Read: I Peter 5:7 |
George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon’s generals, quickly assembled 18,000 soldiers outside of an Austrian town that had no means of defending itself.
The town council met certain that capitulation was the only answer. The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter. He begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the life-threatening weighty matter in God’s hands. They followed his advice.
The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp, and before the bells had ceased ringing, vanished!
The book of Daniel is full of similar miracles God worked on behalf of Daniel and his friends. We most likely know his compatriots by their Babylonian names – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They consistently chose to cast their burdens on God.
God is more than a burden-sharer, He is also a burden-taker
The book of Daniel gives a historical account of the faithful Jews who lived in captivity. It shows how God is in control, and takes care of His people. Among the exiles, Daniel and his friends stood out as examples of faithfulness even in exile. They chose to love and honor God even when ordered to compromise their faith.
In one instance, King Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden statue and decreed that everyone bow down and worship it at the given signal (Daniel 3). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced with the burden of obedience to man or to God, chose God.
When arrested, they faithfully declared that God could rescue them from death in the fiery furnace. By their actions of faith, they cast the burden on God. God answered and carried them through the situation unscathed.
We each face situations where we can lighten our burdens by making compromises with our spiritual principles. If we just compromise our morality a little, we can achieve some or all of our goals and not have to continue waiting for an answer. However, the lesson in Daniel shows that God can be a burden-taker if we walk on the paths of righteousness with Him. Trust Him to keep His promises.
His yoke is easy and lightens our burden
When Jesus said to “Take my yoke upon you,” he provided a pictorial phrase of a farmer hooking up two oxen in a yoke to carry a heavy burden. Similarly, to be a yoke-fellow, we must act just as the oxen do naturally.
If we walk ahead or behind Christ, the load will burden us. However, if we walk alongside Christ as we wait for His will in our situation, He will make sure the yoke is light as He promised. [Unequally Yoked? Meaning, Scriptures & Lesson, Jack Wellman]
Daniel exhibited yoking with God when he faced the punishment of the Lions’ Den for disobeying an edict of King Darius. Earlier, his co-workers had tricked Darius into passing a law that no one could pray to other Gods for thirty days. Daniel chose to obey God’s laws and walk with Him.
As we know, in the Lion’s Den God protected him by shutting the lions mouth. As a result of this miracle, King Darius issued a decree that all his subjects were to worship the God of Daniel.
We too, when faced with waiting in a virtual Lions’ Den of trouble, need to remember to stay in the yoke with God and walk with Him. For indeed, His yoke is easy.
In English, weight and wait are homonyms. They share the same pronunciation, but have different meanings. However, when it comes to spiritual matters, these two words are often connected. We often feel the weight of waiting. If not careful, it can act as an anchor for our faith.
While waiting on the Lord, we are to cast the weighty burdens of life on Christ. As we do, the gravity of the burdensome situation changes. Because He cares for His righteous saints, we can experience joy and peace in spite of our circumstances.
1. Discover –
A. While awaiting God’s answer, does the weight of the situation often affect your faith and your daily walk? Explain
B. When under pressure to do things God’s way versus our own way, when is it easy to do things God’s way? When is it hard?
2. Develop –
A. Looking back, are there certain challenges that you naturally “cast the anxiety” on Christ and others where you tend to hold on to it?
B. How can you learn to actively “cast the anxiety” on God and avoid going through a period of trying to bear it alone?
3. Demonstrate –
A. From the outside, how do others see you when you are dealing with a weighty matter such as a potential loss of a job, family issue, etc.? Do they see you holding on to the situation or holding on to God? Explain
B. Name other Bible characters and contemporary Christians who exemplify leaving the “weight with God”. What anecdotal lessons can we learn from their lives?
Profiles on Waiting Outline
Postures we should adopt when waiting for/with/upon God
1. Wait on Time (link)
2. Watch for Him (link)
3. Wait by walking within Touching Distance (link)
4. Work while waiting upon God’s Answer (link)
5. Willful Waiting does not Wilt (link)
6. Weather the Storms while waiting under His Umbrella (link)
7. Wait with an Unwavering Faith (link)
8. Wait while avoiding the Quick Sand of Worry (link)
9. While waiting upon God, leave the Weight on God (link)