“…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”1 Pet. 5:7
Take a moment to really think about what this verse is telling us to do. It is literally commanding us to give our anxieties and cares to God our Father because He loves us deeply and doesn’t want us weighed down with the burdens of life.
You might wonder exactly how we’re supposed to do that, given that every person reading this is bombarded with anxiety after anxiety daily. There’s no escape from it in our hurried, frantic way of life.
Even in slower, more laid-back cultures, there are still ample opportunities for anxiety to creep in. Anxiety and stress are a fact of life on this fallen planet we call home.
I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand how we’re supposed to give God our anxieties. I believe that you have to take this verse (plus the ones immediately before and after it) and read it along with other similar passages such as Philippians 4:4-9, Matthew 6:25-34, and Luke 12:22-31 before you can really start to get a good feel for what God is telling us.
I’ve been reading and rereading all these verses for years, but I have yet to reach the point where I don’t struggle with anxiety and depression. All too often, I find myself worrying about finances, health, relationships, my career, or any number of other things.
I have head knowledge about what these verses are saying—that God loves us and doesn’t want us fretting about our basic needs because He’s got it all covered. But somehow that doesn’t always translate into belief in my heart. Yes, I know that’s pathetic. I feel like I should be able to just take God at His word and not let anxiety gain a foothold in my life.
Maybe it’s just guilt on my part. You know, I feel guilty about being such a lousy example of a Christian that I don’t feel like God’s grace could possibly work for me.
But feeling this way is actually an insult to God. I’m essentially saying that His grace and forgiveness are not strong enough or good enough to penetrate my sin and make me clean in His eyes.
However, I know that’s not the case—He sees me as redeemed, thanks to Christ’s death and resurrection and my belief in these two events.
Maybe it’s hard for me to give my anxiety to God because of lingering questions. I mean, why do we have to cast our anxiety on Him? Why can’t He just swoop down with His big hand and snatch them all away from us once and for all?
That is a question for which I definitely do not have an answer. I can only guess. Perhaps it’s once again because we live in a fallen world and He chooses to abide by the effects of sin upon us humans.
There are many evils and ills that He could rescue us from on a daily basis, but he doesn’t because our sentence is to live in a world full of sin and decay. Anxiety and depression are just two of those results of our fallen nature.
He does, however, give us the means to lift ourselves out of the pit of despair by telling us over and over in the Bible not to be anxious, worried, and fearful.
Perhaps the more sinful we are as individuals, the harder it is for us to remain anxiety-free. The more we lean on God and strive to obey Him, the easier it becomes to live a life brimming over with joy and happiness.
These are all just guesses—I’m no theologian; this is just me putting my thoughts into coherent words.
Does anybody else have any thoughts on these issues?