Casting Your Cares Upon God

Rev. Kortering is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Grandville, Michigan.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

I Peter 5:6, 7

Care!

How destructive cares can be.

How marvelous caring can be.

There is good care; there is bad care.

Our passage under consideration deals with both. Our cares are bad. Hence, get rid of them; cast all your cares upon Him. Why should we do this? Because He, that is, God, cares for you. These words read literally, “Casting all your anxiety (care) upon Him, for it matters to Him (He cares) concerning you.”

What a word of encouragement! Cast your anxiety upon God, for it matters to Him.

It is obvious that the things which give rise to our anxieties (cares) are very important to us. In the context, the inspired Peter is writing to saints who had big concerns. In the preceding chapter, I Peter 4:12, he cautions them about fiery trials that are coming upon them. The entire epistle is directed to the “strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” He assures them that they are begotten unto an inheritance which will not fade away, and that they are kept by the power of God unto that day. This means much to them, since they are now for a season in heaviness, through manifold temptations which try their faith (I Peter 1:1-7). These Christians were suffering for their refusal to worship Caesar. They could not worship Jehovah and Caesar, but only Jehovah; and this brought opposition from the authorities, social conflicts. They were driven from their homes and places of work. Their families were separated and many of them were imprisoned and even slain. They knew poverty and famine as well. No wonder they were anxious and filled with cares.

There are many saints of God in our day who can identify with these early Christians. Persecution rages throughout the world. Some of this is among us as well. When husbands or wives abandon their spouses and families, they leave them hurt and wanting. When trouble disrupts the church, fellow saints can be terribly cruel in the way they treat each other. Besides this, we have the usual concern for our needs. We think of many things which can interfere with our usual pattern of living. The economy, for example, can change, and many of us feel the effects of the recession now. Job security is important to us, for we need money to meet our needs and the needs of our families. We can so quickly be thrown into an emergency situation: our health can change; we may face mounting hospital bills; we can lose loved ones in death. We face the threats of war, the rise of the Antichrist, and all the suffering that that involves as described for us in the Bible. The church today has many things of concern.

These things become cares when we are affected inside. The word “care” means, literally, to cut to pieces. When the things which take place in our lives cut us to pieces inside, they become cares. We begin to worry, we feel unsettled, and even anxious.

If we allow these cares to stay inside, we will suffer needlessly. Hence Peter says, “Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you.” To cast is to throw off. The idea is that one consciously analyzes his inner self and comes to terms, with worry, identifies it, and throws it heavenward to get rid of it by committing his way to God.

That means that we will give up the control of our lives.

That is the issue!

We worry because we do not want God to have His way with us.

At bottom, that is nothing but perverse PRIDE.

God sees it this way. The Holy Spirit led Peter to write these words, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God.” Did you read that correctly? Humble yourselves. That is our problem with worry: we worry because we are not humble enough. If we are honest with ourselves, we will understand this clearly. We want things our way, we want a certain job, we want a certain amount of money, we want a certain house, we want certain friends, we want life our way, we want CONTROL! And if we don’t get it we cry out, WHY? Why do I have this disease? Why do I have this trouble in my life? Why should I lose my job? When we are really in bad spiritual shape, we even challenge God to explain it clearly or we threaten to abandon Him.

No wonder we have so many cares, so much worry.

Humble yourselves. We must see ourselves in relation to our God. To humble ourselves is to admit how finite we are, how sinful, how helpless, how undeserving. To humble ourselves is to empty ourselves of any self-worth. It is to crucify the old man. It is to die to ourselves as the only way that we can live unto the Lord.

In verse 5, the immediately preceding verse, we read, be clothed with humility, wear it like a garment which covers our entire being and life. Our life is not what we want it to be. Our life is one of service to God. The issues of life are not luxury, ease, earthly comforts, but rather obedience, doing the will of our Heavenly Father, delighting in fellowship with Him and with His saints.

Such humility will enable us to face our cares and to get rid of them not by pushing them deeper inside our own souls and by trying to repress all fear, doubt, and worry. Nor will we try to rid ourselves of them by going to some therapist and talking hours on end about our problems, though this maybe helpful in order to identify why we are afraid and worry so much. The divine answer is that we throw them heavenward! We cast all our worries upon God.

How can we let go of our cares?

Listen: He tells us of His “mighty hand,” and, “He careth for you.” We will never let go and give our worries to God unless we trust Him. The deepest issue here is the strength of our faith.

My beloved reader, you can trust your God.

His hand is mighty. The hand is the part of the human body which functions as the instrument to get things done. The dexterity of the human hand is amazing, from that of the carpenter who wields the hammer, to that of the surgeon who performs delicate nerve surgery. God uses this human language to describe His relationship to us. His hands formed the dry land as the Creator God. His hands uphold the universe in massive strength. His hand touches every moving vehicle and controls the driver to do exactly what He wants him to do. His hand reaches within our bodies when viruses invade. The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and He turns it whithersoever He will. His hand carries out His sovereign will as He sends forth the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Don’t you see, beloved, how wrong worry is? We want control. No, God says, cast your cares upon Me! I have control.

There is more, “I care for you.” It isn’t enough for us to commit our way to God because He is so powerful. We have to believe that He exercises this power in love for us. What good are mighty hands if the person is a murderer or an evil one. He uses all that strength to destroy. But our God has both mighty hands and a good heart. It matters to Him what is going on in our lives. This is true because He loves us. Don’t forget how the inspired Peter described this love in the opening verses of this letter (1:1-7). He elected us according to His foreknowledge. That means that in love He chose us to be His own. He sprinkled the blood of Jesus upon the cross for us. Remember, Jesus is God’s own Son. If you ever question God’s love, think of the care God showed to us at Calvary. In love He raised Jesus from the dead and set Him at His own right hand so that He now exercises all His divine control through Him. He cares for us by giving to us faith. We are begotten unto a living hope. He cares for us by keeping us in that hope by His own Spirit, “the power of God.”

The mighty God cares for us. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

Let’s cast our worries upon Him. The result will be a worry free life and great peace with God.

How do we actually throw those cares heavenward?

First, it does not mean that we abandon our responsibilities to deal with the issues of life. If we are worrying about paying bills, we must try to get the best job we possibly can. We must either increase our income or control our spending. That takes wisdom and careful planning in our lives. If we have a disease, we seek good medical advice and help. If we need psychotherapy we will avail ourselves of the best help we can. If we are having marriage problems we will seek our pastor’s help.

Secondly, we will do all this seeking Jehovah. Prayer is the way in which we consciously throw away our worries. By prayer our souls are brought into the exalted presence of the mighty God who loves us. It helps us view our present circumstances in the light of His presence. We will confess our sins to Him, ask for His sustaining presence, make it our specific request that for Jesus’ sake He will take away our anxious care, our worry, our doubts and fears. It is so important that we do this with our Bibles open. We approach God in prayer with His promises clearly upon our souls.

Casting our cares is not a once-in-a-lifetime act. It must be our daily activity. The more we worry, the more we need to pray.

The promise is, “He will exalt you in due time.”

It may take awhile. The immediate answer is seen in a deeper sense of contentment. We understand that even the difficulties of this present time contribute to our drawing closer to our God. We receive the grace to bear our responsibilities, to continue in our place of service. We know deep within our heart that God is good to us, no matter what our present circumstances may be.

In due time, He exalts us with His presence in glory. Then we will be vindicated of our enemies, we will receive the promised inheritance, and we shall be better able to serve our blessed God.

Do you have cares, worries?

Cast them heavenward . . . and be at peace.