Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sharing Life's Burdens

Do you know that many of the burdens we face in our lives should not be faced alone? Many of life's burdens were meant to be shared! 
At any given time we are surrounded by people on every side attempting to carry around life's burdens. For many, this burden can be a heavy load of grief, sorrow, disappointment, failure, or sin. Often times we may not even know who that person is around us or even the things they are facing in their lives that cause such sorrow, hurt or grief. Here is what I know to be 100% fact: Tragedy, sorrow, disappointment, depression, and grief will eventually visit the house of every person. 

Let me ask you two questions: Whom have you comforted recently? Who has comforted you? These questions are of vital importance in the work of the Kingdom of God in and through the lives of Christian people.  

Why does God allow sorrow and life's burdens to come into our lives? Well for one thing we live in a fallen, sinful world. This fallen state of our world negatively affects ALL people, both the righteous and the unrighteous. Therefore, no one is immune from life's burdens. Secondly, the reason God allows sorrows to come to us is so we can be comforted by Him, and then in turn, comfort others in need. Our experience with life's burdens can actually make us stronger in character and in our faith. Our experience can also be shared with others to be a blessing in the midst of their burdens.

Paul teaches us this truth in 2 Corinthians 1:4, when he says, He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” You must understand that we all face days of tragedy, disappointments, sorry, grief, and heartache. We must also understand that each of these experiences are different and unique. 

As a pastor, I do all I can to minister to and meet the needs of the members of my church and community, but often times there are situations that I am in where I am simply inadequate to fully meet needs or do effective ministry. Do you know why I am so inadequate? It is because I may have not personally gone through the experience another person is facing.

Time to get really practical: Because we all face this same inadequacy, we as Christian people should not ever be found wallowing in self-pity and allow our tragedies, sorrows, and burdens to be wasted. God wants ALL of us to stop wasting the experiences of our lives. He was us to use them for good in others. Many of you have been through things that uniquely qualify you to help others I cannot help!

Think about it this way...who better can minister to a person going through a divorce than a Godly Christian person who has already gone through the experience of divorce and has come out on the other side healed and serving God? Who can better help a couple who cannot have a child than a couple who has already been through the trials of not having a child? Who can better walk through the difficulties of having a parent battling Alzheimer’s than a person who has had a parent who has battled Alzheimer’s? Why not get involved in doing ministry to those who need today? Why not stop wasting the experiences of your own life where God has proven Himself faithful to you? Why not take the lessons you have learned firsthand and share those with people who need to know how to deal with real life burdens? 
Do you see my point? We are to share one anothers burdens. We are to walk with one another through life’s burdens with patience, understand, and love. Church...Christian friends, let’s be intentional about this! Make it a priority to lift a burden with a kind word or note today. Pray with someone. Make a visit to them and show them love. Take the negative experiences of your life where God proved faithful and beat Satan to death with them by ministering to others. Why? Because some burdens are meant to be shared.