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Devotional

 Bring Your Burdens to God.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.  [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.   For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good-not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne," (AMPC).

Jesus invites us all, whether we are born from the Spirit or not, to go to Him with all our cares, burdens, problems and worries and He will give us rest.  We all face many trials, tribulations and distress in this life that can cause us to become burdened, weary and stressed.  Life can be hard at times, especially in these unprecedented times.  Many of us are facing relationship challenges, financial hardships, fear, anxiety and worries, illnesses and many changes in our lives.  However, Jesus reminds us to come to him instead of turning to the wrong things to find relief for our souls. He calls us to pray and seek His face for help in our time of need.

Elijah was a man of God, a prophet who got overwhelmed with life.  He had just won a huge victory on Mount Carmel.  He had challenged the prophets of Baal to prove to the Israelites whether Baal or the LORD was the true God.  Both the prophets of Baal and Elijah made an altar; each with a sacrifice.  The God who answered by fire would be the true God.  The prophets of Baal called on their god all day but nothing happened. 

As soon as Elijah called upon the LORD God, fire fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and also the water that Elijah had put in a trench.  The Israelites fell on their knees and acknowledged that the LORD, Elijah's God was the true God.  Elijah then had all the prophets of Baal, 450 of them, slaughtered to purge the land.  However, he drew the fury of Jezebel who threatened to exact revenge by having him killed immediately. 

Elijah became scared and fearful, so he ran to save his life.  He wanted to go to Horeb to meet with God.  He  became so anxious and depressed that he left his servant in another city and went into the wilderness to be alone.  Elijah was having a wilderness experience;  the journey caused him to be so weary that he asked God to take his life.  He asked God to let him die.  Elijah was weary, anxious, and depressed.  He was heavy burdened.  His heavenly Father heard his cry and sent an angel to feed him bread and water to strengthen him.  After Elijah had rested and was revived, then he continued his journey to Horeb.

At Horeb, God had a meeting with Elijah.  When God's presence passed by there was an earthquake, a great powerful wind, and then a fire.  But God did not speak to Elijah then.  God wanted to show Elijah that He was still the God of the universe with all dominion, power and authority.  He was in control and still on His throne.  He hadn't lost control of the situation.

When everything was quiet, God then spoke to Elijah in a gentle quiet voice.  God knew Elijah needed His comfort and encouragement.  He let Elijah vent and pour out his heart to Him.  Then God let Elijah know that there was nothing for him to worry about.  The battle wasn't his, it was the LORD'S.  God had His sovereign plan and nothing was going to stop it.  It wasn't Elijah's burden to fix the apostasy and evil in Israel.  It was God's.  Elijah was to cast all his cares upon the LORD because He cared for him.  

God lifted the burdens and the heaviness off Elijah's shoulders and He will do the same for us.  "Come to me all who are weary, burdened, and heavy laden," Jesus says, "and I will give you rest."  Just as God delivered Elijah, He will also deliver us.  An exchange happens when we bring our concerns and burdens to God.  God takes the heaviness off our shoulders, and we get His peace and refreshment for our souls.  In God's presence, there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 34:17-18 says, "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.  The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent, (AMPC)Psalm 68:19-20 says, "Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day, even the God Who is our salvation.  God is to us a God of deliverances and salvation; and to God the Lord belongs escape from death [setting us free]," (AMPC).  

1 Peter 5:7 says, "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully," (AMPC)Matthew 6:31-33 says, "Therefore do not worry and be anxious perpetually uneasy, distracted, ..But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right-the attitude and character of God), and then all these things will be given to you also," (AMPC).

In John 16:33 Jesus says, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence.  In the world you have tribulations and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!  For I have overcome the world.  [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you,] (AMPC).

Philippians 4:19 says, "And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus," (AMPC).  Let us bring all our burdens, trials and weariness to God in prayer.  God promises to meet us at our point of need and refresh our souls and give us rest.  Be a voice for the gospel and show others how to lay their burdens down at the cross.  Wear Scriptures!