"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall."
- Psalm 55:22 NIV
"Sustain" is a great word. If you look it up in the dictionary, the definition says: "To give support or relief to; to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure); to nourish." God is promising us in the verse above that if we will do our part by casting our cares upon Him, He will do His part by sustaining us. I think that's a pretty good deal, don't you? But let's be honest here. Casting our cares on the Lord isn't always as easy as it sounds. Even when we sincerely want to hand our burdens over to God, we often can't. Many times we're left struggling with burdens God never meant us to handle. The results are often anxiety, depression, despair, and even sickness and infirmity.
But maybe I can help convince you that God really does want to carry your burdens, and that it's worth the effort to surrender them to Him. In 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT), the apostle Peter restates the verse above: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you." It's because God cares--and because He never created you to shoulder your burdens alone--that He wants you to give Him all your worries. Only God's shoulders are big enough to carry our daily concerns. Ours aren't. Look at this promise in Psalm 68:19 (NIV): "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." All these verses make it clear that God wants to bear ALL our cares ALL the time.
In Luke 21:34-35 (TLB), Jesus gives us this stern warning: "Watch out! Don't let My sudden coming catch you unaware; don't let Me find you…occupied with the problems of this life, like all the rest of the world." And in Mark 4:19 (NIV), Jesus says that "the worries of this life" can actually "choke the word [of God], making it unfruitful" in our lives. Instead, the Savior tells us, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT) If we let the Master teach us His way of handling the affairs of this life, we will find the rest and relief He so graciously offers.
It's the Lord's sincere desire that we give all our cares to Him, but He won't wrestle them away from us. We must surrender them to Him, trusting that He has our best interests at heart. When we do, we open the door for God to work wonders in our circumstances and in our lives. Each day, tell the Lord, "I give You all my cares and burdens, Lord. Thank You for sustaining me, according to Your promise." You can be specific, naming your cares if you want to. Then when worry or doubt come against you, you can say, "Lord, I thank You that You're taking care of that for me!" And let the peace of God quiet your heart and mind. May this precious promise from God encourage you today: "I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior"! (Isaiah 46:4 TLB)
Prayer: Lord, today I cast all my cares upon You. When I'm tempted to carry my own burdens, remind me that Your will is for me to surrender them to You. Give me a new awareness of Your ability and willingness to solve my problems and handle my affairs. Thank You for rewarding me with rest and relief!
- J. M. Farro