August 27, 2012

Week Two: Casting Your Cares

God must have anticipated certain events in the lives of His children that would cause them to become “worry-warts.” Even the most mature Christians today are quick to labor under the burden of anxious and excessive care such as personal concerns, family woes, cares for the present, and cares for the future. The Apostle Peter saw this anxious care as a heavy burden and offered us some wise counsel for dealing with it. Peter’s advice is to cast all our cares upon God.

No matter what our lot in life is, we all have cares.

Caring for our children

Getting them off to school

Making sure the family has clean clothes and a good dinner

Planning dinner! Now there’s something to stress over, right!

Paying the bills

Having a job that enables you to pay the bills

Making sure the car runs

Teaching your children good manners, how to choose good friends, and about drugs, sex and rock & roll. (Help me, Jesus!)

Maintaining your relationship with your spouse

Exercise

Keeping healthy

Balancing family and work

Oh… the list is loooooong!

So what do we do about it? Many try to run from their cares while some people try and dump their cares on others. I believe that God never intended for us to live under such pressure. Instead, we are to throw the cares that distract us, wound our bodies and souls, and lay heavy on our hearts, upon the wise and gracious providence of God. You can do that because “he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) Isn’t that amazing? You and I don’t have to carry the burden of our worries. God is willing to release us from our cares, and take our concerns upon Himself. But how?

We take one specific care, name it and give it to God. Then, trust Him with it. When you’re tempted to take it back, say “No! I gave that care to God. It is not my responsibility. I don’t have to worry about or plan a way to solve it. It’s not mine. It’s Gods.” Then ask Him to give you peace in place of your worry.

You and I can do this because “He cares for you!” 

Have you ever felt like no one understood you? I have many, many times. Have you ever felt you were all alone in your pain and worry? Yep. Been there too. Isn’t it funny how Satan tries to make us feel like no one else knows what we’re going through? No one has suffered like me? Remember, he is the father of all lies and fear and doubt come from him. But God knows about you and He cares for you. Isn’t that a comforting thought? God cares for you more than you’ll ever know!

How does He care for you? Read His words: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jere 29:11)

Verse 12: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

Verse 13: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

If Satan tries to get you to doubt God’s care like he was able to do to Adam and Eve, refuse the lie. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:7).

We must discipline ourselves to trust God with our cares. There lies the power to let go of worry and experience the freedom that comes from faith in God.

Our Challenge: Acknowledge God as your Provider. Talk to Him about your burden and place it in His care. When doubt temps you to retrieve it, remember that God is in control; he loves you beyond measure and is working behind the scene on your behalf.

Prayer: Dear Lord, when hard times come, I will not be afraid. I trust in your loving care to provide for my family and me. Take my burden, Lord, and replace my worry with peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Discussion Question: Why is it hard to let go of your burdens and trust them to God? (leave your answers in a comment

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Comments

  1. Amy says:

    Why is it hard to let go of your burdens and trust them to God?

    This morning, as Tropical storm Isaac passes over us and dumps inches of rain on us, I asked my husband to take the truck instead of allowing his coworker to drive in her low to the ground car. “It will be fine, don’t worry” he responded.

    My response was, “will you pray with me?” I had no choice to but to accept his decision. My choice was to pray for road safety, for drivers around the Tampa bay area as the convention plays out and to pray for myself to let go of the worry. I think the answer the question you ask is for me … past experiences. Friends in bad accidents, inexperienced drivers, stories from family and friends who have seen the worst. And afraid of feeling the pain and anxiety, saddness of loss again. I am not afraid of not surviving an accident but to be a survivor when others have lost. THe pain of loss is horrible and yet we can do nothing to control wether a accident happens. So I do the only thing I can do. pray and pray some more.

    • Micca says:

      Amy, I understand where you’re at. I, too, fear the pain of loss. After experiencing loss of a loved one, I fear going through that pain again. Many of us fear pain so we hide from it like they did in the garden. Some try and hide by drinking, eating or not eating, drugs or sticking their head in the sand. All of this falls under our need to be god. To be in control. Realizing we are not in control can be scary! That’s where I have to trust God and his perfect plan for me and for those I love. Keep praying and trusting friend! That’s the only control we have. Have a blessed day.

      • Charlotte says:

        Many of us fear pain so we hide from it like they did in the garden. Some try and hide by drinking, eating or not eating, drugs or sticking their head in the sand.

        Omg! This statement you made hit me like a ton of bricks! Every time high emotions come my first reaction is to figure out how to get rid of them because I hate the way they make me feel. And for me that translates into obsessive compulsive eating. It is so uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do with myself when it happens. Being vulnerable is perhaps the scariest thing to me. So my response to the discussion question of why it is so hard? Because for me it translates into vulnerability and being vulnerable is extremely uncomfortable and I don’t want to feel that. It is so lonely. But that also is reminding me to check where my faith is at.

        • micca says:

          Great insight for you Charlotte! Yes, it’s hard to face our fear and the things we mediate ourselves with in order to deal with it, BUT that’s the first step! We must admit it. Good for you, girl!

  2. mandy says:

    Why is it hard to let it go and not take it back .. from the Creator of the Universe? I don’t know .. but I know I give him stuff almost daily and at some point the enemy comes and steals that back by placing some small fear in my heart and pulling my eyes off of HIM. SO keeping my eyes on him, the word fresh in my heart and mind, and even listening to praise music often, keeps God in my thoughts and calms my fears…Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other, Our God is healer, Awesome in Power .. If our God is for us, than who could ever stop us, and if our God is with us than what can stand against?!! … Sing it out!!

  3. Micca says:

    I love listening to praise music! It keeps me aware of God’s Presence and His love and power at work in my life throughout the day!

  4. Meg says:

    For me it would be because I have a hard time trusitng anyone period. That is healing that the Lord needs to do in me. But Like Mandy said Listening to praise music after you have handed it over to him and satan comes back to try to steal it.

    • Micca says:

      Meg, I know it’s hard to trust others when they’ve not been faithful. I had to learn to trust, again after the death of my husband. I had to trust others and God. I know you want a closer relationship with God where you can trust him with all your fear. Take one step at a time. Commit to move in that direction through this study. Sometimes it’s just about taking that first step of faith and letting go of a little resistance. When we get to the chapter, “Learning To Trust, Again” I think it will speak directly to you. Hang in there, friend.

      • Holly says:

        I also struggle with trust. I really have to watch it otherwise I tend to go with “guilty until proven trustworthy”. Problem with that is I don’t give anyone a chance to show they can be trusted, and I know that ultimately noone is trully trustworthy. However the walls I put up to protect the broken and betrayed areas, not only keep people out but place a barrier between me and God. I was three when I learned people couldn’t be trusted & thirty three when the two people I believed would always be there for me (my maternal grandparents) betrayed me when I left my abusive husband the first time. Am really trying to give everything to God & leave it with Him. Often He brings a song to mind that helps put my focus back on Him. This week main one has been God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we can not see, He will make a way for me….. Saturday before I got up felt like something snapped, making the pain so much worse. Monday I saw a new doctor & for the first time in two years, someone had a clue as to what the problem is. While the pain level has not decreased, God provided hope, and that has made a big difference.

  5. Karlene says:

    Because I want to find a way to solve them! I know I can give them to God and he’ll take care of them but I guess my impatient self wants the results faster. It is hard to just stop and let God take that worry and burden from me.

    • Micca says:

      Karlene, you are not alone. We ALL want to find a way to solve the problem. Sometimes we roll around in our head ways to solve our problem over and over until we are weary. Because we’ve had this habit for so long, it is difficult to give it to God and not take it back. I’m learning that when I take it back I’m saying I have some control over the situation and I don’t. So for me, I had to come to the place of admitting, “I’m not God and I do not have control over this area.” Only God has control.
      What made it easier for me was believing that God has only my best interest at heart. He is not out to harm me but to do good. He loves me and cares about my trouble. Believing these truths about God helped me to give up control and place the reins in His hand. Praying for you to do the same, friend.

  6. Barbara Huston says:

    In my family I have become the one who is the problem solver for just normal things in life. When I don’t have an answer I immediate go to work to find the solution that will work. So why it is hard for me to give and let go to God is the whole timing thing. It is hard for me to not go into that action mode even when I know that the situation is really not anything I can control. Waiting on God’s timing is the hardest even when my faith tells me he will give me an answer/solution if I am patient to wait.

    • Micca says:

      Barbara, I’ve often wished that God owned the same watch as I do. It’s just not the case. What I do know is His timing is slow, but it’s certain! Just ask Noah. God told him to build a boat because a flood was coming. It took 100 years for the flood to arrive. Abraham was promised a son. Sarah, like me and you, tried to step in and speed up the process but the son that came wasn’t the promised son. It took 25 years before Isaac was born. I’m learning that I can step in, but God’s plan will be accompished either way. He may be slow, but He’s certain. You can count on Him to work in your situation. He may not always work the way you would, but God is for you in every way!

  7. For me, it is hard because I am a controller; however, I’m learning that life sometimes demands only surrender. And, I’ve learned that in the hardest of times, it (surrender) is the sweetest of places to be. The challenge is staying there once the crisis passes and life resumes to “normal”.

    To that end, it is the deep desire of my heart to be facedown, to be so very close to Him, both in my moments of courage and in my moments of fear! I think that He is honoring this prayer of mine and changing me in the process. And, it is a process … a lifelong process! So thankful He is patient with this jar of clay!

    Blessings to you!
    Cindy K

    • Micca says:

      The Christian life is a process and our faith gets stronger along the way. Thanks for the testimony. Keep surrendered, friend!

  8. Kristy says:

    Fear and worry is my biggest issue. To give it to God means I have absolutely no control of it anymore(and I realize I don’t either way.) it is so much easier to worry than to jump into Gods arms and let Him have it. We are working on that though:-)

    • Micca says:

      Kristy, You’re comment is similar to Karlene’s so I’m pasting my comment to you as well! Hang in there, girl!

      You are not alone. We ALL want to find a way to solve the problem. Sometimes we roll around in our head ways to solve our problem over and over until we are weary. Because we’ve had this habit for so long, it is difficult to give it to God and not take it back. I’m learning that when I take it back I’m saying I have some control over the situation and I don’t. So for me, I had to come to the place of admitting, “I’m not God and I do not have control over this area.” Only God has control.
      What made it easier for me was believing that God has only my best interest at heart. He is not out to harm me but to do good. He loves me and cares about my trouble. Believing these truths about God helped me to give up control and place the reins in His hand. Praying for you to do the same, friend.

  9. Vanessa Nowell says:

    I am always wanting a “now fix” to problems! When I don’t see results, I wonder if God is really listening to me and I try to “fix” the problem myself! Especially when someone I care about is headed down a road of destruction, I want immediate results! I still pray and ask God to protect them and keep them safe, I just hate watching them be out of the will of God! Thank you to any and all that may want to pray for my situation! God bless!

    • Micca says:

      Hi Vanessa, I have prayed for you tonight and will continue to pray for you and the others. It’s hard to wait on God and not want to rush ahead and “fix it.” I understand. Barbra had a similar comment so i’m pasting my reply here as well.

      I’ve often wished that God owned the same watch as I do. It’s just not the case. What I do know is His timing is slow, but it’s certain! Just ask Noah. God told him to build a boat because a flood was coming. It took 100 years for the flood to arrive. Abraham was promised a son. Sarah, like me and you, tried to step in and speed up the process but the son that came wasn’t the promised son. It took 25 years before Isaac was born. I’m learning that I can step in, but God’s plan will be accompished either way. He may be slow, but He’s certain. You can count on Him to work in your situation. He may not always work the way you would, but God is for you in every way!

  10. Charlotte says:

    So I was literally in the middle of typing a message this afternoon to all of you asking for prayer because I was hit was such “paralyzing” fear as we are going through transitions in our household. Then my phone died!!! As Lysa Turkeurst would say, I became unglued. So I couldn’t calm down but the kids were playing nicely outside I figured I would work on reading Chapter 4. Talk about amazing timing considering that it discusses pressure, and boy did I feel pressured. However, “peace isn’t the absence of pressure. It’s the presence of God and our attitude toward His provision in the midst of our stress.” I loved the PRIORITIES acronym as well because I feel like I can’t organize what should take priority right now (aka, the juggling act), and that isn’t like me.

    So Micca, you talked about how God will send goodness and mercy when we least expect it? Well, as I’m organizing childcare for before and after school for my kids, I thought I had it all figured out, but I felt like I was asking a lot of other neighborhood moms. This evening, a neighbor walks up to my husband and says “I hear that you’re looking for help with the school year. My daughter is looking for some money. Can we help?” So get this! We get to bless each other. While I have places for my kids to go before school to walk with other kids, I have a teenager that will walk to the school to pick my kids up after school and the moms won’t have to try to adjust their plans to meet that expectation (not to mention try to figure out these crazy cop and substitute teacher schedules by which we run our household). And I get to pay her (I will take $50 a month over $400+ for a few moments of childcare any day). God has shown me not only that he cares about this concern and has it under control, but that I have the best neighborhood where we can step up and help one another. “God’s display of mercy when I least expected it eased the pain of my distress. It enabled me to look past my failure and press ahead in renewed confidence.” And “Acknowleding these acts of kindness, which flow from God’s heart, builds our faith.” I am amazed by you God. You have met me right where I needed it. Forgive me for my lack of faith and help me build it. Amen.

    • Charlotte says:

      Oh and by the way also ladies, when I started this study, I didn’t think I had too much fear on my plate. I’m finding that I live in fear more than I thought and am allowing fear to permeate my being more than acknowledged. God knew I needed this study at this time, for a reason, to accomplish His purpose.

  11. sally says:

    Hi, I loved the devotion this morning. My husband died in April of this year. We were married for almost 6 years. He started with lung cancer 6 mos after we were married, went to his brain 2 different times. I kept him home and took care of him with the help of Hospis the last month of his life. He died here with me. Now I am trying to be still and listen to the Holy Spirit for direction of my next journey. I will be 70 in a couple of weeks. I am a young 70 and want to be busy for the Lord but I don’t have the peace I need to know what it is I need to do now. This was my second husband that died. Before I was working and busy, now I am retired and finding it hard to TRUST. I am a seasoned believer and love the Lord with all my heart. I know the scripture and spend much time in it but I am struggeling with loneliness here in the home. I have good friends and neighbors but still feel the loneliness in the home. I don’t know what to do with myself. I am struggeling with even finding what church I belong in at this time. Their is so much deception in the church these days. Enough. I am venting, you must have gathered this by now. Thanks for listening.

  12. sally says:

    Hi, I loved the devotion this morning. My husband died in April of this year. We were married for almost 6 years. He started with lung cancer 6 mos after we were married, went to his brain 2 different times. I kept him home and took care of him with the help of Hospis the last month of his life. He died here with me. Now I am trying to be still and listen to the Holy Spirit for direction of my next journey. I will be 70 in a couple of weeks. I am a young 70 and want to be busy for the Lord but I don’t have the peace I need to know what it is I need to do now. This was my second husband that died. Before I was working and busy, now I am retired and finding it hard to TRUST. I am a seasoned believer and love the Lord with all my heart. I know the scripture and spend much time in it but I am struggeling with loneliness here in the home. I have good friends and neighbors but still feel the loneliness in the home. I don’t know what to do with myself. I am struggeling with even finding what church I belong in at this time. Their is so much deception in the church these days. Enough. I am venting, you must have gathered this by now. Thanks for listening.

  13. mary says:

    I am glad to read your blog. My doubts about my current job was cleared after reading about how our worries need to be cast upon our heavenly father who knows whats best for us. I will keep my faith in him and rest upon his promise for me that he has plans to prosper me and give me a future. I had planned to retire in 2 years time but a colleague told me that the retirement age has been extended to 60 years. Now I have to work until 60 and the thought of a regular income and my daughter’s college and university studies is kind of gives me relief.

  14. Wanda says:

    This is such a difficult thing for me to do, yet I must learn. My entire family depends on me for everything, and I feel so obligated to do it all. It’s that “disease to please” everyone that Oprah speaks about. Especially with my spouse, we have no gas, we need to pay this bill, etc. etc. and the list goes on and on. How do I apply?

  15. Becca says:

    I don’t know why it’s so hard…it is so frustrating to me that it is! All I want is to float along and trust God, but I tend to find myself drowning in worry and anxiety. :(

  16. annette says:

    I have to agree with Wanda on this one, its the Need to Please everyone. We moms are at times control freaks because no one else in our family wants the job…we are the caretakers, the accountants, the laundry gals, cooks, bill payers, nurses, homework doers, afterschool carers, and so on. I feel why should i overwhelm God with these little things, after all Moms have been doing this since the beginning of time. Then i reflect and think why not give it all to Him, that is what i should do so i could have some peace in my life..if just for a few minutes after working 8 hours a day…i know there is hope for all of us working moms, we just have to be willing to let is go

  17. Claret says:

    I am so glad that I came to your blog after reading the post from Proverbs 31 today. Today, my grandson who I have legal custody of wants to participate in a fitness program. The problem is the firsts thing I thought about was how I was going to take him to the location. How many bridges would I have to cross, I do not go on the highways, would I get anxious, do something crazy while waiting for the traffic light to change. These fears have dictated my life for the past 37 years. Now, despite all these fears, I get to where I have to be. There have been times, when I have to stop, play my gospel tapes or a motivational tape of a favorite ministry, and just ask God to help me

    Yes, I will find a way to get there and it will be with the help of God, and I might experience some physical symptoms, and God will be there.

    My issue is trust like some of you have experienced. Family members relaying
    accidents, experiencing accidents where we were hit from behind, and old negative tapes running in my head.

    With the help of my Father, I am much better and improving every day. I see all my past sins nailed to the cross – so no judgement. I also was physically abused by a nun in my childhood days and being an African American, my parents lived by “don’t rock the boat – you must have done something to deserve it”. I know today that God wept with me and I forgive sick people today that take advantage of children.

    I am a child of the King, saved by Grace, and He leads me beside the still waters. I know the Hold Spirit directed me to this site and I am going to order the book and join the online study so I can have support for my new levels that God is taking me to.

  18. I think the reason it is so hard for me to let my burdens go is that I have always been the type of person who was in control and had everything under control. Even before I came to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.

    When I don’t see with my eyes results, I tend to take back the burden and try to do God’s job. I know this is wrong and believe me I realize it all too soon.

    I’ve started giving my burdens to God and then each time I am tempted to pick them back up and force the situation, I speak to the situation and say “No, I’ve given that to my Lord and He is more than capable to deal with it without me meddling in it. So I am going to leave it at the foot of the cross and stand back and give God the glory. Amen.

    M. Waters

  19. Karen says:

    I guess it’s because I can’t see Him in person. I know He is right beside be always. But when I am anxious and think about the house repairs that my husband used to do and now I’m responsible for it all, as well as the car and insurance stuff I get overwhelmed and loose it especially if I wake up at 4 in the morning and can’t get back to sleep even when I put on the Armor of God. Soon it’s 6:30 and time to get up and I’m tired…

  20. Wanda says:

    Annette – that is exactly how I feel. I do everything you said and it is too much for one person to bear. When I was in my 30s and 40s I felt I could do it all, but now that I’m 51 with menopause, and all the above The holy spirit it telling me to slow down and stop and listen. When I don’t things just get worst. I need to let go onthe control aspect and let The Lord lead me. I know this is a process for me and I will continue to walk in faith and trust God on this.

  21. Wanda says:

    Melissa, we must be twins sisters. Lol. My sister tells me that all the time. You keep getting in the way of what God is doing -stop trying to do his works. Often he brings things to other family members to deal with them, and then you dart messing it up. I’m working on that! Lol

  22. annette says:

    I prayed & Im trusting, Thank you Micca for that email about trusting. Im life right now is truly about just that. Recently separated from my Husband as he had been having an affair. He is now for the third time in counseling and i have since moved out and took a job in a new town, son is in a new school and trying to really lean on Jesus with it all. I never said why me, just why now…silly i know but i have to be completely honest, i walk with God himself is so strong and i have truly had to depend on him to get me to the point of feeling, This is where he wants me right now, at this time in my life…all doors he has opened for me without hesatation and its been surrreal, but i know its all him…

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