Today’s thoughts were prompted by Nicky Gumbel’s commentary in the BIble In One Year daily reading scheme.
At the moment, most of us are feeling more anxiety than usual, partly because our routines and lifestyles have had to change so rapidly. We tend to feel anxious when we feel out of control or that the future feels so uncertain. Ps 68:19-20 reminds us that the Lord ‘daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.’ We must not carry yesterday’s burden over into today or add tomorrow’s burden before we are required to bear it. God urges us to come to Him with all our burdens and we can safely leave our cares and anxiety with Him, knowing He cares for us. (Matt 11:28-30; 1 Pet 5:7)
We have to face the fact (as Peter did when he denied Jesus three times) that at times we fail the Lord. Failure is a heavy burden to bear, but failure was not the end of the story for Peter and doesn’t have to be the end of the story for us. Although Peter failed him, Jesus took the burden of his failure, forgave him, reinstated him and used him as powerfully as anyone in human history. We can be set free from the burden of failure.
Injustice is hard to bear, and no one knows that better than Jesus, who had to endure an unjust trial and unjust sentencing. Peter tells us He could do this because ‘He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.’ (1 Pet 2:23) We too can bring the burden of injustice we may be facing to the One who judges justly and can leave the matter with Him.
On the cross Jesus, the innocent, died so that we, the sinful, could go free. He bore the burden of our sin so that we no longer have to live under the weight of the burden of sin. We have been set free! (Romans 6)
True guilt (over sin) is removed when we confess our sin to God and accept His cleansing. (1 Jn 1:9) But often we are burdened by false guilt, feeling guilty about things that are not actually our fault. God reminds us that when our hearts condemn us, He is greater than our hearts and knows everything. (1 John 3:19-20) Freedom from guilt (real or imagined) is one of the great blessings God offers us.