As a part of exercise many people lift weights to tone and strengthen their muscles. Some have purchased their own weights or machines to workout at home, while others make use of a local gym or the YMCA. There are benefits of that and I am guilty of not adding that important regimen to my weekly to-do-list. Yet I know a form of weight lifting which far surpassed the best ever seen in Olympic Games. In this weight lifting everyone is a winner because the strength does not come from the individual – the victory comes from the Lord. The weight lifting we are used to is for physical muscles and it means we lift the weights. This new weight lifting is for spiritual muscles and means that Jesus lifts the weights.

Jesus says to us, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]. The writer of Hebrews adds, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” [Hebrews 12:1-2a].

If I was digging a hole and you offered to give me a rest – I’d give you the shovel. If you were carrying a heavy load and I offered to give you a rest – you’d give me the weight to carry. God wants to lift some weight off of you.

Let’s give him the weight of temptation. Paul the Apostle talks about his struggle with sin in Romans 7. On his own he fell beneath that weight constantly. But then he says, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Jesus was able to give Him the strength to do what he needed to do and to avoid those things he should be doing. Jesus is the only one who can lead us not into temptation and deliver us from the evil one [Matthew 6:13]. Are you giving Him this weight to lift?

Let’s give Him the weight of sin. Even as Christians we sin and unconfessed sin becomes a weight way too heavy for us to carry. Guilt and shame have ruined too many people. And until we take our sins to Jesus they will play havoc with our minds, bodies, relationships, spiritual growth and testimony. At the cross Jesus took your sin. What’s the sense in both of you carrying that same sin? This is a weight He wants you to give to Him through confession and then let Him carry it from then on.

We can also give Him the weight of stress. Can you hear the Spirit’s voice urging you to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”? [1 Peter 5:7] We know we should but how often we carry the weight of stress way too long. I remember when our dog Benji got something in his paw and was limping around. He wouldn’t let me come close to him, even though I wanted to remove the thorn. Now be honest – are God’s shoulders broader than yours to bear the stress – are His hands larger than yours to carry the load of anxiety – is He wiser than you about how to handle the worries of your life? Then, what are you doing carrying that load? He invites you to give it to Him.

As hard as it is we need to give Jesus the weight of bereavement. On day I met a very miserable lady who was still carrying around her husband after he had been dead for 20 years. God is the only One who can take much of the weight from a grieving person’s heart. Others can do little in relieving the weight but God is a great weight lifter.

And most important we need to give Him the weight of eternity. Paul says in Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Have you trusted Him with your future? If not then that weight will eventually crush you. None of us want to carry the weight of life without God – now and forever. Let Jesus take the weight of sin, death, and hell off of you today. And Christian do you have a peace about your eternity being settled forever? 1 John 5:13 says “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” Why carry the burden of not knowing. That is a huge burden that Jesus can take from you.

James tells us “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” [James 4:10] Why not stoop down so the Lord can remove that weight from you right now and give you rest? As the song says, ‘If He carried the weight of the world on His shoulders – Then I know my brother [sister] that he will carry you”

What a Relief that is!

Pastor Steve