1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
As believers we have been specifically instructed to cast our cares and our burdens on the Lord. The one thing we are told not to cast away is our confidence in God. Yet, we tend to do the opposite. In the process of rebuilding our lives as we press forward to do what God called us to do, we oftentimes find ourselves bogged down with the burdens, cares, distractions and issues of life. We do not realize we are carrying such heavy loads until we buckle under the pressure. The end result of refusing to cast our cares is a loss of confidence in our God.
Carrying heavy mental and emotional burdens causes us to lose our strength because we become weary in the well-doing. When we lose our strength, the enemy of our soul can wreak havoc on us, because we no longer have the fortitude to fight the good fight of faith. When we lack the fortitude to fight, we lose our confidence and ultimately our reward.
In Nehemiah 4: 7-10 (AMP), the Jewish exiles have returned to Jerusalem and have begun the process of rebuilding the city. The walls of the city are broken and burned. There is a lot of rubbish and mess to clean up first before putting up the walls. There are enemies constantly harassing and taunting them as they attempt to rebuild:
“But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were going up and that the breaches were being closed, they were very angry. And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem, to injure and cause confusion and failure in it. But because of them we made our prayer to our God and set a watch against them day and night. And [the leaders of] Judah said, The strength of the burden bearers is weakening, and there is much rubbish; we are not able to work on the wall.”
Similar to these builders, oftentimes in our lives, we have a lot of rubbish to clean up in order to start fresh. We are walking in the aftermath of the consequences of some of our own poor choices, the actions of others, and other circumstances beyond our control. In our humanity, we often run in our own strength to do the work of rebuilding our lives, only to realize we simply cannot bear these burdens alone. On top of that, the enemy harasses and taunts us also. We awkwardly attempt to carry our burdens and use our spiritual weapons of warfare at the same time and stumble in the process.
The key to casting our cares so we can rebuild our lives and walk in our purpose is to humble ourselves. We must humbly and openly admit to God that we cannot run our own lives in our own strength anymore. We must admit to ourselves and to God, our way is not working. We need the energy of God – the energy of Grace in full operation in our lives for us to rebuild, heal and move forward. In 1 Peter 5: 6-7 (AMP) we read:
“Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the [c]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [e]watchfully”
Note, before God exalts us we must first humble ourselves. This implies, if you are proud, you will think you are strong enough and smart enough to handle all of your burdens by yourself, thus not needing God. Then after we humble ourselves we must cast the all of our anxieties, worries and concerns on Him. When we truly allow him to carry our burdens, then we are able to do the work of rebuilding our lives in the energy of His grace as Jesus promises in Matthew 11:28-29 MSG:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
With Christ carrying our burdens, we are able to rebuild our lives in a state of inner peace because we are no longer carrying the mental and emotional burdens of our problems anymore. Grace empowers and enables us to fight the good fight of faith. Grace is what enables us to walk in confidence with our God by our side carrying our burdens on a daily basis. When we are rebuilding without the burdens, we no longer cast away our confidence – our confidence increases. We will be able to rebuild and receive our reward because “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
[photo source: Flickr, Shannon Lee Miller]