Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. —Psalm 55:22
John Fletcher is known in history as the godly vicar of Madeley; but in 1755 he grew deeply discouraged. On Thursday, January 23, he felt so despondent he almost gave up hope. “Having continued my supplication till near one in the morning,” he told his diary, “I then opened my Bible, and fell on these words, ‘Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.’ Filled with joy, I fell again on my knees to beg of God that I might always cast my burden upon Him…. My hope was now greatly increased.”
This verse has often done the same for me. I recall learning it during my sophomore year in college, while despondent. My roommate, seeing my low spirits, showed me this verse, and it immediately struck a chord in my heart. I memorized it and have loved it ever since.
In Psalm 55 King David was distressed. A handful of people were causing him problems. We don’t know if this is strictly personal (since David was, after all, a human with all kinds of emotions) or if it involved national security (since he was also head of state). In either case he had a handful of enemies, and one of them, a close friend and ally, had betrayed him and gone to the other side. David was devastated, and that’s what occasioned this psalm (see vv. 1-3 and 12-14).
Whether it was personal, political, or both, David knew that a wound this deep had to be given over immediately and irretrievably to the Lord (see vv. 16-18). Regaining strength, he ended Psalm 55 with this exhortation to us: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you.”
An ancient Jewish rabbi was carrying a heavy load on his back when he joined an Arabian tradesman with his caravan. Looking at the rabbi, the Arab said, “Take your burden and throw it on my camel.” The rabbi later used that incident to illustrate this verse. When we cast our care on the Lord, we’re taking off our load and throwing our problems and worries onto His back.
This verse was the inspiration for a great German hymn by Georg Neumark, one that should be known by every Christian in the world: “If Thou but Suffer God to Guide Thee,” or, as the newer hymnals put it: “If You Will Only Let God Guide You.”
If thou but suffer God to guide thee, and hope in God through all thy ways, He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee, and bear thee through the evil days. Who trusts in God’s unchanging love builds on the rock that naught can move.
God hears the call of those in need, the souls that trust in Him indeed.—Georg Neumark
100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.