To worry is to give way to the anxiety/ uneasiness the concerns of life bring into our everyday existence; to allow our mind to dwell on them. Worry is excessive concern over the affairs of life--the key in this definition is “excessive”. Worry is an all-consuming feeling of uncertainty and fear.
The word ‘worry’ comes from the English wyrgan, which means to strangle or to choke. For me, that’s a helpful image because we’ve all felt the stranglehold worry can have on us—it drains life from us. Not only does it wear us out, it steals away our spiritual vibrancy because it displaces God in our lives. When we worry, we are living as though God does not exist / cannot be trusted; as though you alone can solve your problems.
Most of us worry a lot more than we might think or care to admit.
Here is God’s simple response to our worries: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
The King James Version states it this way: Casting all your cares upon him, for he careth for you.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (New Living Translation
Phillips translates this verse: You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.
Since God cares for you, let him carry all your burdens and worries. (The Voice)
Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (Amplified Bible)
Did you notice the different words that were used is these translations? Anxieties, cares, worries, burdens, concerns—that pretty much covers all that life can throw at us.
And o matter which word you choose, God makes the same invitation: take those concerns, those burdens, your worries, your cares and anxieties and give them to me; because I care about you--He is the God, who sees, the God who cares, the God who provided.
As you look at the text of 1 Peter 5:7, you’ll see that there is a definite response required on our part—to cast all your anxieties/ cares on Him. The word “cast” means to throw off. It’s the picture of a solider removing his pack at the end of a long march; taking the weight off his shoulders and placing it aside. By an act of the will we are to unload/ unburden the weight of our worries/ anxieties.
But here’s the funny thing about us as human beings; as strange as it may sound, we’re more comfortable holding on to our worries. Worry gives the illusion we are in control and we like to be/ to appear to be in control.
Either He carries the burden or we do. If we do, we’ll be distracted, troubled, confused, frustrated and weighed down. If He carries the load, we may still experience a troubled spirit at times, we will still face challenges along the way, but we don’t have to be consumed by anxiety and gripped by fear and despair. The beauty of these words of God to us is not just that our burdens will be lifted, but the He, the God of the universe, will carry them for you. Our response is simply to let go; to cast them on Him.
Why would we carry that heavy weight, when the God of Heaven and Earth will carry it for us?
Why would we stagger under that load, when our Lord says, “let me take that from you”? His invitation is both liberating and refreshing. Why would we ever refuse such a gracious offer?
God has his thoughts fixed on you; you are close tot his heart. You are his beloved child. That’s the beauty of our faith; we live under the care of the One who loves us irrationally.
We all have concerns, we all wonder what tomorrow will bring. But in those moments when those legitimate concerns cross line and we find ourselves consumed by anxious thoughts, that’s when we need to cycle back to the truth of 1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. You don’t have to cave into those anxious thoughts; He has invited you to cast those cares/ concerns on Him. You can live without the suffocating worry that strangles our faith and drains our joy.
When anxious thoughts come and worry weighs heavy on your soul, our Lord quietly whispers: “cast all your cares on Me, because I care for you; trust Me, do not be afraid, I am with you always”.