ALL YOU ANXIETY
UPON HIM: pasan ten merimnan humon epiripsantes (AAPMPN) ep auton: (1Sa
1:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; 30:6; Ps 27:13,14; 37:5; 55:22;
56:3,4; Mt 6:25,34; Lk 12:11,12,22; Php 4:6; Heb 13:5,6)
Related Resources: Anxious?
Jesus' discussion on Worry/Anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount -
For a small booklet click
What Can I Do With My Worry?
When Fear Seems Overwhelming:
Finding Courage and Hope)
here for 26 Illustrative Stories on "Fear" from
Our Daily Bread
= upon + rhípto = cast) means to throw or cast upon. To throw
something upon something else, e.g., throw clothes on an animal for
riding (Lu 19:35, the only other NT use)
that the verb
is a participle (ends in "-ing") making it dependent upon verse
six and therefore becoming one of the means by which we humble
ourselves. What could inhibit us from doing this? Pride can keep you
from being willing to humble yourself in this way. You say "I'll do it
my way." But God's care comes when we humble ourselves and trust in
and depend upon His
grace. And we are humble when we depend on God's grace to live the
Christian life. Peter earlier said to
"let those also who suffer
according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful
Creator" (1Peter 4:19)
is in the
aorist tense which Vincent says denotes "an
act once for all; throwing the whole life with its care on Him."
We must once and for all give all of our cares—past, present, and
future—to the Lord. The literal picture is seen in
Luke 19:35 where
(the colt) to Jesus, and they threw their coats on
the colt and put Jesus on it."
They did not
throw pieces of their coat on the colt but the "all" of the coat.
How did Paul say
to "cast your cares upon God"? In his epistle to the Philippians, Paul
exhorted them to
"Worry about nothing; pray about everything."
That is, take it
to the Lord in prayer, and leave it there! Don’t pick it up again.
Similarly believers are to cast
"all" (the whole in its entirety) of their care upon Him.
The emphasis is not on casting each individual anxiety, but on casting
the whole of one's life upon the Lord. Stated another way, Peter does
not say to be "casting the big burdens and keeping the little ones!"
We all need to come to the place where we realize that
God is all sufficient for all problems
that may come into our lives. No heartache, difficulty or problem is
too difficult for the plan of God. No sin is too great for the plan of
God. Beloved, our heavenly Father is willing and able to carry our
heaviest (and lightest) burdens but before we can experience God's
sufficiency, we need to acknowledge our insufficiency to live the
Christian life. Is there some anxiety you carrying just now, dear
child of God? What is your heartache? What grief do you bear today?
What disappointment? What hurt feeling? Whatever the burden, go to His
throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace by casting it upon
Him, for He does not want you to carry that burden.
Peter is probably quoting from
the psalm which
Cast your burden (releasing the weight of it) upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the
righteous to be shaken (made to slip, fall or fail). (Ps
Spurgeon comments: Thy
burden, or what thy God lays upon thee, lay thou it upon the Lord. His
wisdom casts it on thee, it is thy wisdom to cast it on Him. He cast
thy lot for thee, cast thy lot on Him. He gives thee thy portion of
suffering, accept it with cheerful resignation, and then take it back
to Him by thine assured confidence.
He shall sustain thee. Thy bread shall be given thee, thy waters shall
be sure. Abundant nourishment shall fit thee to bear all thy labors
and trials. As thy days so shall thy strength be.
He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. He may move like the
boughs of a tree in the tempest, but He shall never be moved like a
tree torn up by the roots. He stands firm who stands in God. Many
would destroy the saints, but God has not suffered it, and never will.
Like pillars, the godly stand immoveable, to the glory of the Great
from merizo = to divide or
draw different directions - which is exactly what anxiety does
to most of us!) refers to a care (the sole way it is translated
in the KJV) or concern and so to care for someone or something. It is
often used in a negative sense and thus is translated as "worry".
From the origin, one can see that merimna describes the state
of "being pulled apart.” Thus when circumstances are difficult, it is
easy to let oneself be dominated by anxiety and worry.
is used 6 times in the NT (Matt. 13:22; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 8:14; 21:34;
2Co. 11:28; 1 Pet. 5:7)
and is translated KJV (6) - care, 6 and NAS (6) - anxiety, 1; concern,
1; worries, 3; worry, 1 There are 5 uses in the Septuagint - Esther
1:1; Job 11:18; Ps. 55:22; Prov. 17:12; Da. 11:26
God does not make His children
carefree (Ed note: freedom from anxiety producing situations)
in order that they be careless.
has an excellent summary of
word study) and merimna noting that...
When used by the Greeks concerning
the future...both came to connote anxious expectation.
When used of the present, the words expressed an aching sense of
grief. The meaning of any term, however, is defined by the way it
is used. It is the way that Jesus and the writers of the Gospels and
Epistles, guided by the Holy Spirit, used words that filled them with
their biblical meaning...But while it is legitimate to have concerns
that we will at times experience as demanding pressures, there is a
limit to their legitimacy. The "worries of this life" may so dominate
our attention that they make God's Word unfruitful in our lives (Mt
13:22; Mark 4:19). The pressures of legitimate concerns can cause us to
so focus on worldly matters that we forget to relate our needs and our
worries to the Lord...By linking legitimate concerns to God, believers
are freed from anxiety and worry. This freedom allows us to
concentrate on seeking God's kingdom and his righteousness, knowing
that "all these things will be given to [us] as well." So Jesus
concludes, "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
What the pagan Greeks experienced as anxious concern over a tomorrow
they could not control, the believer who knows God as a loving Father
can experience in calm confidence. Released from fears about tomorrow,
we can concentrate on doing God's will today, as obedient subjects of
a kingdom over which the Almighty rules.
The Gospels recognize the tendency
of legitimate human concerns to lead to a loss of perspective; we can
forget God and adopt a pagan materialism that looks ahead anxiously
and concentrates on running after the material things that seem to
offer security. In order to avoid this tendency, believers must orient
life to God and realize that life's meaning is to be found in living
as subjects who are responsive to their loving, wise, and powerful
Both anxiety and worry spring from
natural and legitimate concerns that are part of life in this world.
But legitimate concerns are handled wrongly when they do one or more
of the following: (1) become dominating concerns in our life and lead
to fear, (2) destroy our perspective on life and cause us to forget
that God exists and cares, or (3) move us to drift into an attitude of
constant worry and concern over a future that we cannot control.
Jesus deals with anxiety by calling us to an awareness of God. God
does exist, and he cares. He is aware of our needs and is committed to
meet our needs. Remaining aware of God frees us from the tyranny of
things. It enables us to focus our lives on our relationship with God
and go on living a righteous and productive life.
The Epistles add to our understanding by pointing out that areas of
legitimate anxiety exist even for the strongest of believers. But the
pressures of even legitimate concerns are not to dominate us or to
make us habitually anxious, worried people. We escape by using anxiety
creatively. This means that we must recognize the feelings of pressure
and concern as a call to prayer. We should immediately turn to God to
lay our needs and the needs of others before him. We then turn back to
live our lives encompassed by his peace. Anxiety, rather than drawing
us away from God, draws us to Him and thus fulfills His purpose for it
in our lives.(Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency) (Bolding added)
Louw & Nida
comment that merimna describes
"a feeling of apprehension or
distress in view of possible danger or misfortune. The term merimna
may refer to either unnecessary worry or legitimate concern. The
equivalent of ‘worry’ may be expressed in some languages in an
idiomatic manner, for example, ‘to be killed by one’s mind’ or ‘to be
pained by thinking.’ (Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. Greek-English Lexicon
of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains Vol. 1, Page 312. New
York: United Bible Societies)
observes that in a secular Greek writing (a papyrus letter)...
a wife writes to her absent
“I cannot sleep at night or by
day, because of the worry (merimna) I have about your welfare.”
A mother, on hearing of her son’s
good health and prosperity writes back:
“That is all my prayer and all my
Anacreon, the poet, writes:
“When I drink wine, my worries
(merimna) go to sleep.”
In Greek the word is the
characteristic word for anxiety, and worry, and care. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press
gives a very illustrative definition of "merimna" (Click
in depth study on related verb
merimnao): stating that
is probably connected with
“to draw in different directions, distract,”
hence signifies “that which causes this
[that is, this effect of being
drawn in different directions], a care, especially an anxious care”.
To worry is in essence to have a "divided mind" (See RBC
What Can I Do With My Worry?).
Strong's Lexicon also states
through the idea of distraction." So clearly
that which worries or causes anxiety is that which distracts us and
tends to draw us in different directions (compare our common
expression "I feel like everything is falling apart").
The word anxiety comes from
the same root as anger, and suggests the idea of choking. Worry
chokes the life of faith. It does not help us to overcome our
difficulties, but unfits us for dealing with them. No weapon that is
formed against us shall prosper; every tongue that shall rise against
us shall be condemned; our bread shall be given, and our water sure.
God will perfect that which concerneth us, and His goodness and mercy
shall never cease. Roll thyself and thy burden on the Lord, and leave
them there. Too many take them back again! (F B Meyer. Our Daily Walk)
picture even becomes more vivid when we look at
a summary of English dictionary definitions of each word...
Anxious: Characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding
fear about some contingency (Webster, modern). Worried and tense
because of possible misfortune, danger, etc. (Collins) Experiencing
worry, nervousness, or unease. (Oxford) Concern or solicitude
respecting some event, future or uncertain, which disturbs the mind,
and keeps it in a state of painful uneasiness. it expresses more than
uneasiness or disturbance, and even more than trouble or solicitude.
it usually springs from fear or serious apprehension of evil, and
involves a suspense respecting an event, and often, a perplexity of
mind, to know how to shape our conduct. (Webster, 1828) A state of
restlessness and agitation, often with general indisposition and a
distressing sense of oppression at the epigastrium. (Webster, 1913)
Worry: feel or cause to feel troubled over actual or potential
difficulties. Expressing anxiety. (Concise Oxford). To choke or
strangle - to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the
throat. Mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually
for something impending or anticipated. Worry suggests fretting over
matters that may or may not be real cause for anxiety (Webster) To be
or cause to be anxious or uneasy, esp. about something uncertain or
potentially dangerous. To disturb the peace of mind of (Collins)
a fascinating etymology summarized below
Worrying may shorten one's life,
but not as quickly as it once did. The ancestor of our word, Old
English wyrgan, meant “to strangle.” (Ed note: Isn't
this what worry does to our joy?)
Its Middle English descendant,
worien, kept this sense and developed the new sense “to grasp by
the throat with the teeth and lacerate” or “to kill or injure by
biting and shaking.” This is the way wolves or dogs might attack
sheep, for example.
In the 16th century worry began to
be used in the sense “to harass, as by rough treatment or attack,” or
“to assault verbally,” and in the 17th century the word took on the
sense “to bother, distress, or persecute.” It was a small step from
this sense to the main modern senses “to cause to feel anxious or
distressed” and “to feel troubled or uneasy,” first recorded in the
19th century. (American
anxiety (be anxious) another word that is synonymous with worry
is the verb fret (derived from Old English word fretan
meaning to devour or consume), which literally means to eat or gnaw
into and figuratively pictures causing one to suffer emotional strain,
be distressed, or feel vexation. Again the etymology or origin of the
word fret so perfectly describes the detrimental, destructive
effect of the emotional state of worry and anxiety.
worried about your tendency to worry? Let me encourage you to turn
your attention to God, especially to an unhurried devotional study of
His character revealed in His names or more specifically in His
attributes (See "The
Attributes of God"). You will be amazed at how the
Spirit will renew our mind when we shift our focus off of the
perplexity of the problems and onto the perfection of the Problem
Solver, and once again appreciate that He is everywhere, knows
everything, is all powerful, and is able and willing to carry our
burdens (Ps 55:22, Heb 2:18-note).
Hoffman the writer of the hymn
I MUST TELL JESUS
tells the story that
preceded his penning of the words...
There was a woman to whom God had
permitted many visitations of sorrow and affliction. Coming to her
home one day, I found her much discouraged. She unburdened her heart,
concluding with the question, “Brother Hoffman, what shall I do?” I
quoted from the word, then added, “You cannot do better than to take
all of your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus.”
For a moment she seemed lost in meditation. Then her eyes lighted as
she exclaimed, “Yes, I must tell Jesus.” As I left her home I had a
vision of that joy-illuminated face…and I heard all along my pathway
the echo, “I must tell Jesus. I must tell Jesus.”
I MUST TELL JESUS
I must tell Jesus
all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles;
He is a kind, compassionate friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
Make of my troubles quickly an end.
Tempted and tried, I need a great Savior;
One Who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share.
O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
Over the world the victory to win.
Hoffman's story and hymn beg the question...
you told Jesus?
offers this interesting perspective to those who are hesitant to cast
their cares on Him writing that...
There is nothing Christ dislikes
more than for His people to make show of Him and not to use Him. He
loves to be worked. He is a great laborer. He always was for His
Father, and now He loves to be a great laborer for His brethren. The
more burdens you put on His shoulders, the better He will love you.
Cast your burden on Him.
Bread has the following devotional on "worry"...
Worry is merely unbelief
parading in disguise! The Scriptures repeatedly warn us against this
grievous sin. Ian Maclaren ex-claims, "What does your anxiety do? It
does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does empty today of its
strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to
cope with it when it comes. God gives us the power to bear all the
sorrow of His making, but He does not guarantee to give us strength to
bear the burdens of our own making such as worry induces."
An experienced physician decided to analyze the "worriers" who were
his patients. He found that 40 percent of them were apprehensive over
things that never happened. About 30 per-cent concerned themselves
with past matters now beyond their control. Another 12 percent
anxiously feared the loss of their health, although their only illness
was in their imagination. And the rest worried about their families,
friends, and neighbors, but in most cases he discovered no basis for
A bassoon player once came to the great conductor Toscanini with
furrowed brow and complained that his instrument would not sound the
high E flat. Toscanini smiled and replied, "Don't worry. There is no E
flat in your music tonight." The musician had been needlessly
apprehensive. Many of our worries are like that — unfounded and
Worry is both unprofitable and ungodly. God's grace will be sufficient
for each day's need. Take comfort in this thought, and tread the
pathway of life with faith, not fear!
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
I walked life's
path with "Worry,"
Disturbed and quite unblessed,
Until I trusted Jesus;
Now "Faith" has given rest. — G.W.
Satan seeks to crush our spirit by
getting us to bear tomorrow's burdens with only today's grace!
D. L. Moody
once quipped that...
A great many people seem to embalm their troubles. I always feel like
running away when I see them coming. They bring out their old mummy,
and tell you in a sad voice:
You don't know the troubles I have!
My friends, if you go to the Lord with your troubles, He will take
them away. Would you not rather be with the Lord and get rid of your
troubles, than be with your troubles and without God? Let trouble come
if it will drive us nearer to God.
It is a great thing to have a place of resort in the time of trouble.
How people get on without the God of the Bible is a mystery to me. If
I didn't have such a refuge, a place to go and pour out my heart to
God in such times, I don't know what I would do. It seems as if I
would go out of my mind. But to think, when the heart is burdened, we
can go and pour it into His ear, and then have the answer come back,
"I will be with him," there is comfort in that!
I thank God for the old Book. I thank God for this old promise. It is
as sweet and fresh today as it has ever been. Thank God, none of those
promises are out of date, or grown stale. They are as fresh and
vigorous and young and sweet as ever.
Take courage: if
God doesn't choose to remove an obstacle, He will help you plow around
Even though you
can't control your circumstances, you can control your attitude.
The perfect cure for worry is trust in God.
is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it
cuts a channel into which all others thoughts are drained. - Arthur
The great saint George Mueller
once said that
The beginning of anxiety is the end
of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Robert Burdette wrote that
There are two days in the week
about which I never worry. Two carefree days kept sacredly free from
fear and apprehension. One of these days is yesterday—and the other
day I do not worry about is tomorrow.
Anxiety is the interest paid
on trouble before it is due. Or stated another way it is the interest
paid by those who "borrow" trouble!
A S Roche said that
Worry is a thin stream of fear
trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into
which all other thoughts are drained.
Oswald Chambers wrote that...
Fretfulness springs from a
determination to get my own way.
Spurgeon said that...
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of
its sorrows but only empties today of its strength.
George Sweeting tells the
story of Bishop William Quayle who, while he laid awake at night,
because of fruitless worrying, heard God say to him, "Quayle, you go
to bed; I'll sit up the rest of the night." Whimsically put, that
experience symbolizes a matter of major importance in the cure of
Sweeting, G. Great Quotes & Illustrations.
Anxiety is the natural result when
our hopes are centered in anything short of God and his will for us.
Someone has written that an average
person’s anxiety is focused on
• 40% -- things that will never
• 30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed
• 12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
• 10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
• 8% -- about real problems that will be faced
How much have cost us the evils
that never happened!
Dr E Stanley
I am inwardly fashioned for faith,
not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that
worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life;
faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear,
doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being
is gasping for breath—these are not my native air. But in faith and
confidence, I breathe freely—these are my native air. A John Hopkins
University doctor says, “We do not know why it is that worriers die
sooner than the non-worriers, but that is a fact.” But I, who am
simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and
tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us
that way. To live by worry is to live against reality.
Day by Day
Day by day, and with each
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
your anxiety upon Him...
When Anne Graham Lotz faced a
sudden crisis with her son’s unexpected cancer surgery, she opened a
little book called
and found there just the verses she needed:
“Many are the afflictions of the
righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. . . . We know
that all things work together for good. . . . With us is the Lord our
God, to help us and to fight our battles. The Lord your God is in your
midst, the Mighty One, will save.’
Anne later wrote,
“God has spoken to me more often
through the verses in
than through any other book, except my Bible.”
When CIM missionary Arthur Matthews
was trapped in Communist China, uncertain of life or death, he was
summoned before authorities who were pressuring him to earn his
freedom by agreeing to spy for the Communists. That morning he kissed
his wife and little one goodbye, and left for the police station, not
knowing if he would ever return. In his pocket, he put a copy of
Vance Havner, the quaint North
Carolina evangelist and writer, faced the greatest heartbreak of his
life when his beloved Sara contracted a fatal disease. He turned to
and the reading for the day said:
“This sickness is not unto
death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be
When Sara died, Havner remembered
that Lazarus had died, too.
“I felt that God would be
glorified in her passing,” Havner later wrote, “and He was.”
When missionaries Russell and
Darlene Deibler were trapped in the South Pacific during the Japanese
invasion in 1942, they faced the darkest days of their lives. Russell
was shortly hauled away to a concentration camp, never to return. That
evening, Darlene found comfort in her
The reading for the evening of March 13 said:
“O my God, my soul is cast down
within me. . . . Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is
stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. . . . Cast thy burden
upon the Lord.”
“For me in my need,” she later
wrote, “the Lord had directed in the arrangement of the verses.” (Morgan,
R. J. Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook : 2002 Edition Nashville:
Thomas Nelson Publishers)
The antidote for
anxiety and fear
Casting Upon God
Anxiety and fear is the fruit of
the root of unbelief and unwillingness to accept God’s sovereignty
over all of the aspects of one’s life. Faith (which comes by
hearing...the Word of Christ) can break the stranglehold
of anxiety and fear. Do you really trust God's sovereignty enough to cast your anxiety upon Him? The
perfect cure for worry or anxiety is a child-like trust in our
heavenly Father. Today, "cast" your
cares upon God, declaring with the psalmist
"I will say of the
Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust'"
Stated another was, anxiety is a burden which faith casts off the man
onto his God.
We have little control over the
circumstances of life. We can't control the weather or the economy,
and we can't control what other people say about or do to us. There is
only one area where we have control--we can rule the kingdom inside.
The heart of every problem is the problem in the heart. Once we get to
that throne room inside us and let God take over, we don't have
to worry about others. (Comments on Psalm 10:12) (Bolding added)
I heard of a man who was walking
along the high road with a pack on his back. He was growing weary and
was therefore glad when a gentleman came along in a carriage and asked
him to take a seat with him. The gentleman noticed that he kept his
pack strapped to his shoulders, and so he said, "Why do you not put
your pack down?"
"Why, sir," said the traveler, "I
did not venture to impose. It was very kind of you to take me up, and
I could not expect you to carry my pack as well."
"Why," said his friend, "do you not
see that whether your pack is on your back or off your back, I have to
My hearer, it is so with your
trouble. Whether you worry or do not worry, it is the Lord who must
care for you.
WHAT IS IT?
...gives a small thing a big shadow
...is the interest we pay on
...over tomorrow pulls shadows over
...is like a rocking chair; it will
give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.
...is an indication that we think
God cannot look after us. (O. Chambers)
...is putting question marks where
God has put periods. (J R Rice)
...is the interest we pay on
tomorrow’s troubles. (E S Jones)
is an intrusion into God's
providence. (J Haggai)
...is a guest admitted which
quickly turns to be master.
... never robs tomorrow of its
sorrow, it only saps today of its strength (A J Cronin)
... is the interest paid by those
who borrow trouble (G W Lyon)
...is practical atheism and an
affront to God (R. H. Mounce)
and Evening, Spurgeon wrote...
It is a happy way of soothing
sorrow when we can feel—“He careth for me.” Christian! do not
dishonour religion by always wearing a brow of care; come, cast your
burden upon your Lord. You are staggering beneath a weight which your
Father would not feel. What seems to you a crushing burden, would be
to him but as the small dust of the balance. Nothing is so sweet as to
“Lie passive in God’s hands,
And know no will but His.”
O child of suffering, be thou
patient; God has not passed thee over in his providence. He who is the
feeder of sparrows, will also furnish you with what you need. Sit not
down in despair; hope on, hope ever. Take up the arms of faith against
a sea of trouble, and your opposition shall yet end your distresses.
There is One who careth for you. His eye is fixed on you, his heart
beats with pity for your woe, and his hand omnipotent shall yet bring
you the needed help. The darkest cloud shall scatter itself in showers
of mercy. The blackest gloom shall give place to the morning. He, if
thou art one of his family, will bind up thy wounds, and heal thy
broken heart. Doubt not his grace because of thy tribulation, but
believe that he loveth thee as much in seasons of trouble as in times
of happiness. What a serene and quiet life might you lead if you would
leave providing to the God of providence! With a little oil in the
cruse, and a handful of meal in the barrel, Elijah outlived the
famine, and you will do the same. If God cares for you, why need you
care too? Can you trust him for your soul, and not for your body? He
has never refused to bear your burdens, he has never fainted under
their weight. Come, then, soul! have done with fretful care, and leave
all thy concerns in the hand of a gracious God.
A humorous story
about the professional worrier emphasizes the point of Peter's
exhortation to cast our burden upon God...
“I have a mountain of credit card
debt,” one man told another. “I’ve lost my job, my car is being
repossessed, and our house is in foreclosure, but I’m not worried
“Not worried about it!” exclaimed
“No. I’ve hired a professional
worrier. He does all my worrying for me, and that way I don’t have to
think about it.”
“That’s fantastic. How much does
your professional worrier charge for his services?”
“Fifty thousand dollars a year,”
replied the first man.
“Fifty thousand dollars a year?
Where are you going to get that kind of money?”
“I don’t know,” came the reply.
“That’s his worry.”
In a sense, the Lord’s servants do
have a professional worrier to do all our worrying for them. As 1
Peter 5:7 says, “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon
him, for you are his personal concern” (Phillips). (Morgan,
R. J. Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers)
another story regarding Pastor Jones, who must have wanted to "pull
his hair out"...
We scarcely know when life will
worry us half to death. Consider Pastor A. J. Jones in South Africa.
Wanting to sell a television set, he ran a classified ad in a Pretoria
paper. As first printed, the ad said: The Rev. A. J. Jones has a color
TV set for sale. Telephone 555–1313 after 7 P.M. and ask for Mrs.
Donnelley who lives with him, cheap.
The next day, the paper printed
this correction: We regret any embarrassment caused to Rev. Jones by a
typographical error in yesterday’s editions. It should have read, “The
Rev. A. J. Jones has color TV set for sale, cheap. Telephone 555–1313
and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who lives with him after 7 P.M.
The next day, the paper said: The
Rev. A. J. Jones informs us he has received several annoying telephone
calls because of an incorrect advertisement in yesterday’s paper. It
should have read, “The Rev. A. J. Jones has color TV set for sale.
Cheap. Telephone 555–1313 and ask for Mrs. Donnelley who loves with
One day later: Please take notice
that I, the Rev. Jones, have no TV set for sale. I have smashed it. I
have not been carrying on with Mrs. Donnelley. She was until yesterday
There was, however, one more ad the
next day: WANTED a housekeeper. Telephone Rev. A. J. Jones, 555–1313.
Usual housekeeping duties, good pay, love in. (Morgan,
R. J. Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes.
Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Anxiety has its
use, stimulating us to seek with keener longing for that security
where peace is complete and unassailable. - Augustine
As discussed above, we must not hand our burdens to Him piecemeal, keeping
those cares that we think we can handle ourselves. If we keep the
"little" cares for ourselves, for they have a tendency
to grow into "big" concerns! Each
time a new burden arises, we must by faith remind the Lord (and
ourselves) that we have already turned it over to Him. Don't be
frustrated or overwhelmed, for this discipline of trusting God with
our anxieties needs patient practice. As you practice "anxiety
casting", God's Spirit will perform a wonderful work within you as He
transforms you from glory to glory, including...
(1) Giving us the courage
to face our cares honestly and not run away ("Do not fear, for I am
with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will
strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with
My righteous right hand."
us the wisdom to understand the situation ("...if any of you
lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all men generously and
without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in
faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of
the sea driven and tossed by the wind."
(3) Giving us the
strength to do what we must do ("Not that I speak from want;
for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I
know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live
in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret
of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and
suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me."
(Philippians 4:11, 12, 13 - notes
(4) Giving us the
faith to trust Him to do the rest ("Commit your way to the
LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it."
Jehovah Shalom [and scroll down for "Seven
Thieves that Can Steal Your Peace] or Phil 4:6, 7-Notes
for additional discussion)
is the Greek word merimna (from merizo
which means to divide or draw in different directions and so to
distract) which pictures that which causes one's mind to be "split" or drawn in
different directions which results in "anxiety". And so we begin to
think things like "Will this turn out to be a bad thing or a good
thing?" In the past anxiety was explained as a "dividing
care", distracting the heart from the true object of life. It is the
uneasiness and worry about the future which Peter exhorts us to cast
upon El Shaddai, the Almighty, All Sufficient One.
Grant Richison exhorts us to
whenever God says or does anything, there is a reason behind it. God
possesses indescribable intelligence. He has never had to learn
anything since He has always known everything. Is your god smaller
than that? The God of the Bible is not only omniscient (knows
everything), but He is also omnipotent (all-powerful) and omnipresent
(everywhere present). There is a big difference between human
resources and divine resources. God is never surprised, astounded or
shocked. God is never in a bind. God is never on the horns of a
dilemma. When He says you are to cast, there is a reason. God never
asks anything of us that is unreasonable. God's commandments are his
enablements." (1Peter 5:7)
Allowing one's mind to go "in
different directions" at the same time, will result in a loss of
focus and concentration and may leave you virtually "incapacitated",
not knowing which way to turn. Such a state also will distract one
from our primary focus, which should be Christ Jesus our Lord.
Webster says that anxiety is a painful or apprehensive
uneasiness of mind usually over an impending or anticipated ill, a
fearful concern or interest or an abnormal and overwhelming sense of
apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as
sweating, tension, and increased pulse). Webster goes on to add that
anxiety is characterized by doubt concerning the reality and nature of
the threat or by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope.
Richison adds that
"Anxiety is a
fearful anguish coupled with uncertainty. It is our anticipation of
misfortune as if God and His resources for us do not exist. Anxiety
distracts us from the resources of God. We enter into a state of
turmoil, we cannot recognize the providence of God in our lives...(he
adds that) Unbelief is an exalting of self against God. We depend
on self rather than God. But why worry if we are His concern? God is
infinitely more concerned about our welfare than we are. A child, who
asks his parents every day, "Can I be sure that you will take care of
me?" ruins his own well-being and breaks his parents' hearts. The
trusting child goes about his play undisturbed and assured of his
mother's love." (1Peter 5:7)
Nothing is hid from His all-seeing eye,
Never a teardrop nor even a sigh;
Anxious and troubled you never need be--
Trust Him completely and doubtings will flee.
Someone has well said anxiety
and worry are both like a rocking chair—they will give you something
to do, but they won't get you anywhere. Anxiety is a burden that God
never meant for us to bear. Most of what we are anxious about never
comes to pass. And so in a sense worrying and anxiety is like paying
interest on troubles that may never come due! But even when trouble
knocks, God is there to show us a new course. When fear knocks at your
door, let faith open it. We can avoid the folly of anxiety by trusting
Him today for all our tomorrows.
Torrey's Topic -
"Overmuch Care" (Anxiety)
About earthly things, forbidden -
Matthew 6:25; Luke 12:22,29; John 6:27
God’s providential goodness should keep us from -Matthew 6:26,28,30;
God’s promises should keep us from -Hebrews 13:5
Trust in God should free us from -Jeremiah 17:7,8; Daniel 3:16
Should be cast on God -Psalms 37:5; 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7
An obstruction to the Gospel -Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14; 14:18-20
Be without -1 Corinthians 7:32; Philippians 4:6
Unbecoming in saints -2 Timothy 2:4
Uselessness of -Matthew 6:27; Luke 12:25,26
Vanity of -Psalms 39:6; Ecclesiastes 4:8
Warning against -Luke 21:34
Sent as a punishment to the wicked -Ezekiel 4:16; 12:19
Martha -Luke 10:41
Persons who offered to follow Christ -Luke 9:57
1. Fret not--because God
loves you (1Jn. 4:16).
2. Faint not--because God holds you (Ps 139:10).
3. Fear not--because God keeps you (Ps 121:5).
CARES FOR YOU: hoti auto melei (3SPAI) peri humon:
(Ps 34:15; 142:4,5; Mt 6:26,33; Mk 4:38; Lk 12:30, 31, 32; Jn 10:13)
"Because it is a care to Him for you", "Because you are His concern."
J B Phillips has a comforting
"You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon
Him, for you are His personal concern."
Meditate on what Peter is
saying...literally he writes that "it matters to Him concerning you"!
Why cast them upon Him? Upon
what basis do we do so? In this beautiful phrase, Peter states that it
is simply because God cares for us. We must first understand God's
caring character before we can carry out carefree casting of our
anxieties. Do you know Him this way? Do you really belief that the
infinite, majestic, almighty God of the universe really cares for you
in such a personal way? If you don't believe this truth, then you will
in fact have difficulty casting your cares upon Him. A good way to
renew your mind regarding God's character is to study
Name, A Strong Tower or
The Attributes of God.
(melo) means to be interested in, to show watchful care
and affection or to show concern for. The verb melo is in the
which indicates that God cares for us continually, so much so
that one might say that God is
This same verb (melo) is used by
Mark, where we find a group of anxious disciples on a stormy sea
(Jesus) Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion and they awoke
Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care (melo)
that we are perishing? And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said
to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became
perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you so timid? How is it
that you have no faith?" (Mk 4:38-40)
Jesus showed them how much He cared for them with a beautiful
declaration "Hush, be still." Perhaps those are words you too
need to hear today, beloved. And so we see that a stormy sea had been
allowed by a sovereign God to teach the disciples a lesson in simple
child-like faith. And the same God uses the variegated storms in
our life to similar advantage. As a believer you have come to know
Jesus as your "Sin-bearer" but have you also come to
know Him as your "Burden-bearer"?
Amplified version says
He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully
God invites us
to burden Him with what burdens us.
A T Robertson says
cast your cares upon Him because
it "is a care to Him"!
God does care and Luke records that He
cares so much that
not a hair of your head will perish. (Lk 21:18)
anxiety, all your care,
Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;
Never a burden He cannot bear,
Never a friend like Jesus. —Joy
The psalmist says that "the
eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears are open to
their cry." (Ps 34:15) Dearly beloved, if your heart is weighed down today,
the Lord is ready to bear every burden you give Him. When anxiety
walks in, strength runs out, but strength returns when we let God in.
We must remember that God does not design the stressful situations in
our life to break us but to make us. Ultimately, His desire is that we
move from trusting in ourselves, our abilities or resources, to a
lifestyle of resting in Him and His all sufficient resources. This is
abiding in the Vine (John 15:5).
As the psalmist declares
Blessed be the Lord, Who daily bears our
burden, the God Who is our salvation. Selah ("pause and ponder")."(NAS)
(NLT has a picturesque paraphrase -- "each day He carries us in His
arms.") (Ps 68:19)
Blessed be the Lord. At the mention of the presence of God among
men the singers utter an earnest acclamation suggested by reverential
love, and return blessings to him who so plentifully blesses his
Who daily loadeth us with benefits. Our version contains a
great and precious truth, though probably not the doctrine intended
here. God's benefits are not few nor light, they are loads; neither
are they intermittent, but they come "daily;" nor are they confined to
one or two favourites, for all Israel can say, he loadeth us with
Delitzsch reads it, "He daily bears
our burden;" and Alexander, "Whoever lays a load upon us, the Mighty
God is our salvation."
If He Himself burdens us with
sorrow, He gives strength sufficient to sustain it; and if others
endeavour to oppress us, there is no cause for fear, for the Lord will
come to the rescue of His people. Happy nation, to be subdued by a
King whose yoke is easy, and who secures His people from all fear of
foreign burdens which their foes might try to force upon them.
Even the God of our salvation. A name most full of glory to
Him, and consolation to us. No matter how strong the enemy, we shall
be delivered out of his hands; for God Himself, as King, undertakes to
save His people from all harm. What a glorious stanza this is! It is
dark only because of its excessive light. A world of meaning is
condensed into a few words. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light,
therefore blessed be the Saviour's name for evermore. All hail! thou
thrice blessed Prince of Peace! All Thy saved ones adore Thee, and
call thee blessed.
Selah. Well may the strings need tuning, they have borne an
unparalleled strain in this mighty song. Higher and yet higher, ye men
of music, lift up the strain. Dance before the ark, ye maidens of
Israel; bring forth the timbrel, and sing unto the Lord Who hath
Winslow writes the following devotional entitled
THE LORD MY
"The Lord is my portion, says my
"He cares for you."--1 Pet. 5:7
This may be with you, my soul, a
day of anxious care. The sun shines brightly, all nature is clad in
beauty, and every object smiles. But with you it is a cloudy and dark
day, and your heart is sad--a care presses you, anxiety shades you.
And now you are casting about if perhaps you may respond to it--yet
with much unbelief, despondency, and fear as to the result. But, be
still! The Lord, who is your Portion, is enough for each cloudy day,
and is enough for this. Come, sit down and meditate a while upon this
truth, and see if this pressure may not prove a real uplifting, this
anxiety a sweet repose, and this cloud reflect a silver light, by
stirring you up to prayer, and leading you to learn more
experimentally and blessedly what Jesus is in His all-sufficiency for
all our needs (Philippians 4:13-note).
"Out of the eater will come forth
and out of the strong will come forth sweetness."
(Judges 14:14 -note)
If the Lord cares for us, then
without any figure of speech He is our Care-taker. Though all worlds,
all beings, all events, all creatures, are hanging upon His arm, and
yet we have not a care, infinitesimal though it be as an atom, or
light as a cobweb, but the Lord cares for it. Can anything more truly
and impressively illustrate the greatness of Jesus than this--that, as
great is He, nothing in the history of His saints is too small or
trivial for His notice and regard. Alas! we deal too imperfectly with
God in the little sins and the trifling acts of disobedience in the
daily duties of life. It is one of the believer's highest attainments
in grace to live to God in small things. We think, for the most part,
that because God is so great, He can bend His infinite mind only to
objects and things that are great. Whereas, we forget that, He who is
so great that the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, has
condescended to say
I dwell with him also who is of a
contrite and humble spirit. (Isaiah 57:15)
But He cares for us. My soul, has
not Jesus proved it? Did He not care for you when He embarked in the
work of your salvation? Did He not care for you when you were dead in
trespasses and in sins? (Ephesians 2:1-
And when the Holy Spirit convinced you of sin, and broke your heart,
and led you in holy contrition to the cross, did not Jesus manifest
His care for you then by raising you up from His feet, enfolding you
in His arms, and applying His atoning blood to your conscience, saying
to your tempest-tossed spirit, 'Peace, be still,' and there was peace?
The Lord cares for you still. He
cares for your needs, for your trials, for your temptations, for your
sorrows. Still more, He cares for your holy, happy walk--for the
doubts and fears and tremblings which sometimes assail you--for the
darkness which often enshrouds you--for the loneliness and solitude of
the way by which He is leading you home to Himself.
Only cast your care upon Him,
whatever it may be, with a child's simple, unquestioning, unhesitating
faith, and be anxious only how you may most love, trust, and glorify
Him. Make His service your delight, His honor your study, His truth
your care, and sweet peace will spring up in your soul, shedding its
soothing influence throughout your whole being.
"Don't be anxious about
anything--but in everything by prayer and supplication, with
thanksgiving, let your requests be known unto God. And the peace of
God (this is the Christian's true heart's ease), which passes all
understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
(Phil 4:6; 4:7- see notes
But if you go to Him with your
care, and return with it still corroding, shading, and crushing you,
it is not because the Lord refuses to take it upon Himself, but
because you refuse to transfer it to Him. You go, and you come away
with it still entwined around your heart, and wonder that you find no
relief. But, leave with Him your care, be it the care of your soul or
the care of the body, hang it upon His arm, lay it upon His heart, and
sweet will be the repose your Father in heaven will give.
"HE CARES FOR YOU."
F B Meyer
(from his book Tried by Fire) has the following chapter based
on 1 Peter 5:7...
CARE, AND WHAT TO DO WITH IT
"Casting all your care upon Him;
for He careth for you." (1 Peter 5:7.)
EVERY word of this precious verse
is golden. And the fact of its standing here as a Divine command is a
proof, not only of what is possible for us to do, but of what God is
prepared to enable us to do. His commands are enablings; his words are
power-words; his light is life. If only you are willing to live this
glad, free, uncareful life, and dare to step out on the waves of his
carefulness, you will find that, with the resolve to obey, there will
come from Him the wondrous power that makes obedience possible.
And it is in the highest degree
necessary to obey this precept. So only can we be peaceful and strong.
We cannot stand the strain of both work and worry. Two things come
between our souls and unshadowed fellowship with God, sin and care.
And we must be as resolute to cast our care on the Lord as to confess
our sins to Him, if we would walk in the light as He is in the light.
One yelping dog may break our slumber on the stillest night. One grain
of dust in the eye will render it incapable of enjoying the fairest
prospect. One care may break our peace and hide the face of God, and
bring a funeral pall over our souls. We must cast all our care on Him,
if we would know the blessedness of unshadowed fellowship.
But, besides the blessedness we
lose in giving way to care, we must remember that such behaviour
sorely grieves and dishonours God. It grieves Him, as love must grieve
when suspected of insincerity. And it also sorely dishonours Him. We
judge a parent by the report given of him in the words and behaviour
of his children. If they seem half-starved and miserable, or look
wistfully to us for a dole of help, or complain bitterly of the
hardships of their lot, we conclude--however wealthy he may be as to
his income, or munificent as to his gifts--that he is hard and cruel:
and we withdraw from him as far as possible. So, if the world judges
of God by the looks and words of many of his professed children, is it
wonderful that it is less attracted than repelled? Either there is no
God, or He is powerless to help, or He does not really love, or He is
careless of the needs of his children--such must be the reflections of
many, as they look on the weary, careworn, anxious faces of God's
professed people, and remark in them the same long deeply-ploughed
furrows as the years have made for themselves.
We are either libels or Bibles;
either harbour-lights or warning signals; either attractions or
detractors; and which we shall be depends very much on what we do with
Of course there must ever be the
discipline and chastisement of life. Our Father deals with us as with
sons: and what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? And these
strokes of his rod, these cups mingled by his hand, must be bitter to
the flesh. But all this is very different from "care." There may be
pain--but no doubt of the Father's love, no worry about the issues, no
foreboding as to the long future, which to the eye of faith shines
like the horizon-rim of the sea on which the sun is shining in its
utmost splendour, while dark clouds brood overhead.
Care, according to the Greek word,
is that which divides and distracts the soul, which diverts us from
present duty to weary calculations of how to meet conditions which may
never arrive. Fret; worry; anxiety; the habit of anticipating evil;
crossing bridges before we reach them; the permission of foreboding
fears about the future; all that attitude of mind which broods over
the mistakes of the past and dwells on the shadows which coming events
may cast, rather than on the love and will of God--this is Care.
1. OUR TREATMENT OF CARE.
Casting all your care upon Him.--The
Greek verb indicates not that we must keep doing it, but do it once
Who does not know what it is to
awake in the morning with a sense of heaviness and depression, and,
before one is well aroused, to be conscious of a voice whispering a
long tale of burdens to be carried, and difficulties to be met, as the
hours pass on!
"Ah," says the voice, "a miserable
day will this be."
"How so?" we inquire, fearfully.
"Remember, there is that creditor
to meet, that skein to disentangle, that irritation to soothe, those
violent tempers to confront. It is no use praying, better linger
longer where you are, and drag through the day as you may. You are
like a victim in the tumbril going to be guillotined."
And too often we have yielded to
the suggestion. If we have prayed, it has been in a kind of hopeless
way, asking God to help, but not daring to think He would. There has
been no assurance, no confidence, no calm within, no tranquility
without. Alas for some! They always spend their lives thus. One long,
weary monotone of anxiety--struggling against winds and waves, instead
of walking over the crests of the billows; treading a difficult, stony
pass, instead of being borne along in one of the twenty thousand
chariots of God.
How infinitely better to cast our
care upon the strong, broad shoulders of Christ! Treat cares as you
treat sins. Hand them over to Jesus one by one as they occur. Commit
them to Him. Roll them upon Him. Make them his. By an act of faith
look to Him, saying, "This, Lord, and this, and this, I cannot bear.
Thou hast taken my sins; take my cares: I lay them upon Thee, and
trust Thee to do for me all, and more than all, I need. I will trust,
and not be afraid." As George Herbert says so quaintly in his sonnet,
put care into Christ's bag. There is no surer path to rest than to
pass on to Jesus all the anxieties of life, believing that He takes
what we give at the moment of our giving it; that it instantly becomes
a matter of honour with Him to do his best for us: and surely it is a
sacrilege to take back any gift which we have put into his hands.
"Blessed be the Lord, who daily beareth our burden" (Ps 68:19,
There are two or three
preliminaries before this committal of care is possible. We must have
cast our sins before we can cast our cares; in other words, we must be
children in the Father's home. Then also we must be living in God's
plan, sure that we are where He would have us be, camped under his
brooding pillar-cloud. And, in addition, we must have yielded up our
lives to Him, for Him to have his way in them. Nor must we neglect to
feed our faith with promise. Without her natural food she pines. But
when these conditions are fulfilled, it is not difficult to
"Kneel, and cast our load,
E'en while we pray, upon our God,
Then rise with lightened cheer."
The cup may still have to be drunk,
the discipline borne, the work done; but the weary ache of care will
have yielded to the anodyne of a child's trust in One who cannot fail.
2. DIFFERENT KINDS OF CARE.
There is care about our growth
in grace.--It is very unreasonable; and yet how common! We fret
because we fear that we are not getting on fast enough, and run to and
fro in our anxiety to pick up something from other people. As well
might a lad in an infant class fret because he may not enter the
higher classes of the school. But surely his one business is to
acquire the lessons set before him by the teacher. When those are
learnt, it will be for the teacher to give him other and harder ones,
and to advance him to positions where quicker progress may be made.
And it is for us to learn each day the lessons which the Lord Jesus
sets us, and to leave to Him the responsibility of leading us forward
in the knowledge and love of God. Cast the care of your growth and
attainments on the great Leader of souls, and be content to sit at his
feet, learning the lessons He assigns.
There is care about our
Christian work.--How to maintain our congregations? How to hold
our own amid the competition of neighbouring workers? How to maintain
the efficiency and vigour of our machinery? How to adjust differences
between our fellow or subordinate workers? How to find material enough
to supply the incessant demand for sermons and addresses? How to
shepherd a large flock of souls? What elements of care are hidden in
each of these! And in what numberless cases the look of weary anxiety
betrays the heartache within!
But one is inclined to ask
sometimes, Whose work is it? If it is yours, resting on your shoulders
only, there may be some reasonableness in the carrying of care. But
if, as is surely the case, the work is your Master's, the burden
should be his also. The prime worker is not you, but Christ. He is
working through you. You are but his servant. All that you are
responsible for is to do what He bids to the uttermost of your power;
and He must bear all the cost and responsibility beside. If things are
not going smoothly, go and tell Him, and cast all the anxiety of it
back on Him, leaving it to Him to extricate or reinforce you.
There is care about the ebb and
flow of feeling.--Our feelings are very changeable. They are
affected by changes in the weather and temperature, by the state of
our digestion and liver, by over-weariness, by want of sleep, by a
thousand nameless causes. No stringed instrument is more affected by
minute changes than we are; and we are apt to worry when the tide of
emotion is running fast out, defying our efforts to retain it. But, if
we are not conscious of any sin or negligence to which this subsidence
of emotion may be attributed, we may cast the care of such an
experience on our Saviour. He knows our frame; and, as we pass down
the dark staircase, let us hold fast to the hand-rail of his will,
willing still to do his will, though in the dark. "I am as much thine,
and devoted to Thee, in the depths of my being now, as when my heart
was happiest in thy love."
There is care about household
and commercial matters.--Servants, with their frequent changes;
employers, with unreasonable demands; customers and clerks; creditors
and debtors; children, with the ailments of childhood, and the
waywardness of youth. To mention any one of these is to touch a bitter
spring of care. There are some whose businesses are specially liable
to cause anxious, worrying thoughts. Many Christians always think that
they must come to beggary; they refuse to enjoy the good things within
their reach, because of certain dreaded possibilities. Alas! for that
phantom workhouse which bounds the pathway of so many lives, but which
is never reached! But each of these sources of worry may become a
means of grace, a bond between Jesus and the soul, if placed at his
feet, and definitely entrusted to his care.
Do not be satisfied with rolling
yourself on God, roll your burden also. He who can carry the one can
carry the other. When a tiny boy, trying to help his father move his
books, fell on the staircase beneath the weight of a heavy volume, his
father ran to his aid and caught up in his arms boy and burden both,
and carried them in his arms to his room. And will God deal worse with
us? He cannot fail or forsake. He can smite rocks, and open seas, and
unlock the treasuries of the air, and ransack the stores of the earth.
Birds will bring meat, and fish coins, if He bid them. He takes up the
isles as a very little thing--how easily, then, your heaviest load:
while there is nothing so trivial but that you may make it a matter of
prayer and faith.
So Leighton sweetly says:---
"When thou art either to do or
suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose of business, go, tell
God of it, and acquaint Him with it--yea, burden Him with it--and thou
hast done for matter of caring. No more care, but sweet, quiet
diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy
matters. Roll over on God, make one bundle of all; roll thy cares, and
thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God" (Psa. 36:5)
3. THE REASONABLENESS OF THIS
METHOD OF LIFE.
"For He careth for you." Of course,
if we persist in acting only for ourselves, we must do the best we can
for ourselves; but if we can hand over all matters to God, we shall
find that He will do infinitely better for us than we had dared to
hope. Such is God's love to us that He always goes far beyond our
farthest anticipations. "Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
If the father is providing for
to-morrow's needs, why should his little boy leave his play, and lean
pensively against the wall, wondering what had better be done? If the
pilot has come on board, why should the captain also pace the deck
with weary foot? If some wise, strong friend, thoroughly competent,
has undertaken to adjust some difficult piece of perplexity for me,
and if I have perfect confidence in him, and he assures me that he is
well able to accomplish it, why should I fret longer? The thing is as
good as done, since he has taken it in hand.
Doubtless there seems a marvellous
chasm between Him and you. But it is bridged by the silver arch of
Divine care. God cares for you so much that He came Himself in the
person of his Son to redeem you; there was never a time He did not
love you, brood over you, and care for you. He cares for you so much
as to listen to your least sigh or cry amid the beat of heavenly music
and the acclamations of the blessed. The mighty heart of Deity itself
is full of a fathomless carefulness for all that concerns you. No
mother cares over her sick child as He over you. Each movement and
need and desire is read long before expressed or even felt.
Let us trust Him. Tongue cannot
tell the completeness, the delicacy, the tender thoughtfulness of the
care that will gather and shelter us, as the nervous, careful hen
gathers her brood under her wing. "I would have you without
carefulness." (F. B. Meyer. Tried By Fire)
Octavius Winslow in his book
Help Heavenward (Online
Index) has a chapter
based on the truth in 1 Peter 5:7...
Transferred to God
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you— 1 Peter 5:7
Were we to take the world’s
estimate of the real value and happiness of a life of faith in God as
the true one, how gloomy, joyless, and forlorn a life would it appear!
The world imagines that there is nothing substantial, bright, or
social in the religion of Christ—no reality, sunshine, or
companionship! But how mistaken! We cite, as disproving this view, the
precept we propose in this chapter to illustrate and enforce, which
enjoins the transfer of human care to God. Where, in the world’s
wilderness, grows the flower of heart’s ease as it blooms and blossoms
here? “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” How
full of soothing and repose are these words! What cares have they
lightened,—what anxieties have they removed,—what burdens have they
unclasped,—and what springs of joy and comfort and hope have they
unsealed in many a sad and oppressed heart! But do you not, beloved
reader, need to be put in constant remembrance of this divine secret
of rest amidst toil, of repose amidst disquietude, of soothing amidst
corroding cares, and of confidence and hope in the midst of change and
depression? Bewildered and oppressed by the multitude of anxious
thoughts within you, is there not a danger of being so absorbed by the
care as to overlook the Caretaker? to forget the heart’s ease in the
overwhelming of the heart’s anxiety? Verily we think so. Hagar, pining
with thirst, and blinded by grief, saw not the well of water flowing
at her side. The disciples in the storm, filled with alarm, and
absorbed by fear, recognized not the Lord Jesus walking to them upon
the waves which threatened the foundering of their vessel. Thus often
is it with us—thus may it be now with you. We look at the want, and
not at Him who supplies it; at the storm, and not at Him who controls
it; at the care, and not at Him who assumes it. Is not the voice of
the Lord mightier than the voice of many waters, yea, than the mighty
waves of the sea? Is not the Caretaker greater than the care itself?
Yet how we limit the Holy One, and magnify and multiply our cares,
anxieties, and sorrows! But for the immutability of our redeeming God,
whose unseen hand guides, and whose power, almost insensible to
ourselves, sustains us, our care would consume us. How often we are
upheld, we scarcely know by whom; kept in peace, we scarcely know how;
preserved in safety, we scarcely know why. But “the secret of the Lord
is with them that fear Him;” and, sooner or later, we learn that Jesus
has done it all, and has done it for His own glory. Fain would I,
beloved reader, proffer you a little help heavenward by inciting you
to this transfer of anxious thought and chafing care to God. Lightened
a little of your burden, with a more trustful heart and gladsome
spirit you will speed your way homeward to that heaven of perfect
repose, upon whose threshold you will leave the last anxious thought,
and lay down the last earthly care, your weary, panting soul pillowed
in eternal repose.
The world through which we pass heavenward—and oh, forget not,
Christian pilgrim, it is a passage soon passed—is a world laden and
crushed with care. Earthly care confronts us at every step, and in all
whom we meet. The knitted brow, the restless eye, the compressed lip,
the fevered expression, the bated breath, are as true an index of the
mind oppressed with anxious thought, the heart shaded with human
sorrow, as the dial is of the sun’s altitude. It is true the great
device of the world is to conceal its care from others. But its
transient gleam of artificial joy—the forced smile, the excited laugh,
the unnatural levity, which imparts an air of happiness and freedom
from eating care—but betray to the keen, penetrating eye of the
spiritual observer that inward restlessness of the spirit, that
lowering anxiety of mind, which can ill be concealed.
“If every man’s internal care
Were written on his brow,
How many would our pity share
Who move our envy now!”
But it is of the care peculiar to
the Lord’s people that we particularly speak. And here we must be
cautious to distinguish between the carefulness that is proper in a
child of God and the carefulness which is the result of a distrust of
God—the offspring of unbelief. We are to be careful, undoubtedly, to
maintain good works, or our faith is vain; to take care of our own
house, or we shall be found worse than the infidel; we are to care for
the interests and prosperity of Christ’s Church, or we ignore our
individual membership; we are to be careful to walk holily and
circumspectly, as followers of the Lamb, or we dishonour Christ. Now
this implies a heavy weight of holy care, unslumbering vigilance, and
unceasing prayerfulness on our part. These are cares which especially
appertain to, and are inseparable from, our Christianity. But let us
consider that state of anxious carefulness which so much weighs down
the spirit, so beclouds our spiritual joy, and is so corrosive of the
best, holiest, and finest feelings of the soul, but which a simple,
childlike confidence in our heavenly Father’s promise, care, and love
should chasten and moderate, yea, entirely remove. Hence the precept,
“Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.”
We may attempt to classify, but it
would be impossible to enumerate, the cares which contribute so much
to the mental anxiety and depression of the Christian. The cares of
this life enter deeply into the carefulness of which the Lord seeks to
lighten us. In proportion to the spiritual tone of the mind, and the
closeness of the heart’s converse with God and heavenly realities,
will be the tenderness of the believer to the chafing and pressure of
temporal cares. The more heavenly we grow, the more acutely sensitive
do we become to the encroachment and influence of earth and earthly
things. In this connection let me remark that I fear too little
prayerful consideration is felt by the Church in behalf of her
Christian men of business. Sustaining responsibilities, burdened with
cares, depressed by anxieties well-nigh crushing,—earnestly desirous,
and that very desire intensifying their feelings, that integrity and
uprightness should preserve them, that by no faltering, no receding,
no departure from the strictest line of Christian consistency should
the cause of Christ be dishonored and their Christian character be
compromised,—are they sufficiently borne upon our sympathies and
prayers? Do we, in measure, make their burdens, their dangers, their
anxieties our own? Do we ask for them of God the grace that will keep
them in prosperity, and for the strength and comfort that will sustain
and soothe them under the pressure and perils of anxious care? Does
the Church of God sufficiently sympathize with her Christian
merchants? May not the low standard of commercial morality, which in
some departments of trade has obtained in this and other lands,—the
sad defection from honesty, probity, and uprightness which has marked
the business transactions of some whose names have stood high in the
Church’s roll,—the frauds, the defalcations, the nefarious
dealings,—be traceable, in a great degree, to the Church’s
unfaithfulness in her duty respecting them? Verily we think so. Oh,
let us pray more for godly men of business! Their snares are many;
their perils are great, their cares are crushing, their anxieties are
absorbing! They demand our Christian sympathy, our tender forbearance,
our unceasing supplications, that, in all the temptations and
intricacies, perils and anxieties, by which their path is begirt, God
may hold them up, and conduct them through,—kept from the low arts of
trade,—from the questionable practices of the world,—from an
inordinate anxiety for wealth,—from every the slightest deviation from
the straightest and strictest line of Christian integrity, from the
taint and evil of the world, to the honor of the Church and the glory
of their Lord. Christian brethren, we proffer you our sympathy, and
breathe on your behalf our prayers! You may often lay an anxious,
aching brow on your pillow at night, not knowing how you will meet the
stern claims of the coming day,—your commercial standing—dearer still,
your Christian character—at stake. Be still! There is ONE who careth
for you! Compose yourself to rest, in the calm assurance that on the
morrow God will crown your obedience to the precept by His fulfillment
of the promise—
“Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.”
Thus, then, our temporal cares, to
us often so depressing, are objects of God’s consideration. If
godliness has the promise of the life that now is, it follows that no
earthly care that saddens the heart or shades the brow is beneath His
notice or regard. How many a child of God is struggling with large
domestic claims and but slender revenues! Who can tell the troubled
thoughts, the anxious feelings; the painful forebodings that pass
through that mind! One only knows it. To Him there is nothing little,
nothing insignificant, nothing beneath His notice and regard. Are you
a widow, with narrowed income and heavy demands? Are you an orphan,
combating with loneliness and want? Are you a man of business,
sustaining heavy liabilities, involved in perilous investments, and
weighed down by ceaseless anxiety and care? Veiled from every eye but
God’s may be your pressure. These worldly engagements, these temporal
cares and anxieties, are not too mean for Him.
Then, there often presses upon the heart the anxiety to know the path
of duty in which we should walk. This is no small care to the child of
God. We are often brought to a stand-still, and are, as it were, at
our wits’ end. Two paths, intersecting each other, diverging to the
right and to the left, confront us, and we are perplexed to know which
one we should take. Oh for a voice, distinct and familiar, behind us,
saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it!” In proportion, too, to the
tenderness of conscience, and to the closeness and softness of the
walk, will be the intense anxiety of the mind to know, and do, and
even suffer the will of God. If such be the case with you, be assured
that, though your faith and patience may be tried, the Lord will not
leave you long in darkness and uncertainty. If the question be, How
shall I know the will of my heavenly Father in this matter? you shall
not in the end mistake it; for God cares for you.
But there are greater cares than these—the spiritual cares of the
soul—which often press heavily upon the heart. You are anxious to know
that you have an interest in Christ’s redeeming love,—that your name
is written among the living in Jerusalem,—that your sins are
pardoned,—that your person is adopted, accepted, saved,—and that after
death you will reign with Jesus for ever. You are anxious, too, that
your Christian walk should be obedient, perceptive, believing; that
you should be more heavenly-minded, growing in knowledge, and grace,
and divine conformity to the will of God and the image of Jesus. Ah!
these are cares before which all others vanish into insignificance!
There are no anxieties, no cares, no burdens like those which touch
the present and future interests and well-being of the soul! How many
a man would freely and joyfully part with all his worldly possessions
for spiritual peace of mind, and for an assured hope of the future! Oh
to be quite sure that we are SAVED! What is rank—what is wealth—what
is learning—what is fame in comparison with this?—the dust, the foam,
the dream, the shadow! Anxious soul! think you that you nurse that
spiritual anxiety alone? that no eye is wakeful to see, that no ear is
bending to listen, that no heart is interested to sympathize? Ah, yes!
He who travailed in sorrow for your salvation is personally, tenderly
cognizant of the anxious, the profoundly anxious, desire of your soul
that there may not rest the shadow of a shade of doubt and uncertainty
upon the fact of its everlasting safety. You are not alone in this
soul-exercise. Jesus is with you. The travel of your heart after him,
the panting of your spirit for His salvation, the longing of your soul
for an assured interest in His love,—your tears, your sighs, your
desires, your prayers, your watchings,—awaken in the heart of your
Saviour the deepest, tenderest response. Ah! if the cares, anxieties,
and solicitude you feel for your soul lie upon your heart with a
pressure so intense as to shade the sunshine of life by day, and to
bedew your pillow with tears by night, think you that He does not yet
more closely entwine your precious and deathless interests around His
heart, who bought you upon the cross, and who wearily trod many a step
to seek and find you in the cloudy and dark day, and who will deck His
brow with you as a sparkling jewel, when He cometh having on His head
His many crowns!
But upon whom is the believer to place this care? There is no
difficulty in determining. The transfer is at once from the human to
the Divine, from the finite to the Infinite. We have but one true
Burden-bearer—one Almighty Caretaker; even Him whom God has made
strong for Himself and strong for us—the Mighty and the Almighty
Saviour. In the matter of care the Lord would have us deal immediately
and only with Himself. This is the controversy He has with us—our
unwillingness to make the transfer to Him. Oh, could you be assured
that the friend you best loved on earth could lighten the burden and
chase away the care, ere the evening’s sun had set, would you not be
found breathing your sorrows into his ear, and reposing your anxieties
upon his heart? But to go to God—to pass by the human, and deal only
with the Divine—to repair to the arm that was transfixed, and to the
bosom that bled upon the cross, and repose your burden upon its power
and love, oh, how difficult!—just because it is faith dealing with the
Invisible. And yet, no task so easy, or, in its issue, more
blessed—just because it is faith dealing with the Mighty One. But God,
guardful of His honor, will not yield this controversy, and, jealous
of His love, will not abate one iota of His claim. To Him the transfer
must be made. Behold the key that unlocks the mystery of His dealings!
Why has He smitten, as with paralysis, that arm upon which you leant?
Why has He chilled, as with death, that bosom on which you reclined?
Why has He exhausted, as by a burning drought, that cool spring, whose
tide you quaffed? Why has He beclouded those sunny slopes, upheaved
those verdant banks, which gave to the landscape of your life an
aspect so picturesque, and to life itself a repose and a charm so
exquisite? Oh, but to win, and woo, and draw you more closely beneath
His own outstretched arm, and within His own sheltering bosom! He and
He alone will share, and by sharing will soothe and exhaust, your
care. Christ loves you too well, has bought you with a price too dear,
has entwined you with interests too costly and precious, and has
prepared for you a heaven and a destiny too glorious and lasting, to
admit a rival, or unite with a partner in this office of Caretaker of
the Church. Oh, thank Him for clearing the path by removing, so kindly
and so gently, the object that intercepted your approach to Him, so
that no angel, no saint, no minister, no church, no friend, should
come between Christ and you, veiling Him for an instant, or in the
slightest degree, from your eye.
But you will ask, How is this transfer of care to be made? In the
directions which we suggest we would give prominence to the exercise
of unquestioning faith. Here there must be a taking God at His word.
Our warrant for an act apparently so impossible and presumptuous as
the transferring of every thought of anxiety, and feeling of sadness,
and pressure of want, to the Great JEHOVAH must be as divine and
unquestionable as the act itself. That warrant is God’s revealed,
infallible, unalterable word—“Cast thy burden on the Lord, and he
shall sustain thee.” Your faith must credit, receive, trust in, and
act upon this word without demur or condition, immediately and
unreservedly, because it is the word of the living God! You must
believe that God’s power is able, and that His love is willing, and
that His grace is sufficient to assume the transfer,—that Christ, who
has borne the heavier pressure of your curse, and your sins, and your
very hell, is prepared to sustain, succor, and comfort you, removing
your burden of care by absorbing it in Himself. O wondrous act! O
precious life of faith! How happy to us! How glorifying to God!
Beloved, can you not, will you not, believe that Jesus at this moment
stands prepared to make all your care His own? that He means what He
says when He invites you, the weary and the heavy-laden, to Himself
for rest? Think you that He is taunting your sorrow, sporting with
your care, trifling with your feelings, mocking your confidence, and
asking you to believe, only that He might betray; to trust, only to
deceive? Oh no! This is not the Christ of the Bible. Did He ever deal
thus with a poor sinner! Was it ever known that He invited to His feet
an anxious, care-depressed, burdened soul but to spurn that soul from
His presence? Never! Oh, He is too true, too loving, too gentle, too
kind, too faithful a Saviour for that! Will you, then, wound Him with
your doubts, dishonour Him by your unbelief, and force from under you,
buffeting, as you are, amidst the waves, this divine, sustaining
plank—faith in the word and promise of the only true and living God?
Not less potent is prayer as a mean of transferring care to God. God
often sends the care to rouse us to call upon Him. We want an errand,
and He sends a trial; we want an impulse, and He sends a sorrow; we
want earnestness and importunity, and He sends the heavy and the
continuous stroke—all His waves breaking over us. Prayer is the safety
valve of the soul. The heart would break, the spirit would sink,
despair would fold its dark shroud around us, but for the privilege of
access to God through Christ. Many a burdened believer has exclaimed,
“Why sit I here nursing in lonely grief my sorrow? I will arise and
give myself to prayer.” And the moment he has formed the resolution,
ere he has presented or even framed his petition, unutterable relief
has come. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is
higher than I.” What, then, is your sorrow? Is it sin? Arise, and in
prayer pour out your confession to Christ, and cast this burden on the
Sin-bearer. Is it temptation? Disclose it to Him who was once tempted
too, and by the same Tempter, and who thus, from experience of what
they feel, knows how to succor them that are tempted. Is it want?
Betake yourself to the throne of grace, and let your requests he made
known unto God, and in quick and ample response He will supply all
your need. Oh, try the experiment of prayer! All others may have
failed you—try yet this one! Spread your care before the Lord. His
providence and grace stand pledged to meet your every necessity.
“Hast thou a care, whose
Expels sweet slumbers from thy bed?
To thy Redeemer take that care,
And turn anxiety to prayer.
“Hast thou a wish, with which thy heart
Would feel it almost death to part?
Entreat thy God that wish to crown,
Or give thee strength to lay it down.
“Hast thou a friend, whose image dear
May prove an idol worshipp’d here?
Implore thy God that nought may be
A shadow between heaven and thee.
“Whate’er the wish that breaks thy rest,
Whate’er the care that swells thy breast,
Spread before God that wish, that care,
And turn anxiety to prayer.”
“He careth for you.” Such is
the encouragement to a compliance with His holy precept. The care of
God extends over all.
“Thou openest thine hand, and
suppliest the wants of every living thing.” (Ps 145:16)
“Thou givest them their meat in due
season.” (Ps 104:27)
Oh, what a God is our God! But if
such is God’s goodness to His enemies,—for He maketh His sun to shine
on the evil and the good,—what must be His goodness to His children!
If he has regard to the raven, and feeds it when it cries, will He,
think you, be indifferent to the plaintive note of His “dove, His
undefiled one?” It is an especial care with which God cares for you.
He cares for your temporal interests;—not one worldly anxiety, not one
want of the life that now is, is too insignificant for His regard. He
cares for your spiritual interests—for your soul’s prosperity, for
your mental peace, for your joy of heart, for your growth in grace,
for your character, your reputation, your usefulness. It is personal
care. He careth for you. He careth for your individual cares, for your
personal interests, never for an instant merging and forgetting your
individual claims upon His interest, protection, and love in the great
body of His Church. What encouragement this to betake yourself to the
Lord, transferring all care from your heart to His! Let me conclude
this chapter with one or two cautionary observations.
Do not anticipate care. This is to exceed the limit, which God has
prescribed. With the future you have no concern, as you have no
knowledge. A covenant God has, from eternity, provided for that
future. It is all in the everlasting covenant of grace, and will
unfold and assume just that form and complexion which thy God sees
best. By anticipating care, and thus antedating your future, you
grieve the Spirit of God, wound your own peace, and unfit yourself for
present duty and trial. When that care comes—if come it should—it will
bring with it its own support, and a fulfillment of the promise—
He careth for you
Sit not brooding over your state,
deploring its existence, and lamenting your want of more faith, and
grace, and love. Arise, responsive to the precept, and cast your
burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain both you and it. This
inordinate absorption within yourself will bring to you no relief, no
heart’s ease, and no nourishment to faith. One uplifted glance—one
sight of Jesus—one believing touch of the promise of God, will bring
more repose to your anxious spirit, more succor to your burdened mind,
than a lifetime of self-absorption.
“No profit canst thou gain
By self-consuming care;
To Him commend thy cause, His ear
Attends the softest prayer.
“Give to the winds thy fears;
Hope, and he undismay’d;
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears,
God shall lift up thy head.
“Through waves, and clouds, and storms,
He gently clears thy way:
Wait thou His time—thy darkest night
Shall end in brightest day.”
Remember that this casting of our
care on God is a present and a constant duty. It is in the form of the
present tense that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, addresses us:
“CASTING all your care on Him.”
Defer it not until the morrow, nor
wait a better frame—do it now! A present care will find a present
Receiver, a present Helper, and a present relief. The Lord your God
neither accepts nor rejects, grants nor denies you, because of the
high or the low frame with which you approach Him. To suppose that He
did—that the spiritual tone of your mind influenced His decision—were
to make the turning-point of His love to centre in you rather than in
Himself, and to argue that God was moved by other motives than those
found within His own heart. God’s dealings with us from first to last,
in the greatest and in the least,—from the love that chose us from
everlasting, to the smile that sheds its bright halo around our dying
pillow,—proceed upon the principle of His most free grace. And since
He finds the motive of love and the bestowment of blessing solely
within Himself, He, the unchangeable One, will not revoke the love,
nor withdraw the gift, influenced by any fickleness or change He
traces in you. Then, be your frame low, your heart dead, your faith
weak—arise, and draw near to God, for the blood-tipped sceptre bids
you approach, and the blessing, the richest God can bestow, or you
desire, awaits your full acceptance.
Oh yes! the Lord cares for you. Little, obscure, despised, unworthy
though you may be, or deem yourself to be, the Lord has an interest in
you, the closest, the tenderest that ever dwelt in a heart of love.
Bought with the Saviour’s blood, a temple of the Holy Ghost, sealed
with the earnest of the Spirit as a child of God and an heir of glory,
oh, there is not a bright angel in heaven for whom God so cares as He
cares for you! Will you not respond to this truth by transferring all
your care to Him in the exercise of a humble, unquestioning faith?
Others may have ceased to care for you. Change has congealed the warm
current of love, distance intercepts its flow, or death has stilled
its pulse, and you feel as if there existed in this wide world no
heart, no spirit, no mind that responded to, or that chimed and
blended with your own. Yes; there is One!—Jesus cares for you. The
HEART of GOD, from which all other hearts kindle their affection,
entwines you with its thoughts, its sympathies, its love; and the Eye
that searches the universe with a glance, bends upon you its ceaseless
look of love. “When my father and my mother forsake me,”—when human
affection quits its last, its latest, its most sacred home on earth,—
“then the Lord will take me up.” The desolateness of widowhood shall
claim His sympathy, the unbefriendedness of orphanage shall receive
His protection, the suffering and languor of sickness shall be
sustained by His grace, the grief of bereavement shall be soothed by
His love, and the bed and valley of death shall be cheered and
brightened with His radiant presence. Then, confide in and lean upon
this divine, this human, this precious, this ever-present Saviour. He
asks your boundless confidence and your warmest love. Most worthy of
it is He. Will you withhold it? Take that anxious care which lies like
lead upon your breast, which chases peace from your mind, joy from
your heart, slumber from your pillow, shading all the landscape of
life with wintry frost and storm, and lay it upon the heart pierced by
the soldier’s lance,—the heart that distilled its last drop of
life-blood on the tree,—and peace shall enfold you beneath its balmy
“BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING: BUT IN
EVERYTHING BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR
REQUESTS BE MADE KNOWN UNTO GOD. AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH PASSETH
ALL UNDERSTANDING, SHALL KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS THROUGH CHRIST
“Shall I not trust my God,
Who doth so well love me—
Who, as a Father, cares so tenderly?
Shall I not lay the load
Which would my weakness break,
On His strong hand, who never doth forsake?
“He doth know all my grief,
And all my heart’s desire;
He’ll stand by me till death, through flood and fire.
And He can send relief:
My Father’s love, so free,
Till the new morning shall remain to me.
“Who doth the birds supply,
Who grass, and trees, and flowers,
Doth beautifully clothe, through ceaseless hours;
Who hears us ere we cry;
Can He my need forget?
Nay, though He slay me, I will trust Him yet.
“When I His yoke do bear,
And seek my chiefest joy
But in His righteousness and sweet employ:
He makes my soul His care;
Early and late doth bless,
And crowneth work and purpose with success.
“O blessed be His name!
My Father cares for me!
I can no longer unbelieving be;
All praise to Him proclaim;
I know He is my Friend—
I know the Lord will love me to the end!”
ON FEAR and ANXIETY
here for in depth discussion
to Handle Fear
Jehovah Shalom "LORD of peace for additional
notes on this topic
|1). Fear is
to Satan what FAITH is to God.
Faith does God's work.
Fear does Satan's work.
What are some of the
FEARS that Satan will bring into your life?
a). Fear of death: "Since then the children share in
flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same,
that through death He might render powerless him who had the
power of death, that is, the devil and might deliver those who
through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." (see
b). Fear of failure: so you reason that it is safer not to do
anything, because if I do it I will fail.
c). Fear of criticism: afraid men will reject us (see Pr
29:25). Along with
this is a fear of loneliness of being left alone.
d). Fear of exposure of your weaknesses: if I do a work for God,
and am out where people can see me, then my weaknesses will be
exposed and that would bring criticism, etc. And so the result
is that I am immobilized.
God has not given us a
spirit of fear (2Ti 1:7) (see
note) and we need to
recognize that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but that
it is a tool of Satan.
God operates on the basis of FAITH and faith energizes us, faith
enables us to do great things for God.
can have significant effects including:
1). IMMOBILIZES people
2). Brings them into BONDAGE
GOD KNOWS THAT SATAN'S TACTIC IS FEAR
THEREFORE He gives us a weapon against fear, the SWORD OF THE
SPIRIT, the WORD of God, the only weapon a child of God has.
This is how Gideon went into battle -- with the sword of the
Lord. He surely did not have any classic weaponry and so he was
dependent totally on the faithfulness of God and the
trustworthiness of His Word to him. That was his weapon against
the fear that had previously bound him.
Isaiah 26:3 "The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in Thee. (KJV = Thou wilt keep him in perfect
peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in
thee.) So when I set my mind on God, I am setting it upon the
truth of God's word.
WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY ABOUT FEAR?
1). PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR:
1Jn 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have
confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are
we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love
casts out fear, because fear involves punishment (or torment),
and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 19 We love,
because He first loved us.
So first you need to establish in your mind that God loves you
with a PERFECT love. It is an unconditional love.
See Judges 6:22 Gideon had to deal with his fear of the Lord, but
because of what God spoke to him, he came to have PEACE WITH
GOD. When I have peace with God that enables me to encounter the
world and handle any of the fears that come. It is then that I
understand that because He loves me with a PERFECT LOVE, He will
not let anything happen to me that is not for my ultimate good
my ultimate Christ-likeness. When that is your mindset you can
then handle other fears.
Being secure in God's love becomes the foundation for dealing
with all other fears.
When we have this mindset, we filter whatever event or
circumstance that might be inciting the fear thru the grid of an
all powerful, all knowing God Who loves me with a perfect love
Who is sovereign and rules over EVERYTHING. This goes back to the
great truth in Is 26:3...keep your MIND steadfastly on Him, keep
your MIND stayed on Him...you know that He loves you with a
perfect love and that CASTS OUT FEAR.
FEAR never comes from God (2Ti 1:7) For God has not given us a
spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Satan is the father of lies and when this thought comes it is
not from God but from the enemy. Acknowledge the truth in this
Scripture when faced with fear.
POWER comes from God: God has given us power.
Lk 10:19 "Behold, I have given
you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all
the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.
God has given us authority over all the power of the enemy.
Ephesians 1:19 note "the greatness of His power"
We have the power to refuse to accept the thoughts of the enemy.
God has given us love: a perfect love
Know that you are loved with a perfect love.
1Jn 4:17, 18, 19
Ro 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, "FOR
THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE
CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But IN (note this
very carefully...in the midst of the tribulation, in the midst
of the distress, etc, the following is STILL TRUE) all these
things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who LOVED us. 38
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord. (notes on
God has given us a SOUND MIND: a mind under control.
Php 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer (
means to look at the character of God) and supplication
(specific requests) with thanksgiving let your requests be made
known to God. (What is the result of seeing His character,
specifically asking Him and finally giving thanks for your
circumstances? PEACE!) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses
all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your MINDS in
Christ Jesus. (see notes
When we begin to become anxious (knowing that anxiety often
causes FEAR), we are to go to God in prayer and supplication
FEAR OF MAN BRINGS A SNARE:
Pr 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, BUT he who trusts in the
LORD will be exalted. (KJV = but whoso putteth his trust in the
LORD shall be safe.)
Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I
striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I
would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
We fear man's criticism, rejection, being left alone.
What is the "snare" or the result of being ensnared by the "fear
of man"? We become men pleasers and we try to do whatever it
takes to make men like me. We cannot be a bondservant of God and
a slave of man. If you want to walk without the fear of man,
then you must walk as a "God-pleaser". You must live with the
abandon that whatever pleases your Father, you are willing to do
NO MATTER WHAT MAN THINKS OF ME! And you can be secure in this
truth (Pr 29:25b) for God will never forsake you (Heb 13:5) but
FEAR CAUSES US TO FORGET GOD:
You cannot have FAITH and FEAR at the same time. Fear puts your
eyes on the circumstances or situations and takes them off the
"I Am" ("I Am" anything and everything you will ever need). When
you take your eyes off God, you are forgetting His sovereignty,
His omniscience, His omnipotence, etc, all His qualities that we
remain steadfast in mind in regard to (Isa26:3).
Is 51:12 "I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that
you are afraid of man who dies, And of the son of man who is
made like grass;13 That you have forgotten the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens, And laid the foundations of the
earth; That you FEAR CONTINUALLY ALL DAY LONG because of the
fury of the oppressor, As he makes ready to destroy? But where
is the fury of the oppressor?
So God says when we begin to
FEAR MAN, we FORGET "I Am" our Maker, the omnipotent Creator of
all. God is saying He is SOVEREIGN and in control of all these
events. Take your eyes off men - they are going to die -- don't
fear them. I am in control He is saying and so as we keep our
minds stayed (Is 26:3 KJV) on Him, He keeps our minds in
perfect peace (Shalom, Shalom > peace, peace > well-being,
well-being) (cp Php 4:7 -
WE ARE NOT TO BE AFRAID IN CONFLICT:
Dt 20:1 "When you go out to battle against your enemies and see
horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be
afraid of them; (WHY NOT?) for the LORD your God, who brought
you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 "Now it shall come
about that when you are approaching the battle, the priest shall
come near and speak to the people. 3 "And he shall say to them,
'Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your
enemies today. Do not be FAINTHEARTED. Do not be AFRAID or PANIC
or TREMBLE before them, (WHY NOT?) 4 for the LORD your God is
the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your
enemies, to save you.' (Deuteronomy 20:1-4)
You might say "But what if I get killed?" Where will you be
then? Present with the Lord!!! We do not need to fear death.
Once we see Him we will never wonder why we died when we did. We
will be exalting Him and worshiping Jesus our Redeemer. We will
not want to go back into this world! And remember no one can
kill you w/o God's permission. You are INVINCIBLE and
INDESTRUCTIBLE until God says "Come on home". And no matter what
you are called to go thru, God promises that He will never give
you more than you can endure.
Php 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents-- which is a sign of
destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too,
from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not
only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30
experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear
to be in me. (see note
We are not to be afraid in CONFLICT. When we are not afraid in
CONFLICT, it shows that we have confidence in God. In what
attribute or truth of God? That God will keep you in perfect
peace if you keep your mind stayed on Him (Is 26:3).
WHAT IS THE CURE FOR FEAR?
Ps 27:1 (of David.) The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom
shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I
2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries
and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be
WHERE DOES HE GET HIS CONFIDENCE?
Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That
I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To
behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His
tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He
will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me;
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I
will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Pr 3:13-26, 22: Teach that "Wisdom" is the CURE for FEAR.
22 So they will be life to your soul, And adornment to your
23 Then you will walk in your way securely, And your foot will
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down,
your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear, Nor of the onslaught of the
wicked when it comes;
26 For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot
from being caught.
WHEN YOU FEAR WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. 4 In God,
whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be
afraid. What can mere man do to me?
When I am afraid what should we do? PUT OUR TRUST IN GOD, IN HIS
HOLY WORD. Learn to bury your head in the bosom of the Father
and let Him put His omnipotent arms around you and here Him say
"Hush child. I love you with a perfect love and all things will
work together for good."
Click in depth discussion
How to Handle Fear