Let me tell you a story. There was a road, and by that road’s side was a man, carrying a very heavy burden. The burden was so heavy that the man was barely able to carry it. A cart driver passing by had mercy on that man and offered him a ride, which the burdened man accepted. After a while the cart driver looked at the man and was surprised to see that he still had the burden on his back! So he said: “I offered you a ride so that you could rest from your burden’s weight. Why do you insist on carrying it?”, to which the man answered: “You were very kind, offering me the ride, I can’t expect your animal to carry both my burden’s weight and my own!”.
Dear reader, what do you take from that story? More specifically, what do you think about that man’s behaviour? If you are smart, which I am sure you are, I’d guess you are thinking: “What an unwise man! The animal pulling the cart would be carrying his burden’s weight regardless of it being on his back or with the rest of the load.” And to that i say you are absolutely correct. But what if I told you that you may be acting just as the burdened man from our story?
It is possible that you are carrying a burden of guilt with you. Guilt from sins you have committed in the past. And, up to a point, this is acceptable; since being indulgent towards sin is not a trace of the godly character a christian must develop as he walks with Christ. However, maybe, just maybe, the weight of guilt that rests on your shoulders is greater than you can bear; and you find yourself in a situation very similar to that man’s: struggling to walk the road while a burden you can barely carry lies on your shoulders.
If you are perceptive, you are probably thinking: “Well, since the writer compared me to the burdened man, he will probably introduce someone to compare the cart driver to” to which i say: you are absolutely correct. If you are the man, the cart driver is our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now that all the “pieces” are on the table, let us start to form the picture. When we profess faith in Jesus Christ, we declare to believe that He came to the World as a man, died on the cross to pay for our sins and that He rose from the dead at the third day; ascending, after forty days, to heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father. And yes, that may seem obvious, but the fact some christians still carry guilt from the past with them reveals a lack of comprehension as to how our Lord’s precious sacrifice affects them.
What you, dear reader, need to understand is that forgiveness of sin is something that Jesus paid for when He went to the cross. That is, He offered us a ride to eternity with him without having to carry the weight of guilt. However, sometimes, we insist on carrying this unbearable burden, which He offered to free us from, and, in doing that, we put ourselves in a place of tremendous pain and might even start to doubt our own salvation; not recognizing the effectiveness of God’s grace in us.
Can you relate to this? Do you feel like you still carry a burden of guilt from the sins you have left in the past? If your answer is yes, I tell you that I completely understand the pain you are in. Believe me, I do. But, even though it might be difficult, in situations like this you need to ignore the storm raging inside of you and look to the only unfailing references we have: our Lord and his word.
Talk to our Father. It does not need to be an hour-long prayer, it could be simply: Father, I need help. In fact, you may just sit in silence and let your heart and tears do the talking. I assure you, dear reader, a few words spoken in sincerity, a couple of minutes expressing what you feel through tears may bring you closer to the Lord than you imagine.
As to the Lord’s word, please allow me to show you a couple of texts.
I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I John 2:1-2 “ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
I John 2:12 “I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.”
Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Based on all that has been said, I want to tell you this: if you believe in Jesus and accept him as your saviour, if you repented from your sin and confessed it to the Lord, if you no longer live a life of intentional sin, you are forgiven. You may, however, feel the need to confess your transgressions to someone; in which case I advise you to seek the Lord’s guidance so as to choose someone reliable and able to aid you in this process of inner healing.
Lastly, dear reader, i would like to propose you a challenge: whenever you feel like picking up that old and heavy burden, ask the Holy Spirit to do as the Scriptures say He would: testify that you are a child of the Lord (Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”). Trust the Lord’s grace and His forgiveness, and you will know true peace.
Grace, mercy and peace be with you from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.