Scripture memory is a spiritual discipline that is so important but often overlooked. However, Psalm 119:11 says that when we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we are changed. We see sin for what it is. We are pointed back to the Lord. And, the Word takes up residence in our lives.
As a teenager, I memorized 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV). This was a verse I recited time and again throughout my parents’ divorce and a verse that carried me through a rough freshmen year in college. I learned to tell the Lord all that scared me, that I feared, that I worried about, and that kept me up at night. It was sweet and reminded me that God cared about me.
Fast forward twenty-five years to new difficulties, fears, and anxieties. What is the one verse that keeps coming to mind? 1 Peter 5:7. What is the one verse that I catch myself repeating when things seem overwhelming? 1 Peter 5:7. But, as an adult, this verse has taken on new meaning.
I found myself wondering what it really meant to “cast” something on the Lord. Casting a net, casting dice, or casting off clothes after a long workout all involve throwing things. There is a forceful action behind actively casting. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of the word cast “is to cause to move or send forth by throwing.” All the subsequent definitions include movement, distance, and changing form in some way. Let’s go one step further. According to Strong’s Greek Lexicon, the original word meant to “throw, cast, to throw off, toss.” Again, all these words include motion and action, which have some force behind them.
Scripture tells us to cast our cares on the Lord. We aren’t told to lay them neatly in a folded pile at His feet or to quietly go before the Lord and whisper. We are told to cast, to throw, to toss our fears, worries, and anxieties on the Lord because He cares for us. The writer of Hebrews writes, “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (4:16, HCSB, emphasis added). As children of God, we get to boldly go before our Heavenly Father and throw all our junk at His feet because He loves us.
That is life-giving and life-transforming! God does not expect His children to be quiet about their fears. He invites us to come yelling, screaming, kicking, and throwing a fit straight to Him. Think about all the emotion we bottle up and hide from the world. All of that can be tossed at the feet of the One who loves you most. There, in that place, we are promised to find grace that will help us.
In today’s world, there is so much hurt, grief, sadness, and pain. What wonderful promises we find throughout Scripture. What if we were to commit to memorizing God’s Word, planting it in our hearts, and letting it take up residence there so that we are transformed? Once Scripture is there, we are able to recall it for ourselves and speak it as life to others.
Do you know someone who needs to be given permission to cast their cares on the Lord? Do you know someone who could benefit from knowing that God cares about them? The more we hide God’s Word in our hearts, the more readily we will be able to give hope, peace, and life to those around us.
Dr. Beth Masters works with college students at Mississippi College where she is the Director of Christian Life and Ministries. She also serves as a ministry-based faculty member at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in the area of Collegiate Ministry. Beth loves young adults, baking, and coffee.