“Cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.” I Peter 5:7-9
I started writing The Beggar Danced to be an encouragement for people who have struggles in their lives. My goal is to present Bible texts each post that we can hold on to and derive comfort from when we are battered by the storms of life. One of those great texts is the one we are looking at today, “cast all your anxieties on Him, for He cares about you.”
What does it mean that God cares for us? In Matthew 10 Jesus tells the story of two sparrows. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (v. 29-31)
If we think about this for a moment a beautiful picture of God’s care for us unfolds. I believe Jesus’ reasoning was if the Father in Heaven notices something as small as the death of a sparrow and knows us so intimately that He knows the number of hairs on our head, then why would we ever doubt His love for us? We have nothing “to fear” because God cares for us.
If God is mindful of the smallest things in nature then we can be assured of His care for us. At the cross His love and care for us was manifested in a horrific death of pain and shame that set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Jesus’ substitutionary death paid the penalty for my sin and rebellion. Through the cross the truth of God’s grace rang out throughout the universe that resounded with the cry, I care, I love these people and I give my all for them.
David cries out for mercy and grace in light of his failures, “As for me I am poor and needy; but the Lord takes thought for me. Thou are my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God!” Psalms 40:17 God thinks about David and He thinks about us, our needs and our pain. He is willing to reach out to us and help us through our time of sorrows and discouragement because He cares. “But may all who seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee; may those who love thy salvation say continually, ‘Great is the LORD!’ “ Psalm 40:16 Also read Psalm 27:1-6 to get a deeper insight into David’s confidence in God’s care for him.
Since God cares for us to the extent that it would send Him to the cross to die as our substitute that we might receive the gift of redemption and eternal life then why be anxious? If we are carrying heavy trials on our shoulders and feel like they are about to crush us then we need to cast them all upon Jesus. That simply means we may look to Him for grace and strength as well as comfort and assurance that He will enable us to bear the trial.
“Have no anxiety about anything; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6, 7
I understand that for some of you who are going through very difficult times that this post might simply seem like words on paper and doesn’t pay the bills, restore the marriage or bring a loved one back to life. But the words of these verses I’ve shared with you today are true because they are the inspired words of God that have strengthened men and women throughout the centuries. These same verses were studied and believed by countless millions of Christians who faced persecution, trials and conflicts in their lives.
Let me end this post with one last series of texts from Philippians. “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (3:8-11)
Paul knew in spite of all he suffered and lost that Jesus was worth it all. His faith was in the grace and righteousness of God that could see him through the worse of life’s storms. He knew that God cared for him and as a result he cast his cares down at the foot of the cross and walked in the newness of life, confident in God’s love and care.
* When we pray God hears us. Our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ are not forgotten. Continue to pray because God is listening. Go to http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ to read some of their stories.