ourselves included) tell us to bear burdens that we are not supposed to bear by ourselves.

Matthew 23:4:
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

So the question is, what are we really suppose to do in this life? What is the burden we are to bear? It is not that complicated. Our only duty is to respect God and keep his commandments.

Ecclesiastes 12:13:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

God could have made it difficult for us to keep his commandments but he didn’t. His commandments are not burdensome. They are not grievous.

1 John 5:3:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

By understanding that his commandments are not grievous, we can keep our priorities straight. We know that God will take care of us and provide those things and instructions we need when we need it.

Matthew 6:33:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

When we rely on Jesus rather than ourselves, we do not shy away from troubling times. Our pleasure is not that we have these stresses, but rather that so long as we are in these situations we can rely on the strength of Jesus Christ in our lives.

2 Corinthians 12:10:
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

God does not want us to fall into a trap. When we are tempted to step outside the boundary of burdens that God has reserved strictly for us, he makes a way for us to escape.

1 Corinthians 10:13:
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

When we are being tempted, it is difficult to see the forest for all the “tribulation trees.” That is the time to admit our weaknesses and be strong in the Lord. As he gets us through our troubling times, we have the assurance that we are pleasing God. Remember, all God requires of us is to love him and keep his commandments. That’s the only burden we must bear.



From the May 2005 issue of The Vine & Branches