Thursday, January 26, 2006

How to Cast Your Cares

Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Some people “drown their sorrows” in alcohol when they encounter difficulties in their life. Some people chain-smoke to “calm their nerves.” Others, when things are not going well, head to the refrigerator for “comfort food.”

God has a better idea. Instead of drowning your sorrows, cast all your cares on Him. The Greek word for “cast” means to fling, toss, hurl in a sudden motion.

There are two different Greek words for “care” in this verse. The first one refers to the distractions and anxieties of life that so often eat away at us, sapping our strength and destroying our peace of mind. These are the cares we are to quickly heave over onto Him.

The second word for care speaks of the interest or concern one person has for another person or thing. God has a great interest and concern for us and our well-being. He invites us to freely cast all our worries and concerns upon Him, for He desires to manifest His love and grace, and take care of us in every way. Those things that are anxious distractions to us are no problem for Him. He is not distracted or overwhelmed at all by them, but has already prepared the solution for each one.

Whenever care or concern comes into your heart, take it quickly to Him. Let it be no more on you, but totally upon Him. He can cope. Nothing is too big for Him to handle or too small for Him to care.

Here are some practical ways to cast your cares on Him:

1. Humble yourself before God. That is the point of the verse immediately preceding the one we are considering. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). Realize that it is all about Him and not about you. Quickly yield yourself to Him in every matter and abandon yourself completely to His will, for that is exactly where your solution will be found. Give yourself to Him and say, “Yes, Lord” and “Thank You, Lord.”

2. Trust in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has a promise to the righteous: “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). And who are the righteous? All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ. “For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

3. Keep your thoughts focused on the LORD. The prophet understood the importance of this. He said, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3). Whatever you focus on is what you will become dependent upon. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

4. Do not speak words of worry. Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Matthew 6:31). Notice that worry is exercised and expressed by what we say. Jesus says don’t do it. Worry is meditating on the lies of the devil. When we speak words of worry, we are giving voice to the thoughts of the enemy. It will do nothing to solve your problem, but will only increase the burden of your heart.

5. Speak only words of faith. It is not enough just to refrain from words of worry, although that will help keep your situation from deteriorating. You must go a step further and replace words of worry with words of faith. Jesus told Jairus, “Do not be afraid, only believe” (Luke 8:50). Notice the declaration of the psalmwriter: “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust” (Psalm 91:2). Just as worry and fear are exercised by our words, the same thing is true of faith. Jesus said, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23). Search out the promises of God’s Word. Let them fill your heart and mouth, then speak them over everything that concerns you.

When troublesome thoughts and cares try to enter your heart, don’t drown your sorrows. Instead, cast them quickly upon the Lord, for He will not allow you be moved, but will sustain and establish you.