Cast Yourself on God’s Mercy
By Rick Warren

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

One of the most important things you can do when you experience failure is to cast yourself on God’s mercy. We know Jesus’ disciple Peter did this—because he wrote two books in the Bible about it. 

Peter had a massive failure in his life: denying Jesus three times in the course of one evening. But he didn’t drift into despair. He didn’t waste time suffering in condemnation. He didn’t shower himself in guilt or shame. And he didn’t go on living with regret. Instead, Peter cast all his anxiety on God, and his life was filled with hope because of God’s mercy. 

In 1 Peter 5:7, Peter says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV). In this verse, the Greek word translated as “cast” means to “let it go.”

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Imagine you’re carrying a giant boulder. It’s so big that you can’t even toss it a few feet; all you can do is drop it. That’s what this verse is saying. You simply take all your fear, insecurity, guilt, and whatever else you’re struggling with and drop it on God. You cast yourself on his mercy. 

But how exactly do you do that? You can pray something like this: “God, I really blew it. I don’t deserve your mercy. I’ve ignored you and made mistakes. But you are kind and loving. You are merciful and forgiving, so I’m throwing myself on your mercy. I need a fresh start. I know I don’t deserve it and I couldn’t earn it. I’m just asking you to do what you love to do and show me mercy.”

This is the antidote to everything that Satan says to you. Satan loves to whisper lies in your ear like, “You’re not good enough. Who do you think you are? Why do you think God could ever use you? Why do you think God would answer your prayers after all the stuff you’ve done?” Satan doesn’t want you focused on God’s mercy. 

Before Jesus was even arrested, he told Peter four things in advance of Peter’s failure:

  • Satan wants to test you. 
  • You’re going to be tempted.
  • I’ve already prayed for you.
  • Use your pain to help other people. 

These things are true for you too. You’ll be tempted, and sometimes you’ll fail, but Jesus will always be there for you. And your pain won’t be wasted.

When you cast your cares, you lose your despair. Peter got this right! He grieved his failure, found comfort with his friends, and cast himself on God’s mercy. This is the same formula you need to find hope after failure.

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