Jesus Christ offers freedom to all who come unto him. Setting ourselves free will not be easy, but we will not have to bear our burdens alone.
In Luke 9 of the New Testament, Jesus Christ implores us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow him. I used to wonder what this invitation meant—does Christ want us to suffer on our path to discipleship as he did on his to Calvary?
Further gospel study led me to a BYU devotional that proved that I was wrong. Christ’s appeal to us is intimate; it is a call to each of us to stand up to our most personal, most inhibiting demons and to choose freedom in Christ.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland offers his thoughts on bondage and freedom in his devotional “Borne Upon Eagles’ Wings.” Elder Holland observes that oftentimes we find ourselves incapacitated by things we feel we cannot control: a mental illness or physical handicap, an environment we did not choose, a lack of opportunity, a world full of sin and temptation. However, he urges us to take advantage of the Lord’s mercy when we feel chained in place on our journey to salvation.
We reap what we sow: a timeless adage affirmed by Elder Holland. He urges us to reap tirelessly, especially when it seems we will sow nothing. This, he says, is faith. It is faith in the justice and mercy of God that is central to God’s plan of salvation.
The trials we face are real. They are daunting. Sometimes, they are more powerful than we are on our own.
But, we are never alone.
There is not a cross in this life that Christ expects us to bear on our own. He will never leave us trapped under the weight of seemingly hopeless circumstances. He is waiting beside us, ready to catch, comfort, lift, and repeat. Surely, he will not make our burdens disappear completely; but, as Elder Holland testifies, for as long as we lean on Christ, we will be free.
Read more about relying on the Lord’s strength in Elder Holland’s full talk, “Borne Upon Eagles’ Wings.”
Source: BYU Speeches
—Tori Hamilton, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY ROWAN HUEVEL
Find more insights
Learn more about taking up your cross in Elder Marvin J. Ashton’s talk “Carry Your Cross.”