Casting all your cares on Him, because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Merrriam-Webster defines “Cast” this way: (1) to throw off or away (2) : to get rid of : discard
We all have our own “cares” we carry around with us – financial worries, concern for our children, uncertainty about the future, etc…. They distract us from the here & now and weigh us down. If I’m worried about something or someone, it can consume me and it keeps me from being effective for the LORD and enjoying the moment. God says to cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us. He doesn’t say just give me the big stuff or the things you think I can handle. Nope, He says to cast them all. We all know that isn’t always easy to do, and once we do it is easy to take them back and try to figure them out and fix things ourselves. It doesn’t mean we are to do nothing, but it does me we shouldn’t worry about all the things we can do nothing about. I pray God will give us wisdom to walk this walk and teach us how to cast! Any anglers out there who could give some lessons????
Everyone has to deal with crises in life, including Christians. And sometimes, the reality of life can seem unbearable. But we can rest in the knowledge that God loves us, He weeps in our times of pain, and He can be glorified through suffering. Narrated by Dr. James Dobson, Hope for Hurting Hearts tells the stories of how Greg and Cathe Laurie, Jeremy Camp, Nick Vujicic, and their families dealt with times of trial. Each of these individuals has stood at a “spiritual crossroads” marked by challenging and painful circumstances, and each has chosen the road of trusting, following, and glorifying God.
You will be encouraged by these intimate accounts, which give a glimpse into God’s perspective on suffering, and declare that there truly is Hope for Hurting Hearts.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 How many of us reach for our smartphone or iPad first thing in the morning to check the news, facebook, email, etc…? I know I’ve been guilty of that.
Here is a challenge for us to seek God first:
Before checking your email, before getting on Facebook, before checking the headlines or your messages… CONNECT WITH GOD – Read the Bible & Pray.
As I got up this morning, read my Bible, asked God to guide and bless this day, then headed to work at this Christian radio station, I never once looked over my shoulder to see who was watching or following me. I wasn’t concerned that my Bible would be confiscated (if I was, would I have read it more fervently?). I didn’t wonder if my family or I would be arrested or beaten today because of our faith. No, it was a pretty easy morning. I realize it may not always be that way in this country, and I realize that it isn’t that way today in many parts of the world. But how much do I really care and pray for those who are threatened, harmed or imprisoned right now because of their belief in Jesus Christ? How much I take for granted….how easy my Christianity…. May God burden me to pray everyday for my persecuted brothers and sisters…
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.” Psalm 143:8
Have you ever seen a toddler learning to walk? The take a tentative step or two and then plop down on their diaper-padded bottom. Up again. Another few wobbly steps, then plop! There are moments of frustration and pain, excitement and pure joy as they learn to put one foot in front of the other. Pretty soon they are toddling across the whole room, and before long, walking mastered, they are onto new adventures like climbing up the steps, jumping on the bed, etc…
I sure wish my Christian walk was that simplistic. How I wish I could learn to walk once and for all without stumbling and falling so often. I wish the pain and frustration of my failures wasn’t so stinging. I wish I could walk this Christian walk without acquiring so many bumps and bruises along the way. It seems like, after all these years, I should have this mastered. My life should be bursting forth with the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I should always respond with grace and kindness, but nooooooo. Too often I find myself sitting in frustration on the ground and having to get back up (by God’s grace) to take another step.
I am so thankful for God’s patience with me. And that when I fall, He gently picks me up and sets me back on my feet again. Most amazing is that in spite of all of my imperfections, He still loves and uses me. Learning to walk the Christian walk is a lifelong process…
Romans 8:28 (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.) is becoming more and more meaningful to me. I guess early in my Christian faith my idea of “good” was much different than it is today. So my idea of Him working all things together for good was much different, as well. As I’ve walked through valleys of suffering and seen unimaginable pain in the lives of those I love, I have seen how God has worked in a much deeper way and has worked good through the darkest of times. Not a Disneyland type of good, but a real, deep, purposeful and eternal good.
God does work in ALL these things for good. We can trust Him – even in the worst of times. -darla
You push the “ON” button. Nothing. You turn a couple knobs. Still Nothing. You give a tap. Then another, this time a bit harder. Nothing! Frustration and aggravation mount as you become more perplexed as to why things just aren’t working. Finally, it dawns on you! Is it plugged in? That’s it! The cord in dangling there, but not connected to the power source. I’m sure you’ve already made the connection with our spiritual lives. Sometimes we try so hard to make things happen in our lives, but we are disconnected from God – our “power source.” How can we expect to grow in our faith and fruitfulness if we are not “plugged in,” spending time with God and in His Word. If frustration and aggravation are mounting in your spiritual life, check your connection to the divine Power Source. He promised to give us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) -darla
Audio Blog Intro copy: Bill, the 78-year-old runner in the orange tank-top. He was almost to the finish line when the bomb went off. He was blown to the pavement by the blast. With assistance he crossed the finish line second in his division. We can also cross the finish line when we’ve been knocked down. Because He did. After He got hit with the most savage blast anyone has ever endured. Continue Reading
Virtually every official or news anchor who reports on the Boston Marathon tragedy asks us to pray. Scripture asks, “When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Then it answers with this incredibly reassuring reality: “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne” (Psalm 11:3-4). Prayer allows us to go to that Throne from which the galaxies are governed and focus all the resources of a loving God on the people and pain of Boston. As we focus on what the Bible reveals of who God is, we will know how to pray powerfully, effectively and decisively.
• God of all comfort and all peace, pour out that comfort and peace on the wounded, the grieving and all our anxious hearts (2 Corinthians 1:3).
• God who heals us, bring healing to every victim. “I am the Lord who heals you” (Exodus 15:26).
• God who gives wisdom, give supernatural insight and direction to every doctor, nurse, surgeon or caregiver who is treating the injured. “God… gives wisdom generously” (James 1:5).
• God who “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” – supernaturally energize and renew the exhausted medical and law enforcement personnel in this crisis (Isaiah 40:29).
• God “who loves justice” (Psalm 11:7), guide those who are seeking justice as they investigate and analyze. Help them get it right and get it soon.
• God who heals the brokenhearted, move in very close to those whose lives and families have been shattered. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 34:18; 147:3).
• God of all grace, pour out Your all-sufficient grace daily on those who have seen or experienced awful things, on those whose bodies have been broken, on all those who have suffered loss. “The God of all grace…after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong…My grace is sufficient for you” (1 Peter 4:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
• God of hope, may Your people – who know Your hope – “overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” … may they be Your light in this darkness…may they be Jesus’ personal ambassadors in this vulnerable and painful time (Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 5:20).
• God of all compassion, send a tsunami of Your love to all who’ve been touched by this tragedy…and bless those who are the hands and feet and voice of Your love (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
• God who “so loved the world” that You “sent Your one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9), help many turn their hearts to Your Son in this vulnerable and turbulent time.
So, this is where I am…..trying to figure out how to do the Lord’s work the Lord’s way in His timing. In ministry, as in life, we need to make sure we are doing what the Lord wants us to do – nothing more, nothing less. We can get so busy doing all the things we think we should be doing (or what others think we should be doing), that we haven’t sought and followed God’s direction. More often than not, I find myself trying to do too much and not doing anything well. Ugh! There is so much potential and there are so many opportunities! I want to do it all, but I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me doing it all! It is so important to seek God’s will and direction for what we are doing – not only the big picture – but also for each day. What does He want me to do today as He paints that big picture through me? Let God put the what on our to do lists, so we are sure to only do “the Lord’s work.” More next time on the Lord’s way.