Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Countless stories in the scriptures show us God‘s care for people. In Genesis, He created a world of plants, animals, seasons, and water to provide for us so we could live. He freed his people from slavery in Egypt and then gave them food to eat everyday on the journey to the Promised Land. He gave them instructions so they could live the best life possible, and He forgave and restored them when they got off track. In the New Testament, Jesus’s interactions with people show us God love up close. He touched lepers, forgave adulterers, healed the sick, raised the dead, and was infinitely patient with followers, who were painfully slow to grasp His character and His mission.
If God‘s care is unmistakable, why do we have difficulty trusting Him when we’re in need? Peter gives us a clue. At least one factor, he explains is our pride, which says, “I don’t need God. I can do it all by myself “. Pride pushes God away and blocks the channel of his love and power to meet our needs.
We long to experience God‘s presence and care, but some of us long even more to appear self-sufficient. The first step – the most important step – to experiencing God’s care is to humbly admit our need for him. Without this honestly, we go it alone, and we miss the wonder of seeing Him work in and through us in the most difficult moments in our lives.
“When we trust God, He trusts us and blesses us over and over.”
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is this verse that holds such a promise: “casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you.” One of the joys we experience in getting to know God- not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him- is learning that He really does care for us. We read again and again that God loves us and yet we often filter that promise through our human experience. None of us are capable of loving the way God loves for there is always something of self in the way. We love but there is sometimes a limit of depth or time. Often if we don’t receive a timely response we may back away to some degree. It’s hard to fathom a love that is constant and consistent. We as humans hear about and practice “falling in love” and “falling out of love.” But God never changes His heart toward us.
Sometimes shame or pride hinders us casting our cares upon God. In some way, like Adam who tried to hide himself from God, we think that we can keep secrets from God. To be sure we may say we know that He is all-knowing but somehow we hope He doesn’t know everything. Peter is saying to us that God wants us to bring everything to Him, especially our cares. Let’s talk about that word for a second. “Cares” may be defined as: concerned or troubled state of mind, as that arising from serious responsibility; worry.
In essence anything that we struggle with whether it be the everyday challenges, specific challenges or the challenge of sin, God wants us to bring it to Him.
Peter uses the word “cast” to give emphasis that God invites us to throw off, get rid of, and let go of all the things that weigh us down or hinder our relationship with Him.
The writer of Hebrews says it this way: “Laying aside every weight and the sin that does so easily beset us, let us run the race with patience, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.”
You see God wishes to share your life with you. He wants to carry your burdens with you. Jesus invites us to come to Him when we are “heavy laden” and find rest in Him. He invites us to yoke up with Him for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He pulls most of the load.
The third word that Peter uses is humble. He uses it in the verb form. What does it mean to humble ourselves? The simple answer is that we accept Christ not just as Savior- One who rescues us, but Christ as Lord- One who leads and directs our life. Making Christ Lord is letting Him make our decisions, seeking His response to the questions of life and following His leadership. It is giving up our independence and becoming dependent on Him.
Sometimes we make it difficult having a relationship with God. We question His love for us because many of us think it’s performance based. In other words, if I’m good God loves me, if I’m bad He doesn’t. We learn that sometimes from other humans because that’s the way they love. But God doesn’t begin to love us after we’re saved or after we’ve improved. The Bible says that God demonstrated His love toward us in that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ Now that’s love, true love. God didn’t wait until we “deserved to be loved,” if such a thing is possible. He chose to love us at our worst. If God loved us before we were saved, why would that change after the fact? If God loved us in our sinful state, why do we wonder if He loves now? If we can trust God to take care of us in eternity, can we not also believe that He will take care of us in this life as well?
I invite you today to take it all, holding nothing back, to God. Trust His love and care. Trust His wisdom and power. Place yourself at His disposal. Lay the whole matter before Him and listen. Lay it down, let it go and rest in the care of the God who gave up His Son on a cross for you!
Dr. John Thompson