C H Spurgeon
Metropolitan Tabernacle, London,
19 August 1886
And now thirdly, and very briefly, WHAT WE SHOULD ENDEAVOUR TO DO.
If I read the text aright, we here have David talking to himself; and what we are to endeavour to do is, to talk to ourselves, just as David talked to himself. He says of his enemy, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart;” and so on, and then he seems to say, “Come, David, do not fret yourself like this; but cast your burden upon the Lord.” Have you not noticed how often David seems as if he were two Davids, and one David talks to the other David? It was so when he said to himself, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul; and why art thou disquieted within me?” And I want thee, dear friend, to chide thyself, and say, “Come, fretful heart, what art thou at? Cast, thy burden upon the Lord. What art thou doing? Has God forsaken thee? Has God refused to help thee? Begone unbelief, take thyself off. Come, faith, and dwell in my soul, and reign over my spirit, swaying thy gracious sceptre of peace.”
And when you have thus been chiding yourself, argue with yourself about the matter. Say to yourself, “See how the text puts it: ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord.’” Well, if it is thy burden, and God meant it for thee, then do not thou quarrel with it. And as it is thy burden, so is God thy God, the covenant-keeping God, thy Father and thy Friend. Come, my soul, cast thy burden upon thy God; where else shouldst thou put thy burden when he bids thee cast it upon him? Thou canst not sustain thyself under such a load, but God will sustain thee and thy burden, too. Think of the righteousness of God, and say, “It is impossible that the righteous God should leave the righteous to perish. If they are slandered, that is a further reason why God should take up their cause. He is their Advocate and their Defender. Come, my heart, it shall never be truly said of the Judge of all the earth that he leaves his people to perish, especially when their good name is assailed because of their fidelity to him.”
I want you, dear friends, to talk thus with yourselves, especially those of you who are rather apt to give way to despondency. There are some such here, I know. You come to me, sometimes, with your griefs, and I do the best I can to cheer you; but I have often said to myself, “That dear sister had a father who was a member with us; he used to come to me in just the same way as she does. This despondency seems to run in the blood.” Some of you must have been born in December, and you never seem to get out of that month; it is always winter with you. But now I want you just to take the language of the text, and say to yourself, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved;” and, possibly, God will bless thine own sermon to thyself more than he would bless my sermon to thee. At any rate, try it.
Lastly, — and here I want the time for a whole sermon, — let us think of WHAT WE MAY EXPECT IF WE FULFIL THE COMMAND OF THE TEXT: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord.”
There are two grand things in the text, — sustenance and sufferance. The old Puritans would have made a book about those two words, and we might preach a dozen sermons upon them, and still not exhaust their meaning. What does the Lord do with his people when they cast their burdens upon him? He gives them sustenance. “He shall sustain thee.” The word “sustain” is the same that is used when God told Elijah to go to Zarephath, saying, “Behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee,” — that is, “to feed thee,” “to nourish thee.” Perhaps that would have been a better rendering of the original: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord,” and what will he do? Deliver thee out of thy trouble? No; but he will feed thee up till thou canst carry it; and that will be an even better thing than relieving thee of the burden. Here is a dear child that has but a little load to carry, yet he staggers under it. It would be a kind thing for his father to pick up the child, and his load, too, and carry both him and his burden. But the wise father says, “I will so provide for that child that he shall grow in strength, and at last shall be able to carry his load.” “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee;” that is, “He shall feed thee; he shall nourish thee.” I believe that, when Paul was attacked by that viper that came out of the sticks, it looked a very ugly thing indeed, but Paul just shook it off into the fire. Why do you think that snake came? Why, it came to feed them all! “No,” say you, “that serpent did not do it.” It did, for the islanders said that this man was a god, and straightway they began to gather around him and his companions, and to provide for their wants with all the greater alacrity because of the reverence that they felt for the apostle. So you shall often find that what looks like a horrible thing will be the best way in which God could bless you.
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord.” “It will crush me.” No, it will not; you shall grow under it, and then grow out of it; and you shall prove the truth of those precious lines, —
“From all their afflictions my glory shall spring,
And the deeper their sorrows, the louder they’ll sing.”
Only by faith leave thy trouble with thy God, and he will nurture thee. Even out of the very rock of trouble will he feed thee, and give thee oil out of the flinty rock of thine afflictions.
Then, the other point is sufferance. I am obliged to hurry over these truths, and leave you to meditate upon them afterwards. “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Learn, from this declaration, that nothing will happen to you but what God permits. There are some things which are very grievous, which God does suffer to happen to his people; but there are other things which he will not suffer; he will never allow them to come. “No,” says he, “my child, who has walked uprightly before me, my righteous one, the man who spoke the truth, the man who did the right thing, I will not suffer that man to be moved. He may be moved as the boughs of a tree sway to and fro in the breeze, but not as the roots of a tree are torn up by a storm. He may be moved a little, like a ship riding at anchor, which just swings with the tide; but he shall not be driven out to sea, or drift on to the rocks to his destruction.”
“He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Do you catch the psalmist’s idea? It is as if God interposed, and said, “No, I will not permit that.” A father may see his child somewhat put upon, yet at first he may not interfere; but, at last, a cruel blow is struck, and he says, “No, I will not stand that. While I have an arm to defend my child, he shall not be treated in that fashion.” Well, then, leave everything with your Heavenly Father, for he will not suffer you to be moved. If you are really righteous, trusting in the Righteous One, justified by the blood and righteousness of Christ, and are doing what is right in his sight, he will not suffer you to be moved. The next time you are sorely vexed by the tongue of slander, go and tell your Father, just as the little boys tell their big brothers. Go and tell your Father all about it, and do not fret over it. If somebody has done you a great wrong, you may say to him, “I shall be obliged to refer you to my solicitor.” But after you have done that, I hope you do not go writing letters to him on your own responsibility. Refer everything to God, and leave all with him; for, so, a blessed peace will bedew your spirit, making your life on earth like the beginning of life in heaven.
In closing my discourse, I must just say that I do feel, in my inmost soul, the deepest pity for those of you who have no God to go to when you are in trouble, You have a burden to bear, but you cannot cast it on the Lord. He will suffer you to be moved, for you do not cry unto him to help you. I feel that I would rather be a dog than be a man without a God. I think I could make myself happy if I were only a mouse in its hole; but if I were a prince in a palace, without God, I should be utterly miserable. O poor hearts, if you really want him, he is to be had! If you are longing for him, his door is open to receive you. If you will come to him, he will come and meet you much more than half way; yes, all the way will he come to everyone who wills to come to him. As soon as you say, “I will arise,” he has already arisen, and is on his way to meet you. Practically, there is no distance for you to go, for he is there, waiting to welcome you. Believe in his dear Son, and live. First cast your great burden of sin upon the Lord, and then cast upon him all other burdens that he is willing to take from you; and, soon, he will put a new song into your mouth, and establish your goings. The Lord grant it, for his dear Son’s sake! Amen!
As a practitioner of Christianity,
We must be careful of idolatry.
Many a time it is a mystery,
But God will intervene mysteriously.
He wants us to be pure and holy,
That we do not sin wilfully.
Jesus Christ loves us faithfully,
Making sure that we are free from difficulties.
Sometimes as we walk carelessly,
Christ will make sure of our safety.
Even as the Lord bless us eternally,
We must submit to God’s will readily.
As we trust in the Lord completely,
Our rewards will be in eternity.
As a child of God chosen before Earth’s
We must make sure that we do not sin in
Finally, as we look to our Lord prayerfully,
Everything will turn out well and peacefully.
Written by Yao Ho
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