One of the reasons we don't know God deeply is that we don't venture much on his pledge to carry things for us. Knowing God with a sense of authentic personal reality, is not merely a matter of study. It is a matter of walking with him through fire and not being burned. It is a matter of not being crushed under a load because he carries it for you at your side. What, then, does he carry?
1. God has carried our sins.
Isaiah 53:11, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities." Hebrews 9:28, "Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many." 1 Peter 2:24, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross."
Believing this and experiencing its liberating effect is crucial. 1) It is crucial for life now. Guilt feelings do not have the last word! 2) It is crucial for the hour of our dying. The sting of death is sin, but thanks be to God, it was removed. 3) It is crucial for everlasting joy. Christ's sin-bearing work secures for us never-ending compensation for every so-called "loss" in this life of sacrificial love. This confidence is the foundation of knowing God.
2. God pledges to carry our anxieties.
1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." The only other place this word for "cast on" occurs is in Luke 19:35 where the disciples threw their coats on the colt for Jesus to ride.
What worries does God aim to take from our backs and carry for us? Every kind. For example, anxieties about 1) lacking necessities (Phil. 4:4-7); 2) being useless (Is. 55:11); 3) weakness (2 Cor. 12:9); 4) decisions (Psa. 32:8); 5) opponents (Rom. 8:31); 6) affliction (Psa 34:19; Rom. 5:3-5); 7) aging (Is. 46:4); 8) dying (Rom. 14:7-9); and 9) not persevering (Phil. 1:6; Heb. 7:25).
When George Mueller was asked how he could be so calm in the middle of a hectic day with so many uncertainties in the orphanage, he answered something like, "I rolled sixty things onto the Lord this morning." When Hudson Taylor was told about missionaries in his charge being in trouble, he was heard soon after whistling his favorite hymn, "Jesus I Am Resting."
3. God pledges to carry our burdens (= "our lot").
Psalm 55:22, "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." The word for "burden" here is "lot." What is your lot in life today? What has providence brought you. This is finally of the Lord. And will carry it for you. It is not meant to crush you or carry you away. It is meant to test your trust in God to carry it for you. (See also Psa. 16:5; 63:8.)
For Amy Carmichael the "lot" was singleness. There were several chances to leave it, and take "the other life." But she heard the inner voice, No, no, no. As Elisabeth Elliot tells the story in A Chance to Die.
4. God pledges to carry the cause of justice for us.
1 Peter 2:23, "While being reviled, [Jesus] did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept handing over to Him who judges justly."
In almost every relationship of life you will be treated unjustly. "Jesus never called us to a fair fight" (George Otis). How will you not be embittered? By letting God carry your cause and settle accounts either on the cross or in hell. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay" (Rom. 12:19). Leave it to him. Prepare to be treated unjustly, whether it is someone breaking in front of you in line, or bearing false witness at the final trial of your life.
5. God pledges to carry you all your life.
Isaiah 46:3-4, "Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save." (See also Ex. 19:4; Psa. 18:35; 94:18.)
In the end the Christian life is a life of being carried from beginning to end. We work. But it is not we, but God who works within us (1 Cor. 15:10).
So come to him, all you who labor and are heavy laden and find rest for your soul. Go deep with God and know him better by venturing more on his pledge to carry you and all your concerns.