Do Not Fear: Cast Your Anxiety on Him
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. – 1 Peter 5:6-7
As our culture continues to encourage moving at a faster, more efficient, more productive pace, we’ve seen a drastic spike in people who struggle with anxiety attacks, depression, and many other mental illnesses brought on by our circumstances. If we don’t personally deal with any of these issues, we definitely know people who do. Most of us have seen, sometimes very intimately, the deep effects had on friends and family who deal with them.
As followers of Christ, there is a direct correlation between our pride and our anxiety. In addition to a culture of productivity and efficiency, we also live in a culture that is highly individualized. There is endless value placed on pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and getting it done without being a burden to those around you. This teaches us that when we deal with things like anxiety and depression, we need to internalize it and deal with it on our own.
In God’s Word, He promises us relief from our anxiety and worry. We are to cast our anxiety on Him who cares for us, Jesus Christ. Being joined to Jesus, we do not bear our burdens alone. We are not expected to push through our afflictions alone. In the same way that we participate with Christ in everything He is and does, He also participates in all that we experience. He cares for us and loves us. He desires to help us to bear the load of our anxiety.
These words are preceded by an admonition. We must humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand. We cannot buy into the culture telling us that everything must be individualized and dealt with on our own. Humans were created to be in community, with God and with one another. For some of us, this may be joyous news. We don’t have to bear our burdens alone! For others, the idea of sharing our problems with the people around us violates many things we have been taught throughout our lives. Yet, this is the very purpose of our Union with Christ and our participation in the Body of Christ. When one member is hurting, the whole Body is effected.
If we believe this to be true, and we humble ourselves in vulnerability before God and others, God promises that He will raise us up. This verse is also an admonition for those of us who may not currently be in places of anxiety. We know brothers and sisters who struggle. As fellow members of the Body of Christ, we must be readily available to bear one another’s burdens with the grace, love, and charity with which Christ has borne ours.
Action Step: Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-26. What does this verse teach us about the Body of Christ functioning as a whole body? How have you seen this walked out well? Where have you not seen it walked out well? How can you suffer with the part that suffers and rejoice with the part that is honored? Spend some time before God, thanking Him for bearing our burdens, and praying for brothers and sisters you know who may be dealing with anxiety, worry, depression, or any other affliction.