The last time I spoke I talked about the covenant we enjoy with God. This is not a contract, it is a relationship with the most high himself.

God has always wanted to relate to us, because we are his highest creation, and the very last thing He created. He really did save the best for last.

How do we know God wants this relationship? We only have to read Genesis to see God and Adam walking through the garden in the cool of the evening.

Think of Enoch, the man who was not. God so enjoyed his company that He simply walked Enoch straight into Heaven! Why? Because He was enjoying spending time with one of His children.

Can you picture the scene? The sun setting slowly in the West, and a golden glow lighting up the sky. Enoch turns to God and says, well you made that right. That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. God turns to Enoch and says, how would you like to walk a little further with me? Enoch says, of course, I love these walks more than anything. Off they go, into the sunset, and before Enoch is aware he’s standing in heaven! I’m sure he said something like, well God, I thought you did your best work with that sunset, but this is amazing.

Wouldn’t you be happy to be in that place with Him?

Knowing that He will come and spend time with you whenever you want? He’s never too busy, His diary is never too full, he is the maker of time and He is not controlled by it. It helps, of course, if you’re omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

Turn with me to 1 Peter5: 6-7

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

He cares about you. And me. We all know this life can be full of troubles and problems, but God cares for you. Don’t you feel lighter when you hear that? Don’t you think, well if God cares for me, what am I worried about? Spurgeon said we should not dishonour our faith by always wearing a look of concern.

There is a type of believer that you can meet in most churches you go into.

You can always tell who they are, because they have a face as long as a horse and a sour look that says, come near me and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the church/world/government/ me/you/or anything else you want to put in there.

They are walking under a load that is too much for them to bear, but all they can do is moan about it. That’s all they know HOW to do.

Because that’s all they know, they become experts in moaning.

Where were they when we learned this little song.

Turn your eye upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow faintly dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Go back a little further.

Burdens are lifted at calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Calvary (lifted at Calvary), Calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Burdens are lifted at calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Jesus is very near.

All of us at different times in our lives stagger beneath the burdens of the world. We have all known debt, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, maybe even addictions that have such a stranglehold it seems as if we can never be free of them until we are in the grave.

Do you think God can not take the weight of what we carry? He can lift the burdens of the whole world without feeling the weight.

So what do we do when life starts to weigh us down? We start to wear a long face, and drag ourselves around looking for sympathy.

Do you know, that what seems to you to be an unbearable weight seems like no more than a speck of dust to our Father?

One of our problems is that when we are carrying whatever the world or the enemy has put on our shoulders, we are too impatient to be rid of it! I know that sounds strange, but often we can think that God has forgotten us, but that’s not the case. Not one soul is overlooked by Him. The real problem is that our timing is not His. We want it now.

We have to remember what James said in his letter to the Jewish people.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

If you remember, that was the last sermon of 2019, and I said then that patience is actually a weapon that we can use against the devil.

Sadly, so many of us don’t know the value of patience. We live in a world of instant gratification, where we can shop 24/7, contact friends, and strangers, online at any time and live out a fantasy life playing online games. All these things and more are instantly accessible except when a glitch happens. Maybe your page is taking 10 seconds longer to load, your facebook is too slow so you can’t post. Let’s see how patient you are when you’re staring at the blue circle of doom as your iplayer tries to buffer so you can watch Strictly. I have seen people crying because their signal is too weak, or they can’t get emails because the server is down.

Patience is something we lose when we are suffering, but we should always remember this-God has not forgotten you, He has not overlooked you and He will not ignore your situation.

What use is it to sit in the mud and weep? Where will that get you, apart from wet and dirty? We were not made to sit in the dirt and moan our fate, but we are meant to hope, and keep on hoping.

Another hymn says

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

If we are not meant to weep and wail, what are we meant to do?

Take up the weapons of faith against the problems you have, and with God’s help you will overcome.

Because we are designed and created to be overcomers, not beasts of burden. We are soldiers in the army of the Lord and He has equipped us with a number of weapons.

You can find them in Ephesians 6, or on the wall behind you.

My favourite is the sword of the Lord, the Word of God. Jesus used that sword to defeat Satan in the wilderness and you can use it too. Any believer can, but you have to know something about the Word first. If you don’t, it’s like going into battle with a sheath but no sword.

In the darkest of circumstances, God can still shine a light into your heart.

God’s eye is on you, His heart is filled with pity for your grief and His all-powerful hand will bring you the deliverance you need, at a point in time that He has decided, not us. If you are one of His children, God will bind up your wounds and heal your broken heart.

Just because we have troubles, we should never doubt His love, and that love accompanies us in times of trouble as well as times of joy.

Imagine what life could be like if we left the providing to Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides! Elijah did that, (1 Kings 7:7-16) and a little oil in the jar and no more than a handful of flour, he and the widow survived the famine. We can do the same.

If God cares for you, what do you need to care about? He stands ready and waiting, to take your load of your shoulders and free you from anxiety and worry.

We serve a gracious God, and He delights in us so much that He sent His only Son to be born a human being in order to fulfil the covenant made between Him and us.

God loves us so much He sent His son to die for us, so we can have fellowship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Did Jesus bring our burdens? I’ve heard that said before. The answer is no. Emphatically no. Jesus carried our burdens, he did not bring them. Look at Matthew 11:28 Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Jesus came for one reason only

So that we can come through the curtain and touch the throne of God and be seated with Him, and be in relationship with Him. He is a relational God who loves all His children, despite our flaws and failings.

I don’t know what is troubling you today, but I know this; God stands with His arms open, ready to take your burdens from you so you can walk upright, not dragging your chin in the dust and dirt. The question is, will you give those troubles to Him?