Cast Those Cares

It is time to let go of those heavy burdens:

I need to remind my readers that when I pen a piece involving admonitions or encouragements or warnings and the like, I often am writing just as much to myself as to anyone else. I personally need to hear these words. If no one else needs them, I usually do.

This article is a case in point. It involves an area I struggle with. Some of you may struggle with it as well. It has to do with carrying cares and burdens and anxieties and worries. Before I discuss my own problems here, let me offer one related example of this to help set the stage.

Let’s say we have a gal who is very much into animal welfare. She is deeply disturbed by cruelty to, and abuse of, animals – something we all should be of course. But for this person it is an all-consuming passion. It is all she thinks about. She loses sleep over it, forever worrying about how some poor animals around the world are being treated.

We might offer the following sort of advice to her: ‘It is great that you care so deeply about this, and that you are doing your bit to reduce it. Well done. But you cannot save every animal in the world, and you cannot let this so consume you that it utterly breaks you. You need to care for animals but you should not let it destroy you.’

So let me now share my story. In a similar sort of way to this fictitious gal, I also worry a lot. I care deeply about the state of the world. I care deeply about what I see happening around me. I care deeply about how the church is going. I care deeply about the culture wars. I care deeply about the growing darkness in the West.

You get the idea, and this website gives expression to these and other deep concerns that I have. Yes, I know full well that I am to cast my burdens on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). And that I often do. I raise my hands to the Lord and ask him to relieve me of these cares, these burdens, these worries.

And I am not in this state 24/7. But so often that is how I seem to be. As I say, we are meant to let Christ take these concerns upon himself. As Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Image of Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Array Amazon logo

Let me speak a bit more to this important passage by appealing to a very significant book that I have touted before. I refer to Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers Hardcover by Dane Ortlund (Crossway, 2020). Early on he says this concerning the Matt. 28 text:

My dad pointed out to me something that Charles Spurgeon pointed out to him. In the four Gospel accounts given to us in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — eighty-nine chapters of biblical text — there’s only one place where Jesus tells us about His own heart….

 

In the one place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is, we are not told that he is “austere and demanding in heart.” We are not told that He is “exalted and dignified in heart.” We are not even told that he is “joyful and generous in heart.” Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is “gentle and lowly in heart.”…

 

And when Jesus tells us what animates him most deeply, what is most true of him — when he exposes the innermost recesses of his being — what we find there is: gentle and lowly.

 

Who could ever have thought up such a Savior?

He continues:

The point in saying that Jesus is lowly is that he is accessible. For all his resplendent glory and dazzling holiness, his supreme uniqueness and otherness, no one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ. No prerequisites. No hoops to jump through….

 

“Gentle and lowly.” This, according to his own testimony, is Christ’s very heart. This is who he is. Tender. Open. Welcoming. Accommodating. Understanding. Willing. If we are asked to say only one thing about who Jesus is, we would be honoring Jesus’ own teaching if our answer is gentle and lowly….

 

This is not who he is to everyone, indiscriminately. This is who he is for those who come to him, who take his yoke upon them, who cry to him for help. The paragraph before these words from Jesus gives us a picture of how Jesus handles the impenitent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! … I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you” (Matthew 11:21, 24). “Gentle and lowly” does not mean “mushy and frothy.”

 

But for the penitent, His heart of gentle embrace is never outmatched by our sins and foibles and insecurities and doubts and anxieties and failures.

Terrific stuff there. That should spur us all on to readily and regularly cast our cares upon him, for he really does care about us. The 1 Peter 5:7 passage can also be spoken to a bit further. Here are three translations of it:

ESV: casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
KJV casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you
NLT Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

In his expository commentary Daniel Doriani says this about the verse:

Notice that anxiety (merimna) is singular. We normally think of anxieties in the plural. We worry about work, health, relationships, and a too-dense schedule. Problems roll in like waves, but they can congeal into one mass of anxiety. If we pay attention, we sense the big Anxiety in our friends – and our friends can see it in us. We can weather modest problems, arriving singly, but when one great problem falls on us, or a cluster arrives, we feel it differently.

 

Peter commands us to take our anxiety and throw, toss, or cast it onto God. As we throw a bag of gym clothes into a car or hoist a saddle onto a horse, so we should toss our anxiety on the Lord. He is mighty and he will exalt us at the right time, because our cares are his.

 

Jesus tells us not to be anxious: “Do not worry about your life.” Pagans constantly worry, asking what they will eat, drink, or wear. If we trust God, we don’t wear ourselves out chasing these things, for we know that our Father will feed and clothe us (Matt. 6:25-32). We should not indulge in our worries.

 

Yet Paul admits that he has anxiety (merimna again). He lists his troubles as an apostle – the beatings and jails, the hunger, thirst, cold, and shipwreck – and then concludes, “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28 ESV). So Paul has anxiety and apparently sees it as a problem but not as a sin.

 

From this we conclude that anxiety is normal in some circumstances and that it’s possible to be anxious and yet not sin, if we address it properly. Specifically, we neither panic nor attempt to solve our problems autonomously….

I often need to cast my cares on Him. And sometimes I need to repent and ask forgiveness for hanging on to burdens that he wants to carry. But the great news is he knows all about a heavy heart and a wounded spirit. All the more reason to take everything to him instead of holding on to it. I still need to learn this lesson. Pray for me that I get it right – and sooner than later!

One closing quote by someone who certainly had plenty to worry about during her hard life. Concentration camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom said this: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength – carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

[1425 words]

17 Replies to “Cast Those Cares”

  1. As usual, a relevant and helpful message for today’s troubled times.
    Thank you. This is a timely reminder to cast our every anxiety upon Him.

  2. THANK YOU BILL. It was only days ago that I cried to God and said, “I don’t feel able to cast my burden/cares on you. Please help me and take it from me”. And He did and sent you in as a back up. I had forgotten that fabulous quote from Corrie Ten Boon. God is so good ALL the time. I will pray for you too.

  3. Bill, your words in the above post really resonate with me as I’m sure they do with many of your CultureWatch readers.
    May I just offer the following three observations on your piece?

    1) You write: “When I pen a piece involving admonitions or encouragements or warnings and the like, I often am writing just as much to myself as to anyone else. I personally need to hear these words.”

    Your practice of, in effect, preaching a sermon to yourself is a very sound and well-established Christian practice. The Puritans of old were famous for it.
    King David himself did it in many of his psalms, most notably in Psalm 103, where he exhorts himself to meditate on the LORD’s goodness, beginning with these words:
    “Bless the LORD, my soul;
    my innermost heart, bless his holy name.
    Bless the LORD, my soul,
    and forget none of his benefits.”
    (Note to your readers: please do not stop there. Grab your Bible, and read through Psalm 103 in its entirety, preferably out loud. It is a powerful tonic for the soul.)

    2) You write: “I also worry a lot. I care deeply about the state of the world. I care deeply about what I see happening around me. I care deeply about how the church is going. I care deeply about the culture wars. I care deeply about the growing darkness in the West.”

    May I observe that it is entirely in order for a Christian to grieve over, not only his personal sins and shortcomings, but also the plight of our fallen world.
    The late J.I. Packer, in his 1973 classic, Knowing God, describes how our heavenly Father “wants us to grow in Christ, not to stay babes in Christ”. Packer warns us to avoid what he calls “arrested spiritual development — the emergence of a childish, grinning, irresponsible, self-absorbed breed of evangelical adults”.
    It is no reproach, Bill, that you possess what the American novelist Henry James called, in another context, “the imagination of disaster”.
    You, and others like you, belong to a very select and honourable company of men and women in history who have grieved over the state of the world. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah come immediately to mind, as do godly statesmen such as Edmund Burke and Abraham Lincoln, the Welsh prayer warrior Rees Howells, and the heroic German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

    3) You write: “The great news is Jesus knows all about a heavy heart and a wounded spirit. All the more reason to take everything to him instead of holding on to it.”

    I reiterate my recommendation that the sorrowful Christian should prayerfully read Psalm 103.
    I would also recommend listening to, and following the words to, Joseph M. Scriven’s much-loved hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, sung here in this YouTube video clip by the Salvation Army Celebration Choir in Sheffield, England: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YOk6uWm8jg
    The words for the hymn may be found at:
    https://www.hymnlyrics.org/mostpopularhymns/whatafriendwehaveinjesus.php

  4. Bill, you do such a tremendous job keeping us fed that I hope you don’t wear yourself out. Your articles are so long I have trouble keeping up with them but I have learnt a lot from them. Keep up the good work but what also feeds me is knowing that God is bringing back his King David (President Trump) by the end of the year I believe. There are a few prophets predicting this,
    I watch Hank Kunneman, Robin Bullock and Bo Polny as they encourage me. You might have others or disagree with it all, I don’t know. I just believe the tide is turning in America, although it is still very bad, with Trump supporters now being the majority and not the remnant anymore.

  5. God is good and his timing is perfect! I asked God in prayer this morning to lead me in dealing with this very issue and your article hit the nail(s) on the head. Generally, I have no cares in this world as Christ has overcome the world but every so often God will bring something…or more like someone…to cause me to seek Him and his guidance . Many thanks Bill.

  6. Last night I prayed to our Lord to calm my anxiety and my heart and to give me guidance. It has come in the form of your article, today. Too many of us get so caught up in the storms of the world, feeling like we are drowning, because we forget or neglect to focus on Jesus… Thank you, Bill.

  7. I think many Christians forget, that following Jesus entails a struggle with yourself, not with the world. It is not your job to convert or convince anyone, other than indirectly through the light of the spirit shining from within. When we change through the spirit on the path to Jesus, that is how we change the world.

  8. Dear Bill,
    Yep…guilty as charged. It is such a strange phenomenon that the Lord asks us to rid ourselves of the baggage, yet we insist on keeping hold of it…as if it Louis Vuitton luggage. Lord, please take all these cares, worries, burdens, and anxious moments.
    Thanks for the reminder, Bill.

    Ron Adams

  9. I don’t see how any Christian could look at the world and not be grieved and saddened. Like the prophets of old we too cry out about the wickedness we see only to get mocked ridiculed and harassed. Like them we might not see anything else we are called to witness to a world gone mad that has no intention of acknowledging or returning to God. Ours is not the traditional repentance ministry that calls for repentance and sees the fruit there of but ours is to be the faithful penitent ministry which shows the word the truth and what needs to be done even though it will ignore us. Our treasure is built up in heaven and the fruit of our ministry will not germinate in our time but we will have a impact. We have others on our side and this site allows us to talk to each other but we offer feel alone.

    We have others on our side and this site allows us to talk to each other but we offer feel alone.

    There is a desert in South America, saw it on the news years ago, gets VERY little rain and after a rain seeds long dormant blossom into flowers that drop their own seeds. These seeds won’t blossom till the next rain which might take years BUT when the rain comes they WILL blossom. The seeds we plant in this dying civilization may not blossom in OUR time but someone at some future time will water those seeds and they WILL blossom.

    Remember God will not give us a bigger burden than we can bare (though sometimes it seems he trusts us a bit too much). I am reminded of a thing I read once a person going to Jesus to exchange there cross, burden, for a lighter one and they set down the cross in a room an look at all the crosses there to choose and they choose the smallest only to be told that is the one they came in with.

  10. So well said Bill as we are certainly in an hour when the “cares” are real & many. Not so much for myself but rather for the innocents that are being led away like sheep to the slaughter because of our tyrannical leaders with their draconian “health” measures that have no validity in them & touting a vax that can kill you. Not easy to let go of that one

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