George H. Morrison - Devotional Sermons
What to Do With Our Cares
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant.--1Pe 5:7-8
The cares of which the apostle speaks were those associated with persecution. He was writing to those who might, at any moment, be exposed to the fury of the populace. A great deal of pagan trade was intimately bound up with idolatry. Wherever the Gospel came and took a grip, it began to interfere with trade. And for that, as for many other reasons, Christians were never safe. Their life was one of continuous anxiety. Such anxieties are gone now where the populace is nominally Christian. But care remains, haunting the human heart and robbing life of the gladness of the sunshine. And so to us, in a land that is called Christian as well as to those sojourners in paganism, comes the message of the great apostle. The question, then, for all of us is this: How does a man cast his care on God? That I should answer by asking another question: How does a man cast his care on anybody? Our Lord was very fond of that procedure, arguing from the lesser to the greater, and reaching heavenly things through things of earth.
We Cast Our Cares on Someone by Relying on Him
In human life, then, we cast our cares on anybody when we confidently rely on him. We can illustrate that by the captain of a ship. When a wild storm falls upon a vessel, the passengers are naturally anxious. Children cry; women begin to tremble; men look grave and often become silent. And then they see the captain on the bridge relaxed, smiling as he talks to his officer, and they remember he never lost a ship and is reputed the finest captain in the service. The moment they see that their anxieties begin to vanish. Trusting the captain when the storm is raging, they find that they have cast their cares on him. And whenever anyone trusts God and quietly puts his confidence in God, he awakens to the same discovery. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee," and then the prophet adds, "because he trusteth in Thee." Trust is the great antidote to care. It is by simple, quiet, unswerving confidence that we cast our cares on anybody, and just so do we cast our cares on God.
By Talking We Share Our Care
Once again we cast our cares on anybody when we go to him and talk things over frankly. That is one of the benefits of friendship. The chief office of friendship, says Lord Bacon, is the ease and discharge of the swellings of the heart. And then he adds that the man who has no friend is a cannibal of his own heart. That is to say, he eats his heart out because he has no one to whom he can resort to speak of the anxieties that gnaw him. People often approach me for advice, and frequently go away without it. And yet they thank me when they go away and say that everything looks different now. You see, what has helped them isn't my advice; it is just that they have talked the matter over with one who feels for them and is a friend. Friendship is like a lancet; it opens the abscesses which are very painful. And as it is with a true friend on earth, so is it with our truest Friend in heaven. When we go to Him and tell Him all, opening our hearts to Him in quiet communion, how wonderfully do we discover that we have really cast our cares on Him! Be careful for nothing, says St. Paul, but in everything let your requests be made known unto God. And then what happens? Are your requests granted? The wise apostle says nothing about that. But he does say, and it is always true, that the peace of God which passeth understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.
In Faithful Duty We Find Security
Once again we cast our cares on anybody when we do our duty by him faithfully. I think of the public servants of Glasgow Corporation. The dustmen who pass my windows in the morning have their cares just like other men. They are married and have to feed and clothe their wives and children. And yet so long as they do their duty faithfully, they have no need to worry about that. They cast their cares upon the Corporation. Is not that precisely what our Savior meant when He was speaking about care and worry? "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you." Put God first, be loyal to Him daily, live for the happy service of the kingdom, and will God do less than the Glasgow Corporation? If any man is living for self, he has no warrant to cast his care on God. But if he lives for service and not self, he can lean his weight upon the word of Jesus. There is a deeper meaning than we think of in that word of our Lord beside the well, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me."
What Does God Expect of us?
And then when our cares are cast on God, what kind of life does God expect of us? It is here that Peter displays a heavenly wisdom, for he says, "Be sober and be watchful." It is a perilous thing to have a load of cares. It is fraught with manifold temptation. It may make a husband very cross and irritable as many a wife knows. But never forget that to be free from cares may be as perilous as to be burdened with them, and that's why Peter adds, "Be sober and be watchful." I have known people suddenly freed from care by some large legacy of fortune--and that freedom has sometimes been their ruin. God does not make His children carefree in order that He may make them careless. Surely better a thousand cares than that. He makes them carefree that with undivided heart they may give themselves to the service of their brother and to the glory of His blessed name.
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