I PETER 5:6-9: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: How do you cast your cares upon the Lord? Have you ever noticed that some verses are easier to read than they are to do? When you are enduring an ongoing trial of faith, or an outright attack of the enemy, what does it mean to cast your cares upon the Lord?
Before we can consider that question we must understand the basic prerequisite. It is impossible to cast our cares upon the Lord if we are walking in pride. When we think of pride immediately thoughts of someone boasting and strutting their stuff comes into mind. Yet, pride can be much more than that. In fact, pride is any posture in our life other than complete surrender and trust in the Lord.
If we are trying to carry our burdens, we are walking in pride. If we are relying upon our previous experiences, we are walking in pride. Even if we are relying on our faith, and we forget the source of our faith, we are walking in pride. The first step in casting all your cares upon the Lord is to come to a place of personal brokenness. It is that place where we realize that without the Lord’s intervention all is lost. We run to His throne of mercy and grace in humility and full surrender.
When we come to this place we are ready to cast all our cares upon the Lord. The word “cast” in the Greek literally means – to “throw upon.” There needs to be a releasing on our part of that which we are holding onto so tightly. When I think of this I am reminded of the story of Peter after Jesus’ resurrection. Feeling defeated, doubting his future, Peter went back to what he knew best. Peter went back to the same boat that Jesus had called him from and set out to return to a life of fishing.
Jesus had asked Peter to let go of his nets and become a fisher of men. When we are discouraged, when a trial or attack persists, the first thing we are tempted to do is return to what we know. We run to our nets. If God is not moving – we will! If the prayer is not answered – we will give it some help! This is what Peter did. When Jesus met him at the water, Jesus did not rebuke him. Jesus asked Peter to cast his net in the water one more time.
- “And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. ” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.” John 21:6-7 NKJV
With these words, Jesus began to restore Peter from his personal denial and lapse of faith. When Peter heard these words he left the nets and the others in the boat, plunged himself into the sea, and swam to Jesus! Rest assured, this was the last time Peter ever returned to his boat! Peter had learned to let go. He had “thrown upon” Jesus all his failures, all his needs, and all his hope! At this moment Peter humbled himself and cast all his cares upon the Lord!
Jesus’ loving restoration of Peter reminds us of the truth of the words of I Peter. Who better to write them! Only a former fisherman could say with such personal testament – “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Peter plunged into the water because he remembered the awesome truth – “He cares for you!” No matter what we are facing, we are not alone. Jesus is our Great High Priest. He is always standing at the right hand of God interceding for us. He is there to bear our burden and ease our load!
Casting our cares upon the Lord is difficult. Yet, by grace it is possible. However, when we throw our burdens upon the Lord – we must leave them there! The enemy of our souls is always trying to foster fear and personal insecurity. His lies are whispered in our ears. “What if God does not answer?”, he says. “What if nothing ever changes?”, he persists. “If you don’t pick up your burden and do something about it, nothing will ever change!”, he insists. Peter knew this battle all too well. This is why he writes,
- “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
How do we resist the enemy – steadfast in our faith? In this context the answer is we leave our cares at the foot of the cross. We cast them upon the Lord and we wait for His grace to meet our need. We refuse to take them up again. And, we realize that in this struggle we are not alone. Every child of God is going through this same experience to one degree or another. An old chorus echoes this truth very well.
“You’re not the Lone Ranger, don’t listen to the devil’s lies.
You’re not the Lone Ranger, so go ahead and dry your eyes.
You know Jesus walked this earth, and He’s been right where you are.
You’re not the Long ranger after all!”
If we humble ourselves before the Lord. If we “throw upon” Him all of our cares, knowing that He truly cares for us. And, if we refuse to pick them up again and try to solve them in our own wisdom and strength – God promises us His victory!
- “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 5:10-11 NKJV
Lord, this morning, I humble myself before You. I confess that I have laid my burdens down, only to pick them up again. I, like Peter, have returned to my boat. I need Your grace to truly “throw upon” You all of my cares. Lord take them from me. Grant me grace and faith to resist the temptation to pick them up again. And, give me the blessed assurance of Your victory in Jesus Christ my Lord!
In Jesus Name!