Is Your Life Difficult?
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NIV)
Peter encourages us to cast all our cares upon Jesus because He “cares” for us. In Greek, the original language this was written in, the word, “cares,” is in the present tense, active voice and the indicative mood. This is significant. The active voice means the Lord Himself is personally caring for you. The present tense means that He is caring for you right now on a continuous, ongoing basis. The indicative mood means that this is not only a possibility, this is not wishful thinking, this is a fact!
Hebrews 12 likens the Christian journey to a race. It then enjoins us to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us so that we can run the race well. That makes sense.
Every serious runner knows that the more weight he carries, the more effort it takes, the slower he will run, the more quickly he’ll become tired. Equally so, when it comes to running the race of life, holding on to excess weights will make it difficult and rob us of peace and happiness. It will make life a chore, rather than a joy.
Now, a weight is any trouble that burdens our souls, and anything that hinders our faith, robs us of joy, or keeps us from experiencing abundant life. It may be sin, but it does not have to be sinful. It just needs to be a hindrance to our spiritual growth, a thief of our joy. In fact, many of the heaviest weights we encounter that cause the greatest problems for believers are the religious ones——rules and doctrines that foster guilt and condemnation.
If you are suffering under guilt and condemnation today, you are carrying a weight you need to lay aside. Until you do, you won’t be able to run your race well or live your life joyfully. And if you are filling your mind with thoughts of how you have failed and are not worthy, instead of how gracious and loving God is, your spiritual energy is being drained drastically. This is making your life difficult. Stop doing so before you faint from exhaustion.
How? Hebrews 12:2 tells us literally “to look away unto Jesus.” Practically, this means we should cast all of our cares upon Jesus and believe He will take care of them. When we replace self-occupation with Christ-occupation, and begin to see that He is the solution to every problem and the answer to every question, burdens are lifted, weights removed, and our joy is made full.
So, today, if you are carrying burdens and your heart is troubled, look away from your problems and set your eyes on Jesus, who stands ready to carry you on His shoulders. By faith, gather all your problems in your hands and then, because you are tired of carrying them, cast them upon Him. Tell Him they are now His problems to take care of. You will trust Him, but you will not carry those burdens anymore. Then, rest in His love and faithfulness. I can assure you, I know this for sure, He will take care of you, just like He promised.