by Pastor Tim Burt
As I was getting ready for my day this morning, a friend of mine who is battling cancer rose up in my heart. I had reached out to visit him a couple of weeks ago but he wasn’t feeling up to a visit. We had a short chat and then I prayed for him on the phone. I had him on my heart again today and so I began to pray for him. That’s such an improvement over how I used to respond to something like this 30 years ago. Back in those days, I would worry about my friends that were in trouble. Once I learned how Jesus felt about worrying, I changed my approach! Worrying has become unacceptable because worrying is the equivalent of accomplishing nothing.
My mother was one of the most compassionate individuals I’ve ever known. I feel like I have a very caring heart and I believe I have those attributes because of her. But, she thought worrying for others was like a spiritual experience—that it was an extension of compassion. It’s not! It’s contrary to God’s will. As you may have figured out, our bodies don’t handle worry well. It breaks them down. And it changes nothing! Luke 12:22-25 (NLT) “Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life… Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Instead the Lord teaches us what to do with worry. 1 Peter 5:7 (TLB) says, “Let Him have all your
worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything
that concerns you.”
That word anxiety is the same word as worry. Worrying or anxiety is a pointless distraction. It accomplishes nothing positive, but instead, robs us of sleep, builds stress, and leads to spiritual, mental and physical degradation. We were meant to turn our cares and anxieties over to the Lord—actually to cast them upon Him. But even then, not just turn over or cast them—but cast them in faith.What does casting them on Him in faith mean? It means praying about the situation and turning it over to the Lord to handle, having confidence that He will because you have faith in Him to do so, and because He cares far more than you!”
It is not enough just to cast your cares unto the Lord. You’ll go right back and pick them up again. That’s what people do. That’s what I used to do. I’d lose sleep over things I was worried about and try to cast them on the Lord. Cares have a way of crawling back up in your lap like a little puppy. You have to treat them like the plague! It isn’t that you don’t care about those you love. You do care and that is why you do the right thing! You have to turn them over to the Lord in faith, based on God’s promise to you about it. If you don’t know what that promise is, you have to prayerfully read the Word seeking God until that promise speaks from the pages of His Word. You’ll know it when you see it. Then these words from Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) will make sense to you. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Why are we instructed to do this? Because Jesus loves us. Because He cares for us and our situation. He alone has the capacity, the ability, and the power to take care of us. He knows our needs even before we ask. Jesus teaches us that in Matthew 6:8 (NKJV) “…for your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” He may know them in advance but He still requires that we ask in prayer—and not just ask, but ask in faith believing! Jesus taught more! In Mark 11:24 (NKJV) He says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” We are supposed to believe before we see God take care of it? Isn’t that crazy? No, it’s faith!
I grew up a worrier. Worrying is a curse. If I worry I am rendered ineffective, helping no one and wasting time. God’s kind of compassion will lead me to not only show care and concern, but to compel my heart to pray filled prayers—the power that gets to the root of problems. If I cast those cares over to Him, then I can pray and release those cares and move forward with my day as God leads.
I am not God. I cannot solve anyone’s problems. But if I let the Spirit of God work through me in prayer, in communication, and in action, I’ll be a powerful blessing instead of being a distracted, paralyzed, ineffective lump of worry.
1 Peter 5:7 (TLB) “Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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