1 Peter 5:5-11 – “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” NKJV
All of it is difficult, at times, but what I am specifically addressing is the statement of vv. 6-7 where it speaks of four specifics: Humbling ourselves, God’s exaltation of us, casting our cares on Him and His love for us. It is often difficult to ‘humble ourselves’ and too often God must bring about conditions to do it for us. The part that often proves to be incredibly difficult for multitudes is the part of ‘casting our cares upon God.’ That has been easy and almost impossible in my life and the lives of scores of people I have worked with through the years.
Why would it be difficult to cast our cares on the Lord? I know that I am not capable of fully answering that question but among the possibilities is TRUST and the bent of human nature to EARN IT or DESERVE IT. The trust issue stems from the reality that we do not truly ‘know’ God. I am not saying we do not believe or have not received His pardon and experienced the new birth. I am saying we do not ‘know’ Him (His character). We know about Him and have experienced Him to a measure but we have yet to KNOW HIM so completely that we TRUST Him fully. Too often we form our image of God from our human relationships and in so doing begin on a wrong premise and reach a wrong conclusion. He is not man, does not think like man nor respond as man. HE IS! He is Holy and Love. He is the “I AM” and that so transcends any human relationship or emotion that we have difficulty comprehending.
The other issue(s) of EARNING or DESERVING His grace and help is one that shipwrecks our faith far too frequently. We say publicly and privately that we know we cannot earn anything from God but take actions that contradict that confession. We will take a matter to God in prayer and say we are leaving it on the altar but will frequently speak of it as our task not one we have given to Him. We will fret over it as though the outcome was totally dependent upon us. We will take steps and actions that indicate we have done anything but ‘cast it upon Him.’ That is a problem and something that many find incredibly difficult.
In all matters it is problematic and comes to light in matters we have been wronged. We confess we ‘forgive’ but then we harbor resentment, isolate and view the offender as a spiritual leper. We want them to pay for their wrong. I know we wax spiritual and say all the right things but how do we respond when they are ‘blessed’ or we see no visible suffering for their wrong? I had someone tell me once that they could not ‘turn someone over to God’ because God might not punish them. They argued vehemently that they had truly ‘cast the care’ upon the Lord but their words, resentment and desire for vengeance and retaliation negated that testimony. We do that in many areas of life including: finances, health and relationships.
My prayer for myself and you is that God help us to learn to TRUST HIM to the degree that we willingly and gladly CAST OUR CARES upon Him all the time and every time and leave them with Him. May the Lord be with you as you go through your day! Blessings!