Have you ever had anyone tell you “you just need to cast your burdens upon the Lord”?
Or maybe you’ve heard a preacher say that you need to “cast your cares onto the Lord”.
But what does this mean? What does it mean to cast your burdens on the Lord, and how do you do it?
No one seems to explain how to actually cast your burdens upon the Lord. How do we do this? And how do we know when we have successfully cast our burdens on the Lord?
What Does it Mean to Cast Your Burdens Upon the Lord?
This saying comes from a verse found in Psalm 55:22 and also a similar verse in 1 Peter 5:7.
“Cast your burdens upon the lord, and He will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” Psalm 55:22
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
We see from this verse in 1 Peter that to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God means casting our cares on Him.
If you are a humble person, you will cast your cares on Him. Prideful people believe they don’t need God, that they can handle it all themselves.
To “cast” as used in this verse means to shed, fling, or throw. Just like a snake sheds its skin, we can shed our burdens! We can mentally fling them on to the Lord.
To cast your burdens upon the Lord means to transfer ownership of those burdens from yourself the Lord. You essentially give your burdens to Him to carry, rather than carrying them yourself. It is a decision you make in your mind to release the care and the worry about the problem. Once you give it to the Lord, it is no longer your problem to be concerned with.
We are instructed to cast, throw, and fling our burdens on the Lord. God clearly desires to carry our cares and troubles for us, but this requires our trust in Him.
What Are Burdens?
Your burdens are the troubles that this life hands out. The things that cause you to feel weighed down or worrisome are burdens. Your lot in life can be a real burden. In fact, this is what the word burden in this verse suggests- the lot you were given.
There are situations and circumstances that come in life that you did not directly ask for- life just hands them to you. You didn’t choose where you were born or what kind of family you were raised in. These things were handed to you. If the lot that has been given to you is burdensome, begin to cast it on the Lord.
We live in a fallen world that is full of trouble and hardships, but we were never designed to carry our own burdens. Whatever situation you find yourself in, cast the worry of it on the Lord. He wants to help you!
When people treat us wrongly, when family members betray us, when situations arise against us- these all create burdens that we can either choose to carry or to cast onto the Lord. He wants us to fling them onto Him!
Can you imagine a life where you weren’t carrying any burdens or the care of the situations? Where someone else handled all your problems and stresses? Wow! What a life that would be. I imagine it would feel so light and happy. This is exactly what God wants for us!
What Does it Mean that God Will Sustain You?
One of the promises in Psalm 55:22 is that when you cast your burdens on the Lord, He will sustain you.
To sustain someone means to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend, or to supply the means necessary for living.
We are not meant to sustain ourselves. Just like a newborn baby cannot survive without the care and nurture of its mother, we are designed to live in dependence on God and His nurture and provision.
Whatever lot you were given in life, cast it on to the Lord and He promised to sustain you.
Maybe you were born into a situation completely out of your control. Maybe the people around you have created a hardship that is affecting your life. Begin to cast it on the Lord, and He will sustain you and bring you out into the life He has designed for you.
This word sustain in the Greek is chul, which primarily suggests “to measure out a provision of food”, that is “to provide”.
God is your provider. And He doesn’t provide for you out of some sort of obligation. He wants to handle your problems for you. He wants you to trust Him. It brings the Lord great pleasure to provide for you.
Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
Don’t try to hold onto your own burdens. They are not yours to carry. You are not an orphan. You have a Father who wants to be your Source for everything.
Trying to fix all your problems on your own only causes anxiety, worry and fear, and these emotions will wreak havoc in your life.
How to Cast Your Burdens Upon the Lord
Now that we know what it means to cast our burdens on the Lord, let’s look at how to practically do it, so that it can become a reality in our life.
I am all about the practical. If you don’t know how to do something that the Bible instructs, how the heck are you supposed to do it? We need to know how to do the things the Lord instructs.
If God actually wants us to cast our burdens upon Him, then let’s make an effort to learn how to do it.
To cast your burdens on the Lord, begin by praying. Connect with the Lord and tell Him what’s going on. Tell Him your concerns and feelings. And then make the decision to hand the problem over to Him. Remember, He actually wants you to do this!
Roll the entire weight of the care onto the Lord. Tell Him that you are now giving this burden to Him, and you trust Him to take care of it for you. Begin to feel His peace cover your heart and mind as you do this.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
After you have officially cast your burden upon the Lord, you will need to remind yourself that this is now His problem.
Thoughts may come over the next days or weeks, trying to pressure you to pick the problem back up and fix it yourself. Remind yourself that this is no longer your burden- you have given it to the Lord. Remind yourself that the Lord has promised to sustain you as you let Him handle it.
How Do You Know if You’ve Cast Your Burdens Upon the Lord?
When you can sleep in the storm, just like Jesus did (Matthew 8:24), you know that you have successfully handed ownership of the problem over to the Lord.
When you are at rest about the situation and no longer tormented with thoughts about it, you know you have cast the burden upon the Lord.
This does not mean that the burden no longer exists, it just means you are no longer carrying the weight of it. You are allowing God to work it out. You are trusting Him and trusting His Word.
Many times as you begin to cast your burden on the Lord, He will show you Scripture that applies to your situation.
Because you are no longer trying to do everything in your own strength, His grace can begin to flow. When your heart and mind are at peace, you can begin to hear His instructions or His promise regarding the situation.
This is how Jesus was able to rest in the midst of the storm. He knew what His Father had to say about the situation. He knew they were going to the other side.
… He gave a command to depart to the other side. Matthew 8:18
Trust what God says about your situation. Hold on to it and speak it out loud when contrary thoughts come. Refuse to take the burden back on yourself. Resist the pressure to do something about it until you have instructions from the Lord.
As you continue to cast your burdens upon the Lord, life will get better. Situations and trials come against us all, but there is great strength and grace that operates in the life of those who know how to let the Lord sustain them!