The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

~Luke 18:34 NIV~

It’s funny how pain brings out the absolute worst in people.  At a time when the commonality of our suffering should bring us together, the pain of loss sometimes can cause a bigger rift between loved ones than many are prepared to deal with.  And so, on top of that pain we experience bitterness, anger, shame, guilt and a whole host of other emotions that effectively prevent us from healing.  And the longer we carry that pain around, the longer it takes to come to terms with our loss.  But God did not intend for us to carry around our burdens.  In 1 Peter 5:6-7, He plainly tells us to cast our cares on Him.

So, why is it so difficult to do that?  What is so hard about taking the things that hurt us and laying them at the feet of our Father?  Why do we hang onto our misery as though it were a trophy?  God allows us to go through trials as a means of advancing us toward the greater blessing.  Why then, are we so short-sighted as to claim the lesser victory and settle for our own idea of blessing when what He is preparing us to accept is so much greater?  And why am I asking so many questions if it’s all as simple as handing my problems over to Him?  The answer is simple; because at some level I lack faith.  Yes, I admit that in spite of all my efforts to believe and to hope and to follow my God, I still have moments of doubt.

These moments of doubt aren’t the result of my witnessing what I would consider failures on God’s part, they are from witnessing successes on the part of the devil.  Successes that I allow each and every time I fail to seek God’s advice in every situation.  Successes that I allow each time I permit myself to be overtaken by feelings of guilt, shame or unworthiness.  God has already fought these battles for me through the sacrifice of His Son.  And something that I heard on Creflo Dollar’s broadcast the other day captures the very reason why I should never let the devil have the satisfaction of seeing me sad or feeling like less than a conqueror.  Dr. Dollar said that every time he thought about Jesus being beaten by the guards, he couldn’t understand why Jesus just kept getting back up.  He said that the very fact that Jesus would not stay down is symbolic of His willingness to bear the entire burden of sin that was on each and every one of God’s children.  And through His suffering, He took away any requirement that ever existed for any person to live in defeat.  Yet even among those who know this truth, many Christian believers still live their lives bogged down in worry and fear.

The devil especially loves to make us think that maybe we aren’t really okay.  Long after we’ve dealt with something, prayed about it, and handed it over to God, he loves to see us reconsider and decide that we aren’t finished holding onto that pain.  Satan loves to see God’s children in a state of doubt and confusion.  And so, like a fish that finds itself trapped in a glass bowl, our souls inhabit our flesh confined by its limitations and all of the vulnerabilities that come with living out a great purpose in a package that was never meant to fit.  We are only here for a few moments in the greater scheme of things and so, it appears that God must have great faith in us to trust us to do all that He knows we can do while under constant attack from the enemy.  The very least we can do is to have that kind of faith in Him.  He knows what we are made of and how He designed us.  And He’s even given us the instructions to operate at optimum levels while slogging around down here in our earthly bodies.  So, when He says to cast our cares on Him, He truly means it.  In spite of our tendency toward going the wrong way, He remains our light on a very dark path.

  Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

~John 8:12 NKJV~

 

 

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