You cannot cast your cares on Jesus without a biblical worldview. Often, when we are dealing with a problem that has us worried, a friend will remind us of 1 Peter 5:7, which says, “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” Though it is a great verse, we rarely know what to do with it. How do we cast our cares on Jesus? Of course, our first thought is prayer, and it is an excellent thought. As we pray, we say something like this, “Lord, life hurts right now. I need you to take care of the problems I am facing. I am casting my cares on you as your word says. Please take them from me.” This prayer is an excellent start, and I recommend it or something similar for anyone facing adversity. The problem is our expectations are often unbiblical; instead of leaving our burdens with God, all we did was give some slack to the rope that binds us to them.
As we walk away from the Throne of Grace, we think, “maybe God will take care of this,” and since the rope tying us to our burden is no longer as tight, we start to feel a little better. However, if God decides not to end our trial immediately, that rope begins to lose its slack. Before we know it, we are dragging those cares around once again. The problem is, when scripture tells us to cast our care on him, it is not telling us to bring our concerns to him so he can make them go away. Instead, it is telling us not to be anxious even while the problems exist. After all, if God removed all our problems, we would have no cares to cast on him.
The verse tells us the fundamental reason we are to give our burdens to God is that he cares for us. Since he cares for us, we must quit trying to be God and trust he knows what is best for us. Our problem is that we tend to think we know better than God how he should care for us. Therefore, we grow restless when he does not remove our adversities.
Refusing to trust God in our trials is an act of pride. Pride is why the preceding verse tells us to “humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6).” Carrying our own anxieties is an overestimation of our might and wisdom. It says, “I know how things should be, and I am powerful enough to control the world around me.” That is a delusion. Here are a few things you cannot control. You cannot control the outcome of the medical test. You cannot change the attitude of the person at work that sees you as an adversary. You cannot make the needed resources appear out of nowhere. You cannot always change a governing official’s sinful policies. Sometimes, you cannot stop the foreclosure. Sometimes you cannot keep the marriage together, and sometimes, you cannot keep a child from abandoning the faith. Should we work toward all those things? Yes, but we should never do it from the attitude that if things do not go the way we want them, all will be lost. Again, quit trying to be God by assuming you know best what his care should look like. It is futile and exhausting.
1 Peter 5:6 gives us one more reason we should humble ourselves under God’s hand besides the fact that he is mighty. It says to do so, “so that at the proper time he may exalt you.” We are correct to desire to be exalted in Christ, and he has promised to do so; our challenge is that we do not like the phrase, “at the proper time.” We think that if God cared for us, he would do it now. We must understand, not only does God care for us when we are facing hardships, the hardships are part of his plan for exalting us.
Joseph was sold into slavery to save the people of God in a time of famine. King David was laid low with the consequences of his sin with Bathsheba, partly so he would call out to God by writing the Psalms, which are the very words of God and still ministers to us all these years later. And Paul was thrown in prison by a corrupt government so he could preach the Gospel to the entire Praetorian Guard. God’s mighty hand orchestrated all these hardships to fulfill his purposes, and your difficulties are part of his plan too, Christian.
Understanding that God controls the trials he allows in our lives, and the trials themselves are part of his care for us is the only way to cast our cares on him properly. It is the only way to cut the cord that binds us to our burdens. Therefore, cast all your cares on him: personal cares, family cares, work cares, cares for the present, cares for the future, and your cares for the church. Quit trying to carry it yourself. You will break under the load. Be humble and trust that God knows what he is doing no matter what you are facing.
Christian, his heart toward you is one of love and compassion. He loves you so much he died to save you from your sins. You are in his care, and even the trials you are facing are doing his excellent work. Let out a big sigh of relief, cast your cares on him, and rest in this truth. He will exalt you in due time, and the greatest fulfillment of that promise will not be in this life. It will be when we stand with him in glory. Even when God decides it is time for us to face our final enemy, death, know it will be his love and care in action bringing us home to be with him forever. We must continue to grow in the biblical understanding of our great God and his sovereignty over our lives. That is the only way to cast our cares on him.