“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
The word “care” here means anxiety. This is anxiety in the bad sense. Anxiety is a form of fear, a fear of the unknown. This is the kind of fear that puts a person suspended between two points. Will the bad thing happen or the good thing? It is a fear of the unknown. “Care” is a compound of two words: split, mind. “Care” then splits the mind, and the splitting of the mind results in anxiety. Anxiety may be said to divide the mind: “Will the bad happen, or will the good happen to me?” If we allow ourselves to think in different directions at the same time, we lose focus and concentration. Anxiety draws us in different directions, leaving us in a kind of suspension. This state distracts us from God.
The New Testament uses “anxiety” both in a good sense meaning “godly concern,” and in a bad sense meaning “worry or anxiety.” Paul exercised the good sense of “care” in his concern for the churches that he founded,
“Besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).
Martha expresses the bad sense of the word “care” when Jesus came for a visit,
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:38-42).
Martha allowed her household duties to distract her from a more important priority. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus to listen to the Word. Martha allowed lesser concerns to get in the way of greater concerns. She majored on minors and minored on majors. Paul challenges the Philippians to free themselves from anxiety by prayer,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
God is willing and able to carry our heaviest burden.
Anxiety is the anguish resulting from the uncertainty of possible misfortune and disaster. Anxiety can distract us from spiritual priorities that prevent a dynamic walk with God. None of us can escape the cares of life but we can free ourselves from anxiety. Troubles can surround us and yet not distress us if we put our anxieties in God’s hands.
Anxiety incapacitates us and makes us less able to face our problems. The issue here is not having the foresight to plan for the future but a foresight of fear that disables us from dealing with the present. God places problems in our lives not to break us but to make us.
Anxiety arises from unbelief and unwillingness to accept God’s sovereignty upon one’s life. Anxiety is also a violation of humility (5:6). People who have confidence in God do not have anxiety. If God is sovereign and if God cares for us, no affliction can be of any ultimate consequence (Romans 8:31).
“So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done’” (Acts 21:14).
Anxiety can make us old before our time. We can worry ourselves into decline,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34).
Worry does not make a person more able to face a problem; it makes him less able.
“Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).
Anxiety is fearful anguish coupled with uncertainty. It is our anticipation of misfortune as if God and His resources for us do not exist. Anxiety distracts us from the resources of God. We enter into a state of turmoil; we cannot recognize the providence of God in our lives (v. 6).