READ: PHILIPPIANS 4:6-8, HEBREWS 4:14-16; 1 PETER 5:7
When I was thirteen, I attended my first church camp. I experienced life-changing things, like when I encountered 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” I’d never noticed this verse before, but that week 1 Peter 5:7 sank into my soul. Because, like most teens, I had worries and cares! Problem was—exactly HOW do you give them to God?
Well, over time I learned that giving our cares to God isn’t an event—it’s a process.
First, I remember who I am coming to: Jesus—God in flesh—who also suffered. In fact, Hebrews 5:8 tells us that Jesus “learned obedience from the things he suffered.” Hmmm…that’s mind-boggling. Even though Jesus’s suffering and obedience are different from ours, it’s incredible to ponder Jesus learning obedience from His suffering.
Then, I think about why Jesus suffered on the cross and rose again—out of His great love for me, He chose to personally redeem me, both from sin and (when He returns) from suffering (Revelation 21:3-4).
Lastly, I remember even Jesus agonized over His suffering. In Luke 22, we see Jesus face the cross, fervently praying for deliverance from His “cup of suffering” (verses 42-44). Since Jesus truly empathizes with us in our weaknesses, we know we can boldly come to Him.
And so… how do we boldly come to Jesus? Simple—we follow the instructions in Philippians 4:6-8. In this passage, we see what to pray about: everything! And we see how to pray: “Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (verse 6). And that’s it! We are giving our cares to Jesus. And, as we continue to bring our requests to God (notice the word “continue”), we can experience God’s peace (verse 7). In this way, we can come to Christ whenever we are weary—and find true rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-30). • G. Kam Congleton
• In the book of Psalms, we see God’s people giving their cares to Him—often with strong words, even accusing God of being distant, hurtful, and uncaring (Psalms 6, 10, 88). In times of pain and suffering, God invites us to come to Him honestly, telling Him just how hurt, angry, or sad we feel. He isn’t afraid or ashamed of our emotions, even if we are. And it’s only in being honest with God that we can truly experience His comfort. We can tell God what we actually want from Him, not just what we think He wants to hear. How could this truth affect the way you give your cares to God? Consider taking a moment to talk to Him about these things now.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)