A very good morning to you my precious family and friends.
1 Peter 5 verse 7 says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
God wants each born again believer to live a life free from worry. But that’s a lot harder to do than we might think. It’s really easy to want to take the struggles, worries and concerns of life on ourselves. When we do that, we make ourselves unhappy and stressed out. We weren’t built to handle the stress of life on our own.
We have been told by the Lord that we cannot manage our daily problems on our own, and this is a severe blow to our self-ego and fleshly-pride, which is rooted in the old sin nature. We are told that strength will be freely given, when we admit our weaknesses and inabilities, and we are charged to hand over all our cares and disappointments to the Lord, who has promised to bear all our burdens because of His loving-kindness and tender mercy towards us.
When the cares and concerns of this world are given to the Lord in humility of heart, He pours into that life His peace that passes all understanding, and we discover we have a godly wisdom, an enlarged faith, supernatural love, and His sufficient grace, despite the circumstances that hem us in on every side.
But how do we cast our burdens on Him? How do we give Him our anxieties and concerns? Well, it all comes back to trusting all that the Lord has promised in His precious Word, and expecting Him to fulfil His Word. We are to expect Him to answer our prayers, but He will do so in His time and in His way - for our greater benefit and for His greater glory.
This verse doesn’t tell us that we won’t experience worry and stress in life, but it does tell us what to do about it. We are challenged to give our worry to God. The great thing about giving something away is that we no longer have it. And that is what we are to do with worry. We are to give it to God and no longer carry it in our life. When we give our worries and cares to God it frees us up to enjoy life. We can sit back and relax knowing that God is always going to take care of us.
We all face difficulties, testing’s -- and sometimes persecution and suffering. All these cause stress. We worry, we fret, we forget to trust God. One of the most important lessons of the Christian life is found in this short verse from the apostle Peter's. Peter recalled a similar verse from Psalm 55:22 as the basis of his instruction: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."
Let's look carefully at the words Peter uses.
"Care" is the Greek noun merimna, "anxiety, worry, care" come from the verb merimnaō, "be apprehensive, have anxiety, be concerned." Jesus had taught His disciples something similar in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6 verses 33-34. His listeners were worried about food and clothing. Jesus pointed them to the birds and the flowers, and then said: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry (merimnaō) about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." So my friends, don't worry, trust God.
The verb in Peter's instruction- "Cast" is the Greek verb epiriptō, which means, "to propel something from one place to another, or throw." Then it means "to transfer one's concerns, cast upon." This is a very active word. We can think of it in terms of "throw," "propel," "eject," "remove violently," "send worry as a projectile far from you." So often we nurse our fears. We welcome them, we nurture and dwell upon them several times each day. At night we allow them to haunt our sleep. Peter tells us to "propel" them to God. We do that through prayer. Paul teaches us in Philippians 4 verse 6: "Do not be anxious (merimnaō) about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
We must come to the point where we do not allow anxiety and fear to grip us. Instead we covenant to throw our fears on God in prayer. We refuse to pamper and nurse them any longer. Instead, like Willie Le Roux, the Springbok fullback making a perfect lateral pass to Cheslin Kolbe the fast wing - we can throw our fears to God in prayer!
Peter also tells us about God's concern for us. He cares for us. What Peter is saying is that you/me – we can insert our name -- are an object of concern to God. We aren't by ourselves. We don't have to keep our worries. God Himself is concerned for our welfare. God Himself wants you and I to be whole and healthy. God Himself feels your pain and sadness. God Himself paid the penalty for our sins and has set us free from condemnation. God Himself cares for you and me! Wow!
To humble ourselves is to just put our lives in God's hands and trust Him. It's like getting into a car someone else is driving. You don't want to get in the car of a stranger who may be untrustworthy. But God loves you more than you love yourself and desires the best for you, so you can trust Him. God knows how to drive and what is needed to get us where we need to go. Since He loves you enough to die for you, surely you can trust Him with smaller issues.
It is often difficult to understand that God is fulfilling His plan in our lives, especially during tough times. Many years after Joseph was sold into slavery, he recognised that God had been with Him through it all. Likewise, God is with us through every step of our life's journey. In our present circumstances, difficult as they might be, we can rest assured that God is busy working out His perfect plan for our lives. Life's darkest moments can become a testimony of God's perfect purpose for our lives.
Although things may not be clear to you now, and things may not seem to be working out, God is trustworthy. So don't depend on your own understanding, but trust in God. He knows what He is doing, and He loves you. You will understand better later on.
If we are going through a tough time right now, we can say this: I need God's help, so I throw all my concerns over on Him, trusting Him to work it all out for the best.
The Lord is working in each of our lives from an eternal perspective and we are to develop the attitude that Christ demonstrated throughout His earthly life, as He submitted to the Father. 'Thy will be done in my life', was His heartfelt prayer.
Rarely does the answer happen the way we expect, when we submit to His will, the Lord will always carry the burdens of those that approach Him with a spirit of trust and a heart of humility. And in His grace, He aligns our will to His will and the delights of His heart become our very own heartfelt longings.
We need to come to a point when we humbly admit our inadequacy, before we can benefit from His super-sufficiency. We need to invite the Lord into every compartment of life and not exclude Him from any cherished sphere or withhold any embarrassing secret. We need to give the little problems we encounter, that seem so insignificant as well as the great burdens that weigh us down and we need to entrust Him with any physical, material and emotional burdens as well as our spiritual trials and testing’’.
Being called to cast all our anxieties on Him, does not mean giving Him selective burdens while withholding others. He cares about each compartment of life and can minister to every hurt, every difficulty and every foolish mistake we make.
May we never doubt the integrity and truth of God's Word, for what He has promised He will fulfil. May we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us at the proper time - and may we cast ALL our anxiety on Him, because He cares for each one of His blood-bought children.
So take those things that concern you to God every day. Let Him help you carry your concerns and worries. Put those things on Him and let Him deal with them. You aren’t built to carry them and you don’t need to. So put your trust in God and know that He is fighting for you. Do your best and trust God to do the rest!
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, I confess that for too long I have depended on my own sufficiency and tried to work out my own problems in my own self-sufficient strength, but I thank You, Father-God, that You care so much for me that I can cast all my burdens on You and give You all the hurts, disappointments, and worries that seem to be flooding my life today. Thank You that I have the sure knowledge that You have promised to carry every anxiety and pain. I admit, dear Father, that I am weak in myself, but praise You that I can draw on Your amazing strength today and in all the days that lie ahead, in Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
Much love to you in Christ from Maurice and Margaret