I want to help you deal with something we all face throughout our lives, which is the issue of carrying what the Bible calls “cares.” I want to show you from the Bible that you were never meant to carry the weight of this life upon your shoulders and how doing so is detrimental to your life, including your spiritual, mental, and physical condition.
Let’s start by taking a look at First Peter 5:7, which reads,
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
In this verse, the word “care” describes panic, stress, anxiety, and worries. And the Bible says we are to cast this care upon Him because He cares for you! The word “casting” in this verse describes a man carrying so much weight that it’s too much for him to bear. That weight becomes so heavy that he calls for someone to bring him a donkey. He then comes alongside the donkey and begins to transfer all the weight from his shoulders onto the donkey. The man is still standing and walking. All the problems and weight are still there, but now it’s on the back of the donkey while the man walks alongside. That is where the word “casting” comes from. This is a powerful picture.
My friend, I want you to know that no one is made to carry weight. You can’t go far in life with all that weight. It will begin to crush you, and eventually, you will break. Thankfully, the Bible tells us exactly what to do when challenges come and we are tempted to get into worry, stress, and anxiety.
If you look at Adam and Eve in the Garden, they were not carrying any stress or worry. Cares were not a part of the human experience until after sin and the fall of man. When a person carries the weight of anxiety and stress, it affects them in many ways. You are negatively impacted mentally, your blood pressure is affected, and your bones and body are also put under duress. Do you know why? It’s because you were not meant to carry stress.
In First Peter 5:7 Peter was telling us, “If you’re under a load of worry, call upon Jesus, and push all of that over on Him.” If you walk with Jesus, He will carry it for you!
We all must deal with cares when they come, and I am no exception. I want to tell you a personal story about a time when I struggled greatly over a situation that presented itself in my life. This was right before Denise and I were about to leave for a trip to the United States, and I was ministering on a Sunday morning at our church in Moscow. Just before service, I received an email with a piece of information that disturbed me to the core. As I read it, I immediately felt myself lose my peace and go into a state of complete panic. Now you must understand, I was at the church and read this email just moments away from going onto the stage to preach! So, I came out and smiled. You know, sometimes it takes faith to smile!
But I want you to know I preached all three of those services. I had to keep pressing through my emotions, preaching with joy and smiling, but it was all done by faith because, on the inside, I was having a panic attack.
And when Denise and I got home that night, I found myself falling into a panic attack — something that I had not experienced for many years. I was literally shaking and could not hold my feet still or sit in one spot for very long because I was so inwardly disturbed as I tried to think of what I was going to do.
I learned that sometimes acting quickly isn’t the right thing to do. When you’re upset and you act, you can tend to take the wrong action. But the Lord spoke to me and said, “Rick, don’t do anything. Don’t respond or write an email. Just be quiet.” And so, I let an entire week go by before I answered what had been sent to me. That was a very difficult week, and during this time, my mind was racing so constantly that I couldn’t even sleep. I was carrying extreme weight because of this situation.
But, during that week, I also went to the Scripture in First Peter 5:7 and began transferring this care of mine over to the Lord. I would give it to Him, and then I would start worrying and take back the care. Then, I would realize what I was doing and would transfer it back to the Lord. This continued many times, and I found that what I needed most was for my emotions to be stabilized, so I also began to read from this verse:
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fouls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Let me ask you, have you ever seen a bird on a diet or having a nervous breakdown over what they are going to eat? Of course not! Birds don’t worry about those things. They don’t sow or reap; all they do is fly and eat. Now, that’s amazing! I was going through this terrible time of worry, and I read these verses about two hours a day. I read them so much because they were precisely the medicine I needed.
Denise and I were ministering to different churches in the United States. Although we were smiling and talking about trusting the Lord, on a personal level, I was challenged as I dealt with the panic. Yet I kept meditating on the scriptures, and when I saw the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, something began to change.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
As I continued to read these verses, I decided: I was going to seek the Kingdom of God first! It didn’t matter what I heard or what anyone said, I was going to choose to believe that according to the Bible, if I seek the Kingdom first, “all these things I need will be added unto me.” I decided that no matter what happens, my life will not be determined by my circumstances. My life is determined by the Word of God and His promises, and He said if I seek the Kingdom first, everything else will be all right!
I read these verses constantly! When I would get a few free moments, I’d open my Bible to these verses. If I found myself beginning to worry, I’d reread them. In all, I must have read them hundreds of times. I had to put them into my heart because I knew I needed them to stabilize me. And over time, that’s exactly what happened. What once brought me into a place of complete panic no longer had the same effect on me, and it’s because I put the Word into my heart until things changed.
At first, all I could see was disaster. My mind was filled with panic, but I would say, “I’m seeking the Kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness first. I’m better than a bird and I’m better than a weed. My heavenly Father knows what I need, and I will not worry about tomorrow. I am laying hold of the altar of God!”
I didn’t know if I could change the circumstance, but I knew I had to change. I had to have peace inside me despite the storm that was going on around me.
My friend, whenever challenges bring you stress, anxiety, care, or concern, you must know your Heavenly Father cares for you. As you focus on Him and put your trust in His Word first, you will find that He will carry that weight so that you don’t have to. You may be going through the worse of circumstances, yet you can still walk through them in His perfect peace. Rest assured that He knows what you need and can be trusted to take care of you and see you all the way through.