Tag Archives: heaviness

Is the Yoke on You?

yoke-modelRecently I heard an excellent devotional prepared by a friend on the subject of yokes.  As I meditated on her words, I began to realize that it is very easy to take on a heavy yoke without realizing it.

After all, Jesus did say, ” These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation [trouble]; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NKJV)  Challenges and troubles do not magically vanish from our lives merely because we are Christians; on the contrary, we can expect trials and tribulations from time to time.   Of course, we believe that Jesus has overcome the world, and with it all the attendant troubles, but sometimes we do not feel very victorious!

The key to overcoming those challenges is how I manage them.  Often, I am overcome by the weight of the problems I confront; in seeking to resolve them righteously, I tend to bear the burden without remembering that the main part of the load is something Jesus promises to bear.   Peter encouraged us to give all our worries and cares to God Jesus, for He cares about us (1 Peter 5:7, NLT).

Although Jesus told us to expect tribulation in this life, He also tells us His yoke is easy:  

Is Jesus contradicting Himself?   He promises we will face trials, urges us to cast our cares on Him, then tells us His burden is light.   How can that be?

If we remember that Jesus bore the weight of all the sins of the world on the Cross, we can understand that rolling the weight of our troubles onto Him is equivalent to placing those situations on the Cross.   As a result of His resurrection, the weight of our sins, challenges, trials, problems, and pain is no longer heavy or burdensome, not even to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, as He already bore that weight for us.

Seemingly identical objects manufactured from different materials can have very different weights.  For example, an enamel-coated aluminum pan would be far easier to pick up than an enamel-coated cast iron pan of the same size.   We might not even notice the difference until we attempted to pick them up!

I have discovered that this same principle is operative for me in regard to my burden-bearing tendencies:  often I begin to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to pray for someone, resolve a complex spiritual problem, give advice, or intercede for a very dark issue, only to find myself pinned under the weight of the problem I thought I was responding to in a righteous manner.   When I find myself paralyzed with the heaviness of the troubles of this life, it is because I have unwittingly picked up the wrong yoke!   It LOOKED like Jesus’ yoke, but it was not at all light or easy.

Father, show me where I have shouldered burdens you already paid for at the Cross; help me to lay down counterfeit yokes (which are always too burdensome for me!) and pick up YOUR yoke.  Your yoke is easy, and Your burden is light.   Thank You for hitching me to Your yoke with You, Jesus.   You are able to pull me through any trouble we face!

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Like a Rolling Stone

thDGGZFG6WWhen the women arrived at the tomb on Easter morning, they found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb; even more astonishing, the body of Jesus was no longer inside (see Luke 24:2-3).   The stone used to seal the crypt was not a small rock — nor was it even a stone the size of a typical  headstone used to mark graves in cemeteries here in the United States.   Instead, it was a massive stone that ordinarily would have taken several people to move, and such stones typically had to be moved with the aid of levers.   Due to its size and weight, this stone was guaranteed to stay in place and to prevent robbers from pillaging the tomb.  However, there it was — rolled away from the entrance so anyone who wished could  enter and be astounded at the empty tomb.

As Christians, we understand that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid in full for our sin and gave us the gift of eternal life with Him — our final destination is Heaven.   However, we can easily overlook the implication of the rolled-away stone for our daily lives on this earth.  Heaven often seems distant, and the challenges we face in our families, friendships, workplaces, and neighborhoods can prove overwhelming.  However, God promised in  Ezekiel 36:26 that He would give me a new heart and put a new spirit in me, that He would remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.   That means I can ask God to touch the hard, stony places of my heart with His life-giving, resurrecting power and give me a tender, sensitive heart.   He can heal the pain of past sin, traumatic memories, and all my disappointments.   In Jeremiah 31:33, the Lord also says that He will put His law in our minds and write it on our hearts.  That means He will empower me to obey His law, which protects me and reflects His concern for my well-being.  Moreover, Paul admonishes the Hebrews (12:1-2) to lay aside every weight and run the race set before them with perseverance, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.  God heals and tenderizes our hearts, empowers us to obey, and urges us to run toward Him. 

What does this truth mean for me personally?  It means that the Holy Spirit has the power to roll away heaviness, sorrow, sadness, sin, oppression, infirmity, death, and destruction from my life.   Sometimes I find myself groaning  under the pressure and darkness of challenging circumstances or relationship difficulties.   If I can remember to ask God to roll away the stone, light pours into the tomb-like rooms of my heavy heart, and my hope is renewed. He will empower me to lay aside everything that weighs me down, to figuratively clean the rocks out of my pockets, and run the race set before me.   Jesus, roll away the stone from my heart and empty all the rocks out of my pockets!   Help me take the pebbles out of my shoes that hinder my walk with You.   Pour your light into the dead places of my heart and renew and restore me!   I long to experience your resurrection power in my daily life this side of Heaven!

This song performed by Kari Jobe with Bethel Music should encourage us all!  — https://youtu.be/WlsRh5_MKE8

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