This week we conclude our sermon series entitled “Who Cares?”. Preaching from Brian Dickson. Service led by Kuda Osoba.
The scripture text under consideration begins in the middle of a discourse. The Apostle Peter in his first epistle (letter) to certain churches in Asia Minor, addresses the pressing issue of persecution against the Christians of his day.
The Apostle begins by providing clarity and explanation as to the reason why Christians found themselves enduring such persecution, and then goes on to offer comfort and guidance on how to cope in such difficult times.
How to continue when persecution comes
We pick things up in v5, where Peter turns his attention to the lay members of those churches… ‘Likewise you younger people,’ 1 Peter 5:5 (NKJV). The ‘younger’ here is merely a term used to identify those not serving as elders.
In such difficult and trying times, believers were to be humble and to trust their Pastor’s whose care they were under, and whatever cares they had, they could cast them on to God, why? Because God cares for them, just as God cares for us today.
Christian persecution in the UK
Christians in the UK are coming under much persecution today. If you dare to make a stand according to God’s word, you can almost guarantee some form of pushback, particularly in the public and social space. When our culture, even our government seems to be against God and advocates things that are polar opposite to God’s Word, it can be more than a little overwhelming. At such times Peter says we need to ‘cast our cares upon Him, for He cares for you’ (v7).
God cares for our daily needs too
Being overly concerned with our daily needs can become a burden, and at the same time hinder our walk with the Lord. Whether that is not giving time for devotional prayer or being mindful of his goodness towards us. It’s all too easy to jump into the business of life, and push God to one side. Even in the daily things, God wants to ease our burden.
Why care about tomorrow?
As if worrying about today isn’t enough, many of us also take on worrying about tomorrow and worrying about the future. We would then find ourselves worrying about things we have little or no control over. God tells us it’s enough to be concerned with today only, and in doing so, he eases our burdens and lightens our load.
Questions for further Study
- List and discuss the various types of persecutions Christians face today and the common ways we tend to deal with such persecutions?
- V8 says the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. What are the effects of such roaring on the Christian and on the church, and how should we respond?
- Read Matthew 6:25-34. God desires that we should not be so burdened with the daily cares of living, this being so, why do so many Christians find it difficult to follow v33?
- Read Matthew 11:28-30. In context, Jesus is referring to the burden of the OT laws including redemption, and various religious customs of the day. How can these verses be helpful for us today?
- We have seen many ways that God demonstrates his care for us, in what ways can you see these things help in a practical way in your life, or do you think you would struggle letting go and giving your burdens over to God?