When should we cast our cares on Jesus, and when, instead, do we join him in his agonized praying?

I have often said that I can always tell when I have crossed the line and gone to meddling with God’s part of any situation; WHEN I FEEL OPPRESSED. Yet the Lord doesn’t say that he will not put yokes on us or ask us to carry burdens. He just said that they would not crush us. What is the difference between a burden and a stress?  Are the situations different, or is it what PART of the situation we focus on different?

Nehemiah felt so great a burden for his suffering people that he could not hide it from king Artaxerxes and God blessed him with the chance to rebuild Jerusalem. He was not torn down by his burden but found purpose and a life ministry instead. 1. If we are burdened for the pain of others and not just focused on our own pain, God gives us grace to minister into their pain.

Paul would have been willing to be, himself, estranged from God if it would save his Jewish people. 2. If we are burdened for the salvation of others and are not upset on how they won’t listen to us or respond to “our” cause, God will give us grace to pray for and witness to them.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem and the consequences they were pulling on their own heads. 3. If we weep over the damage the sinner is doing to themselves and not about how their sin hurts us, God will give us grace to reach out to them. He prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

There was the Phoenician mother burdened for her daughter, Jairus burdened for his daughter, and the soldier burdened for his servant. Ask God to give you a burden for friends and family as a good place to start. Then let your burden turn you into a prayer warrior with a good attitude but one who wrestles with God for a blessing.

If we  weep over our own sin and not over the consequences it has caused. God will give us grace to quit sinning.

Imagine that you are led out into a field and your neck is tied into one side of a huge yoke. You are told that you will need to help pull a large wagon. You are filled with dread until they bring out the largest workhorse you have ever seen and strap his neck into the other part. You realize that you will just have to walk along and let him do the pulling. It isn’t that God’s yoke is small or the burden to pull is light but that it is God’s yoke too and he provides the power, not you.

STRESS and BURDEN have the same situations to trigger us but in STRESS I am the one to fix it and my worth and security are at stake and I fuss with God’s part of the task. With a BURDEN I actively let go of God’s part of the situation and do my part.

Strength is not found in not caring, or in caring and being destroyed by it: but rather it is found in caring and pouring ourselves out for others in passionate battle against evil forces YET not being destroyed by the caring. Being CARING and CALM, PASSIONATE and PEACEFUL, DOING WITH ALL OUR MIGHT and LETTING IT GO WHEN WE HAVE DONE THE LITTLE WE CAN.

In every endeavor God’s part is in calling our attention to it, giving us he heart for it, calling us to obedience, making us worthy, equipping us, preparing the task, bringing the opportunities, providing the tools, bringing the results, giving the eternal rewards.

OUR PART? Moving my body parts in accordance to a growing vision of God’s ways in action relevant to his will and his heart. Praying for the situation. Allowing God to give us passion, remaining at peace so that God may use us without  crushing us. Remembering that in all we do our greatest goal is  to get to know Jesus more and enjoy him forever,by sharing as fellow laborers, soldiers and sufferers,



  1. This was a totally new concept to me twenty years ago when you taught it in a hospital. The freedom and peace it has given me has been central to my understanding of God and life in Christ. I ask God to give me opportunities to share it, and He is refining my delivery. Thank you for this true freedom, Dr. Bell.

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