“Be careful for nothing…” Philippians 4:6a
Cares are part a of life. To be completely carefree is a sign of isolation from reality. In verses six through nine of this chapter, Paul presents a short dissertation on experiencing the peace of God, and he begins by saying, “Be careful for nothing.” I’m sure you know he’s not recommending happy-go-lucky, incautious behavior, something he criticizes elsewhere (Titus 3:8, etc.). But as I’ve heard my husband explain so often, if you reverse the two small words that make up the whole word, you’ll see right away that it can mean, just as easily, “full of care.” And rest of the verse bears this out. What Paul is saying is that cares should not become permanent fixtures in our lives, building one on top of the other. There’s a remedy to use on each one as they start to pile on, weighing us down spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I did a little study on this with my trustworthy, old KJV and a concordance. It was a blessing to me; I pray it will be to you. Here are three things to do with our cares.
“Consider all of nature when you’re tempted to doubt my care,” says Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:25-30).The “fowls of the air” and even the “lilies of the field” are all under the careful stewardship of the all-powerful God, who does not regard their menial place in His creation, but sees to their every need, from the beginning to the end of their lives. And, as He pointedly asks, “Are ye not much better than they?” Do you think He’s going to take care of the least of His creation and abandon what He created in His own image? I think you know the answer. Consider that when you would doubt Him.
Then, too, consider Jesus Christ when you think you’ve reached your limit and cannot go one step farther (Heb. 12:3). Never forget that everything He suffered while in that body of clay was endured with the same aids you and I possess—the Word of God and the Spirit of God. Else He could not claim to have been tempted as we are, giving us assurance of His perfect sympathy (Heb. 4:15). Besides, “God cannot be tempted with evil” (Jms. 1:3). It was the Man,
Christ Jesus who “resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Consider Him when you would question your resources.
Now that we’ve laid the foundation of the basis of our trust, we can make our first move. “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee…” (Psl. 55:22a). “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). Take your cares in both your hands, and throw them as hard as you can…on the Lord. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But we all know it’s easier said than done. If it’s the right thing to do, but we can’t bring ourselves to do it, perhaps we should consider one more thing: the alternative. If we refuse to accept God’s offer of relief, we have no one but ourselves to blame when we fall beneath the weight of our cares. What a waste of Divine resources!
The old song I love to sing says it best: “Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.” The Christian life is all about commitment. Nothing is done on a trial basis. It’s “all in” or nothing. It begins when we “commit the keeping of [our] souls to him.” (1 Pet. 4:19); from then on it’s a daily committing of our “ways” and our “works” (Psl 37:5 & Prov. 16:3) to Him. Furthermore, Job says in chapter five, verse eight, “…unto God would I commit my cause.” When we need somewhere to register our complaints once and for all, we can go to God and leave it with Him. We have every right to do so. His offer is valid and never expires. He will not only carry us all the way home, He’ll carry our baggage of burdens too.
If you’re one of God’s children suffering from a “care overload” today, consider the futility of it, then cast them deliberately and vehemently on God, and commit them once and for all to your faithful, loving Heavenly Father. Then do the same thing with all the ones in the future. Cares may be a part of life; but they don’t have to be permanent fixtures.
“If God cares for you, why need you care too?” – Charles Spurgeon