––the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.–Phil. 1:12
We live in a pressure cooker world and everyone feels the heat! Even believers are often burdened down to the point that they feel they will be crushed if relief isn’t found. No one is exempt from trials (Job 14:1). We all have our share of suffering and sorrow, but people view them and deal with them differently. Some poor souls throw their hands up in despair and quit. Others become bitter and resentful, often rebelling and resorting to destructive habits. A few, however, have learned to turn their burdens into bridges. Their burdens make them better rather than bitter.
The Apostle Paul gives us a good example as to what our attitude should be. Numerous passages tell how he benefited from his burdens. He knew God had a purpose in all that He allows to enter our life, a plan to use it for good, and the power to make it happen.
We too can benefit from our burdens. While burdens weigh heavily upon us, impeding our progress, bridges enable us to rise above difficulties and enable us to cross over into new territory. When your burden becomes a bridge it brings you to places you could have never reached by any other means. It can promote spiritual growth, protect you from danger, or put you in a place of ministry that you could never be in without it. Believe it or not you can advance through adversity, grow through grief, and benefit from your burdens.
Don’t allow your burden to become a barrier, shutting you off from the good things God planned for you. Make your burden a bridge whereby you can experience the blessings of God in your life. In other words, don’t waste your suffering. You cannot escape it, but you can embrace it and allow God to use it to make you the person He wants you to be.
Having received the promise that God’s grace would be sufficient, Paul wrote, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.”–2 Cor. 12:9-10. No doubt about it–Paul turned his burdens into bridges, so can you!