May 31 – He Cares For You

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)

So, how are you doing with the task of humbling yourself? Not easy is it. Sort of like we pray for patience and immediately we encounter a circumstance where patience is needed. It doesn’t take long to fall like that. Pride is the same. If we want to give up pride, we must accept being humbled by circumstances and people. It can be a pretty bitter pill to swallow. Successful at humility comes from God and submitting to His leading. As we allow ourselves to accept opportunities for humility, we do so under the might of God’s hand. He is able to give us all that we need to swallow pride and give up all our self-needed sufficiency. At the proper time (which is God’s time, not ours) God will exalt us by manifesting Himself through us. People will see His work in our lives, not our own efforts. When they comment on such times, we give credit and glory to God. Our other promise is: God cares for us so much that he is willing to take on all things we worry about. We do not have to worry because He cares and takes care of us.


November 8 – Learning To Cast

“…having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB)

What is before the ellipsis in our verse? It is the instruction to take on humility under God’s mighty hand. He promises He will exalt us in time. This is after we have turned over to God all that we are anxious about. That is the requirement. Everything that upsets us.

Every worry.
Every concern.
Everything that is not working out the way we believe it should.
Every apprehension about the evil, hateful, ungodly, despicable cheating, lying, and underhanded manipulations, affecting our future.
Every fear of losing our freedom and liberty and our major dismay with who will be leading our country.

Wrap all these up and cast them on Jesus. He does not want us to lug these cares around. They get in the way. He can do something about it and we can only give them to him. God cares and that’s our promise you, He cares about me, about us –all who He has chosen and called and redeemed from permanent spiritual death. He does not want us to be stirred up or to stir up others with things we really can’t change. He cares about us enough to take these anxieties away for us.

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The Elephant in the Room Part 1

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Why Part 1?

Because, there is more than one in the room.

This elephant is called Suffering.

Yes, I know, not a favorite topic – but that is why it’s an elephant in the room. No one really wants to talk about suffering. No one wants to think about suffering. Acknowledging that suffering is part of our lives just seems well, not right.

It’s negative.

It’s a downer.

But, it’s real. It’s present in each of our lives in some way. If you are blessed to be in a place where specific suffering is not happening to you, it’s probably touching you through someone in your family or a close friend.

Suffering comes is many different packages.

  • Some is physical, some is emotional, and some is mental.
  • Some is afflicted, some in inherited, some we are born with.
  • Some is due to illnesses or injury.
  • Some is deserved and some not deserved.
  • Some we know and some we do not know.
  • Some surprises us and some we see coming from a distance.
  • Some we experience because we have too much and some because we do not have enough.

The truth is that humans will always deal with suffering and ignoring it does not make it go away.

A gathering of believers* where we worship and learn from God’s Word has been teaching about elephants in the room. These are issues and subjects we don’t like to talk about, especially in church, but really need to be addressed.

Recently the elephant was suffering and as part of the worship service our pastor asked a couple in our church to share the journey they have had with suffering. Byron has Alzheimer’s disease. It has been five years since he and Dot, his wife, first learned that “Old Al Zheimer” was going to be taking up residence in their lives. Talk about a big elephant in the room. It is a long story but it is a story about how suffering has not crushed them and in spite of all the normal reactions and emotions and challenges and difficulties and adjustments they have turned this time of suffering into an opportunity of ministry.
What they shared – especially Byron words which came with difficulty but by the grace of God, touched me deeply. They started a catalytic chain within me. From Byron and Dot, I have begun to learn that suffering can be okay, that they will be okay. It is such an  odd thing to say about an incurable disease but I have seen and heard how God can apply a salve to the suffering and give mercy and grace so that I can know as certainly as Byron does that God is with me and that it is good, He is good and it is okay.

The source of my suffering is major depressive disorder and general anxiety disorder. I am under the care of a doctor and most of the time, these illnesses are managed. Sometimes they rear their ugly head and try to create havoc. These are very real but poorly understood by most people.

My approach up until now has been to hope and pray for relief and release and look for the day when I am no longer afflicted. I have hoped for a long time that eventually I would be free from this affliction. That is a very frustrating way to cope. Not the hope and prayers – those are my lifeline, but hoping must be properly placed and expecting that this suffering is only for a season has given me a wishful hope that disappoints on a regular basis. I’ll go a season free from the effects and be thankful. Then I am t-boned and for no reason at all, my mood crashes, crushing my feeble hope. It just happens. Trying to discern the triggers is simple a different way to look for the same thing – release.

God gives hope that does not disappoint. He gives hope that is certain and fixed in His Word. His Word is that He is with us. He will never leave us. He will not forsake or desert us. He will provide and supply everything that we need according to His riches in Christ Jesus and according to will, He will give us what we ask for. That is what he has given me in Byron’s words. I am suffering – sometimes much and sometimes not so much – and I know that all the time, every day God is with me He holds me up with His righteous right hand. Surely he helps me. It’s okay. I will live with this as long as it is according to God’s will and if that is until I am with Him in heaven, then it’s okay. No, I will not always like it but I will always be loved and cared for by my Father who loves me and gave up his only begotten Son for me so that I can have new life through Him. I know there is a day when my body and mind will be reconciled with my spirit and made perfect. That is a hope that will not disappoint and that is a hope that is okay.



*The Longview Evangelical Presbyterian Church