Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start # 3279

Jump Start # 3279

1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”

  Our verse today is loaded with comfort. It is a promise that we can cling to. It’s a great reminder for us. One of our hymns asks, “Does Jesus care?” And, there are times when one wonders about that. Does He? We know what the Scriptures teach, but when the storm clouds darken around us, and when it seems that the walls of trouble are closing in, then this question comes to our minds. Does He care? Does He care for me?

  Some thoughts from this:

  First, we much too often connect problems with the level of God’s love and care for us. The more troubles we have, the less God loves us, we conclude. Either God is punishing us or else God no longer loves us. And, when asked why we feel that way or how did we come to that conclusion, we immediately point to the problems in our lives. Look at all this, we say. If God loved me, things would be better.

  Now, that thinking is not only wrong and unbiblical, it makes us jealous of others who appear to have very few problems. They must be doing something right, we say, because their lives are not messy like ours. Now, if we stretch that reasoning, one must conclude that either Paul was not loved by God or the Lord was really punishing him. His life was constant trouble. Prisons. Beatings. In danger from others. Ridiculed. Treated as scum. The list is long. The troubles many. Yet, the apostle realized how blessed he was and how much the Lord loved him.

  Look at the life of Job. He was smacked, hit and knocked down, drug through the mud, stomped on and any other expressive word you can use to say that Satan tried to ruin him. Financially, physically, emotionally, medically, spiritually, relationally, mentally—Job was hit and hit hard. Did God love him? Was God punishing him? The text tells us that Job was blameless and feared God.

  The troubles in my life are not an indication that God no longer loves me.

  Second, Jesus cares even though He will allow troubles to remain. Again, we have in our minds, if God loved us and we pray, then the problems go away. Paul prayed for the thorn in his flesh to be removed. It wasn’t. Some troubles follow us all of our lives. Some have been with us for decades. There are lessons we learn in darkness that we never see in the daylight. There are aspects of our character that can only be forged upon the anvil of life. Jesus cares and yet the troubles may remain.

  Third, the troubles that we experience often shape us and help us to do good for others. The death of a child is so hard. A single person can offer kind words and take us to passages that help, but a parent who has a child in a grave truly understands what that pain is like. The things we go through not only can draw us closer to the Lord, but they can prepare us to help others. Our experiences, the good and the bad, can help another family who is facing the same things. This is the power of fellowship. This is one reason why we need one another. Scared and battered, we lean upon one another. We carry each other, hurt as we are.

  Fourth, our passage reveals how intimately involved God is with us. He not only knows what we are going through, He cares. He not only cares, but He offers help. Cast those burdens to the Lord, is what the apostle begs us to do. Don’t hold on to them. Don’t try to work through them on your own. Don’t own them. Give them up. Turn them to God. He knows what they are and He is able to do something.

  Even within our congregation, there are times when we do not know what each other is going through. We do not know the pain that they are carrying in their hearts. We do not know what they have been through. We haven’t heard what others said to them. We haven’t seen all their struggles. And, on a Sunday morning, as we get dressed to come to worship, we all put on a nice mask to hide what is really going on. We smile at each other. We reply that we are doing fine, when asked. But we sit with a pain in our heart. A prodigal. A broken marriage. A crisis. A health issue. Troubles that our masks hide from others. But God knows. There is no need to wear a mask before the Lord. God knows. God cares. And, God can do something.

  Does He care? Yes. Our passage loudly teaches that. You do not carry your burden alone. You do not limp without a Savior to lean upon. He sees. He loves. He wants to help you.