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 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 miss seeing him and had him on my heart again today. And so I began to pray for him. That is such an improvement over how I used to respond to something like this 30 years ago. Back then 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.
My mother was one of the most compassionate individuals I've ever known, 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 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
That word anxiety is the same word as worry. Worrying or anxiety is a pointless distraction. It accomplishes nothing positive, but instead it robs us of sleep, builds stress, paralyzes, 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. Why? Because He cares and through prayer can accomplish what we can't!
It is not enough just to cast your cares unto the Lord. Why? Because you’ll go right back and pick them up again. That’s what I use to do. I'd lose sleep over concerns I had 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.”
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 do what I can, but it will also drive me to sincere faith 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 “Cast all your cares – your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt