Casting Our Anxiety

Moses, the author of the book of Exodus is one of my favorite biblical characters. Throughout his life he had been chosen by God to do some amazing things. Yet, Moses struggled with God’s calling on his life and it caused a lot of anxiety in his life as he walked with God. We see Moses anxiety and stress crop up throughout his life. We see it in the form of his what if statements. “What if they don’t believe me, listen to me, or believe that God sent me (Exodus 4:1)?” Moses even asked valid questions like, “What if Pharaoh kills me (Exodus 2:15)?”

We also see Moses anxieties in the form of the worries about his stutter (Exodus 4:10) and the fear of his past sins coming back to haunt him (Exodus 2:11-14), alongside his fear of leading the nation of Israel through the wilderness to the promised land (Exodus 3:10-4:13). He is such an amazing character and it is a blessing to see how human Moses really is when we take a closer look. I don’t know about you, but I can relate to Moses a lot with my anxiety, stressors, and even my fears in life.

We all have anxiety and fears, but the Apostle Peter gives us a beautiful way to handle our anxiety. Look at 1 Peter 5:5-7 as you read this post.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humilitytoward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
    
but shows favor to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Peter calls the Elders of the congregation and the congregation itself to humble themselves with each other in verse five.  Being humble is an important part of this passage and it will be covered in depth in a future blog post. For now, we see the act of a humble follower of Christ we will humble ourselves toward other people and God, because God opposes the proud (1 Peter 5:5) One important aspect of humility in a follower of Christ’s life is that we see ourselves appropriately and correctly in the Body of Christ. We do not raise ourselves up in importance, because God will humble us (1 Peter 5:5). We also do not lower ourselves, because self-deprecation and self-hatred are just forms of pride as well. We want to handle our relationships with each other and with God appropriately in a God honoring way.

Peter sees something I still have a hard time grasping in times of anxiety and stress. Often when I am stressed or anxious, I have not been relying on God, but on my own power or strength. I haven’t been going to Him in prayer and seeking Him in His Word. Often when anxiety crops up from relationships or other things happening in my life, my personality naturally has me springing into action to fix things and take control. Yet, God designed us all to come to Him and to rely on Him. Peter shows us that our pride and anxiety are linked together. When we rely on ourselves for the conflicts of this life, our pride produces anxiety.

Peter calls us to cast our anxiety on God because He cares for us. In using this word for casting,[1] Peter states that he wants us to forcefully throw our anxieties at God with great energy. Use your effort to give our anxiety over to God. One of the marks of a humble believer is the ability of relying on God through prayer and relinquishing our meager control on the situation. We serve a sovereign God who knows exactly how things will happen for His glory. We may not always like the outcome, but God calls us to hand our problems and anxieties over to Him, because He cares for us.

In using this word for cares,[2] Peter states with confidence that God is concerned for you and interested in you. God doesn’t want you stressed or anxious. God wants us to humble ourselves and rely on Him in faith through Jesus Christ by truly casting our anxieties on Him. This doesn’t mean we stop being responsible or stop planning when things are on the line. It doesn’t mean we stop seeking repentance, reconciliation or forgiveness when there is conflict in a relationship. It means that when it comes down to the endless list of things that can make us anxious, we trust God in all of it.

So when you are anxious with your work and career, your home or your possessions, your bills or your health, your children and grandchildren, your school work or future, your friends or reputation, or maybe even a lifestyle choice you have, trust God in His sovereignty that He will humble or exalt you in His perfect timing for His glory. We serve and worship a God who truly cares intimately for His creation. His Son humbled himself and took on the baggage of flesh and became a human, a lowly human at that. He died for His people, exhibiting the life of humility He calls all His followers to as well. Come, let us all put our pride to death and partake in this Christlike humility of casting our anxieties on God!

For the Glory of God,

Pastor Derek


[1] Strong’s Greek #1977: ἐπιρίψαντες

[2] Strong’s Greek #3199: μέλει

About derekcozine

Pastor of Christian Education and Youth Ministry at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church
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