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HOW TO HANDLE WHAT’S HANDLING YOU
Intro: Years ago a woman, with her little baby, was riding in a stagecoach in western Montana. The weather was bitter cold, and, in spite of all the driver could do to protect her, he saw that the mother was becoming unconscious from the cold. He stopped the coach, took the baby, and wrapping it warmly, put it under the seat, then seized the mother by the arm, and dragging her out upon the ground, drove away, leaving her in the road. As she saw him drive away, she ran after him, crying piteously for her baby. When he felt sure that she was warm, he allowed her to overtake the coach and resume her place by her baby. Can we not imagine her gratitude when she realized that he had saved her life? He had done as God sometimes does, to shake us out of soul-lethargy and moral sleep which would end in death.
Sometimes God is like that stagecoach driver. He will allow things to enter our lives that nearly devastate us. But, He does it to grow us and teach us more about Him. Now, we all know that trouble and trials are part and parcel of the human life. After all, Job said it, Job 14:1; Job 5:7. And so did Jesus, John 16:33. Burdens, troubles, trials and difficulties are going to come our way! That is a given. Felix Neff said, “A Christian without affliction is like a soldier only on parade.” However, what is not a given is what you and I will do about the trials and troubles that come our way.
In this little, simple, short verses, Jesus gives us clear teaching on what to do with our burdens. He teaches us How To Handle What’s Handling You. Let’s look into this verse for just a few minutes this evening and think on that thought: How To Handle What’s Handling You.
I. TAKE YOUR BURDENS TO THE RIGHT PLACE
A. Fretting Won’t Help You - (Ill. Most people take their burdens here, but it is the wrong place to take them. After all, we are forbidden from worry by the Word, Phil. 4:6; John 14:1. (Ill. Lot’s of people are just like Martha, Luke 10:38-42.)
B. Friends Won’t Help You - Job tried to tell his friends ab out his burdens, but he found that they were “physicians of no value”, Job 13:4. (Ill. The problem with friends is that they will lie to you! They will allow you to wallow in self-pity and tell you that you have a right to do so. They may even sympathize with you, but they can’t really help you with the real burdens of life!) (Did you know that a real friend is someone who tells you the truth, even when it rips your heart out? Ill. Pro. 27:6)
C. Fleeing Won’t Help You - You will never be able to run away from the problems and trials of life. (Ill. Israel found this out the hard way - Num. 13-14; Deut. 9.) (Ill. Patricia Christy fled Florida to avoid hurricane Andrew in 1992. She boarded the first plan to Hawaii and arrived just in time to meet typhoon Iniki!)
D. Fighting Won’t Help You - A lot of people try to live in denial and fight what they are called to face. Fighting against what the Lord brings into your life is dangerous! If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself fighting against God. (Ill. Two men on a bicycle built for two.)
D. The Father Will Help You - Notice the invitation - “Come!” The Lord throws open the door to His throne room and invites all who are in need to come to Him for help, Heb. 4:16. (Ill. His love and concern for the sheep - Luke 12:32. He is our Father and He is interested in helping us through the difficult passageways of life! He is our shepherd and He will see to what we need, Psa. 23:1-6. Ill. The various names the Jews had for the Lord. Jesus gave them a new one in the Disciple’s Prayer - Luke 11:2.)
II. TRANSFER YOUR BURDENS TO THE RIGHT PERSON
A. There Is One Who Cares About Your Situation - 1 Pet. 5:7 - Jesus has walked through loneliness, need, difficulty and death. He has been hated, loved, accepted and rejected. He knows what you are going through and He cares about you, Heb. 4:15. Don’t think for a minute that He won’t understand! He does! He knows what you need more than you know it yourself!
B. There Is One Who Can Do Something About Your Situation - Not only does He know what we face, He can change what we face and how we face it! (Ill. His power is beyond imagination - Eph. 3:20; Job 42:2; Luke 1:38.) (Ill. Isa. 40:12 - If He can place the stars in heaven with a spreading of the fingers, then your problems and mine pose no problem at all to Him! If He can.... for..., then He can.. For you!)
III. TRUST YOUR BURDENS TO THE RIGHT PROVISIONS
A. Sometimes He Will Remove Your Burden - There are times when the Lord changes your situation in an instant, removing your burden. (Ill. The Widow of Zarepath - 1 Kings 18!)
B. Sometimes He Will Relieve Your Burden - There are times when the Lord will leave the burden on your shoulders, but He will lighten the burden a little bit. He did this for Ruth when He allowed her path to cross that of Boaz, Ruth 2-3!
C. Sometimes He Will Rest You In Your Burden - This is the most common aid we receive from Him. He gives us grace to carry the load we have been assigned, 2 Cor. 12:9. (Ill. The glory of Him changing us in our situation instead of Him just changing our situation.) (Ill. You can rest in His yoke, His house, His Spirit, His Peace.)
(Ill. However He decides to handle your situation, you can be sure that He will always do that which is right for your life, Rom. 8:28. And, you can rest on His promise that He will meet your need, Phil. 4:19! Ill He is still Jehovah-Jireh - Gen. 22:14.)
Conc: What’s handling you tonight? Why don’t you just bring it to Him? He knows how to handle what’s handling you!