Burdens and blessings

God calls us to greater dependence upon Him when burdens befall us.

The greatest test of our faith in God is when we have burdens. But burdens are only transitory. Blessings are permanent. Don't focus on the burdens of the day; focus on the blessings to come. Don't ponder over the dark night; yearn for the daylight. The Psalmist assures us " weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Ps 30:5).

 Jesus too spoke of grief as temporary "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy" (John 16:20-22) When Jesus prayed in the garden of Getsemane, the burden on His mind was so heavy that He cried "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; take away this cup of suffering from me, yet not what I will, but what You will" (Mark 14:36).   Jesus too looked beyond His present crisis and saw hope in surrendering his crisis to God.

 Hymn writer George Neumark suffered abject poverty in his youth and was afflicted with blindness in his later years.   Yet his trust in God was never shaken.  He drew consolation from Psalm 55:22  "Cast thy burdens upon the lord, and He shall sustain thee" He pray-
ed for strength to carry himself through.   God answered him in the form of an unexpected appointment as tutor for the family of a rich judge.

Relieved and delighted, he composed a beautiful hymn still sung in many churches "If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee" which spoke of seeking God to guide you even in your suffering.   He said he penned it to thank God for His sustaining Grace.  The first stanza read that:

 If thou but suffer God to guide thee,  and hope in God through all thy ways,  God will give strength, whate'er betide thee,  and bear thee through the evil days.  Who trusts in God's unchanging love builds on The rock that naught can move. Don't worry about the future because God is already there.  We are safer in the storm with God, than anywhere else without Him. 

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