Finding Favour is a contemporary Christian worship band who has a smash hit playing on K-Love radio about every 25 minutes called “Cast My Cares.” The song is based on 1 Peter 5:7 that says, “cast all your anxieties (cares) on him, because he cares for you.” It is a catchy song based on a tremendous verse.
But how do we actually do such a thing as Christians? What does it really look like to cast your cares on the Lord? This is a perfect example of the many ways Christians might be convinced of something intellectually – for most Christians would agree that we should cast our cares on the Lord – but simultaneously be perplexed and even frustrated when trying to practically carry out the task.
It is helpful to first understand what the command to cast your cares on the Lord does not mean. It does not mean give up. It does not mean become passive. It is not an invitation to view God as your own personal servant who will take care of things for you while you sip on a glass of tea. It is not the concept of “let go and let God” in the sense of saying “the heck with it, God will deal with it.” So we have to do away with any of those ideas.
There are two principles in play when casting our cares on God.
The first is to understand that God commands and expects us to let him work for us before we go to work for him. The word “before” is key. I can change that one word and make the principle completely wrong. If I say, “God commands and expects us to let him work for us instead of us working for him” I would be dead wrong. And this, I think, is often the way the verse is interpreted.
Notice how this principle also negates the cliched notion that “God helps those who help themselves.” Not only is that phrase absent in the Bible, it is wholly anti-gospel. Again, the key word is “before.”
The first principle is most beautifully seen in the life and example of Paul. Almost anytime Paul describes his tireless efforts for the gospel of Jesus Christ, he carefully describes how that effort is based on the grace of God and his union with Christ. Notice 1 Corinthians 15:10: “…I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” Paul does not deny his own hard work and involvement in the tasks at hand, but quickly points to how the hard work was fruitful, joyful, and purposeful – by the grace of God.
Therefore, if we fail to cast our cares on God, we fail to rely on God’s grace that is our power for handling and working through the anxieties in our life.
The second principle is based on a closer look at 1 Peter 5:7. Like so many times in the Bible, the premise is based on a promise. The premise in this verse is obvious – cast your cares on the Lord. Then Peter tells us why we should do it – because God cares for you. If there is a secret to practically casting your cares on the Lord, it is to believe with all your heart that God cares for you and your situation. God wants to be trusted by you in the things that are most troubling to you. He promises to act because of his love for us. So we have to examine ourselves to see if we really trust God with the specific details of our life. And that’s the tricky part.
You see, it is one thing to speak of the trustworthiness of God in general terms. We trust God to save people and we trust God to eventually work things out for good. It is quite another thing to trust God with the fear inducing situation that is happening in your life right at this very moment. That moves us from the abstract to the specific. But when God’s promise of caring for you is the basis of the premise to cast your cares on him, it means he will not be found idle. It means he will work in you and through you to accomplish his purposes in that fear inducing situation. It means that God who sees all and knows all and does all is actively participating on your behalf because he cares for you.
So, if you believe that God is who he says he is, and if you believe that he cares for you, then your fears can begin to feel a little less heavy.
I would say casting your cares on the Lord involves these things:
- Allow God to work for you before you work for him. This is grace.
- Believe that God cares for you and cares for the exact, specific situation you are struggling with.
- Prayer is your expression that you believe God cares for you. When anxiety fills your heart, our response of faith in God’s promise to care for us is most fully expressed through our prayer life. This is why Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, let your request be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
- Humble yourself before God by acknowledging that you are not big enough, strong enough, wise enough, good enough to deal with this issue.
- Trust the promise that you are not condemned or guilty. There is no guilt or condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1.
- Take the anxiety and concern as an opportunity to worship and rejoice.
- After these things, take action. And as you do, rest in the knowledge that you are acting in Christ and only after God has gone to work for you.
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