As Death was walking towards a city, a man stopped Death and asked, “What are you going to do?” Death said, “I’m going to kill 10,000 people.” The man exclaimed, “That’s horrible!” Death responded, “That’s the way it is; that’s what I do.” As the day progressed, the man warned everyone he could about Death’s plan. At the end of the day, he again met Death. He questioned, “You said you were going to kill ten thousand people, and yet seventy thousand died.” Death explained, “I killed only ten thousand. Worry and fear killed the rest.”
According to the three authors in a book titled “Worry Free Living,” worry is the “number one mental health disorder in America.” It is probably safe to say that worry is the number one mental health disorder in all parts of the world. Worry can be a result of many things: fluctuating economic conditions, instability at the work-place, difficult family conditions, insufficient funds for the present and future, lack of acceptance by people, etc. Even leaders in the Church are not exempt from worry. They worry about church growth, the spiritual condition of the people under their care, etc. As one can see, the list seems endless.
No matter the reason, worry is still sin. According to one writer, it is sin, “because it denies the love, wisdom, and power of God. It denies the love of God by implying that he does not care for us. It denies his wisdom by implying that he does not know what he is doing. And denies his power by implying that he is not able to provide for our needs.” While we would acknowledge that worrying is a sin, yet we find it hard to avoid this sin. That’s why Peter comes to our aid in 1 Peter 5:7 by teaching us a fundamental truth if applied, will help us conquer the sin of worry or anxiety.
In 1 Peter 5:7, this is what he says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” The word “cast” means to “place upon” or “throw over.” It is used once outside of this verse, in Luke 19:35, to describe people throwing their clothes on the colt upon which Jesus sat before entering Jerusalem.
Similarly, Peter is commanding all Christians to relieve themselves of not some, but “all” of their worries by throwing them upon God. Throwing all our cares upon God is not misplaced confidence but is grounded in the fact that “he cares for you.” The belief that God cares differentiates the God of the Bible from all other so-called gods. All the worries and distractions that make us anxious are a matter of concern for God of the Bible. We are reminded in Isaiah 63:9 that God is “distressed” when his people go through times of “distress.” He does indeed care for us!
The greatest proof that God cares for us is seen on the cross where he gave his Son for us! Will he now stop caring for us—us for whose sake he put his Son to death? No. No. Never! The truth of Romans 8:32 should always be in front of our eyes when the arrows of anxiety attack us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
God gives us sufficient grace for all situations [2 Cor 12:9]. The grace we have for today is to fight today’s battles only. God does not give tomorrow’s grace to handle today’s problems. When we allow tomorrow’s problems to overwhelm us today, we make ourselves useless for today’s service. Worry does not improve the future, but it definitely ruins the present life—physically, mentally and spiritually! Worry is pulling tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine. Worrying is like sitting on a rocking chair and rocking back and forth. It gives us something to do but never gets us anywhere. As one godly woman who had lived long enough to learn some valuable lessons about life said, “I have had a lot of trouble in my life, and most of it never happened!” Whatever our concerns are, we can tell our loving Father. He longs to hear from us and is waiting to give us the peace that passes all understanding [Phil 4:7].
Abraham Lincoln, during his tenure as the President of the United States, once was overwhelmed with anxiety. When his wife asked the reason, he said that there was no good news going around, but that everything around him was very dark. After saying this, he took a Bible that was nearby and started reading it. After fifteen minutes, his face became very cheerful. What a sure way of conquering anxiety—meditating on the Scriptures! Romans 15:4 rightly states through the “endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Instead of depending upon drugs or alcohol, the Christian can rely on God alone who by the power of the Holy Spirit gives true peace as we look to his word and talk to him through prayer. We cannot conquer worry by seeking to be independent of trials, but by learning to be God-dependent during those trials. We have to acknowledge that we are weak vessels and that only God’s power can sustain us [2 Cor 4:7] during times of trial. This requires humility. And only a humble heart will seek to cast all its cares upon the Lord who truly cares. That’s why Peter before saying we are to cast all our cares on the Lord said in the earlier verse “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” [1 Pet 5:6]!
Casting all our cares upon him is an expression of humility. It means we don’t take matters into our own hands but trust him to bring about the necessary resolutions in his time. In the meantime we rest in the knowledge that we are in his good and caring hands.
So, the question for you and me is this: Are we willing to humbly trust in the God of the Bible who can save people from hell, Satan and sin to carry our every-day burdens?