“…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
The Apostle Peter understood we all have anxiety come upon us due to the events in our life here on Earth. Financial stress, illness, death, family crises, strife, unfair treatment, job loss, and school problems are all real and alter what happens to us, often in profoundly painful ways. The awesome thing about Christianity and suffering is that God majors in our suffering, and He wants to take on our burden, bestow peace, and provide for us through it. He provides both examples and a template to get through the difficult times here on Earth. He both encourages and commands us to lean on Him and to reap the benefits of faith in His promises.
Cast Anxiety onto God
Ongoing anxieties can be an unremitting burden which causes deep emotional and chronic physical problems. God wants them far from us. Daily worries need to go somewhere and if they remain inside our mind they not only hurt us, but they often lead to misguided, wrong behaviors. In our efforts to deal our problems, we often harm the ones we love.
Peter wrote to Christians spread throughout Asia Minor who were suffering persecution and hardship for their faith. He drew on his former profession as a fisherman to create an example on how to handle their expected anxieties. No mater the source of our anxiety, Peter’s advice is sound. In his first letter, he wrote, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
The Apostle Paul, a wise man, was very familiar with suffering in this world. As a lead persecutor of the church, he coordinated efforts that caused untold anxiety and suffering in the early Christian church. He threw some in prison and even cast his vote for the death penalty. Once an apostle, he went through repeated, intense episodes of suffering as predicted by our Lord in the book of Acts. “…For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” His advice is a practical road map born out of God’s promise and loving care lived out in his own life.
The Lord is at Hand
Paul wrote to the Philippians while in a Roman prison. His freedom, food, clothing, and daily desires all under the supposed control of another person. Despite his earthly circumstances, he understood that the Lord was with him and was the ultimate provider. He called on the believers to, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus on God’s Provision for You
Jesus teaches us throughout the New Testament that God loves us. God loves us so much that he sent his only begotten son, Jesus, to be born of a virgin and live among his people. He served his people, healed his people, and provided a way of salvation for his people by his crucifixion and death upon a cross. Not only does God provide an ultimate way to life eternal, but he provides a way here on earth. It is a promise to be held onto and not abused by excessive wants and desires, but by faith in our Father, the true source of all goodness.
God Our Faithful Provider
Matthew records in his gospel what Jesus teaches regarding our daily anxiety. He says, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Pe 5:6–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Php 4:4–7). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 9:16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 6:25–34). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.