By David McClister
One of the most beautiful statements in all the Bible is found in 1 Peter 5:7 – “casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you” (ASV). The apostle here combines commandment and fact in a most assuring way for every Christian. How great it is to know that we are not faced with the unpleasant task of having to worry our lives through or become dragged down by the day-to-day problems which are seemingly capable at times of piling up much faster than we can deal with them. By the grace and love of God, we are spared from the nervousness which plagues those outside of Christ. All we need to do when the worries come is hand them over to God and let Him take care of them.
What a blessing this is! Yet all too often we neglect it and find ourselves needlessly grappling with our fears and worries. We often spend far too much time worrying about the bills, getting out of debt, the security of our jobs, our health, our safety, and a host of other things which really distract us from our main job of being the people of God first and making spiritual things our primary concern. Before we know it we are so bogged down in anxiety that we have lost sight of our spiritual concerns and have become like the rest of the world – spending all our time minding the things of this life, rather than paying attention first to the things of heaven.
For this reason, it is good to step back once in a while and evaluate just how we are living our lives. We all need, from time to time, to pull ourselves up from the details of the bills, job, etc. and make sure that heaven still is our chief desire. That is not to say that we must abandon all responsibility, but that we must ever be sure that we are not losing sight of our most important responsibility, which is obeying God. But even more than this, we need to take all of those cares and worries and deposit them squarely into the hands of God. He is far more capable of dealing with them than we are, for He is, after all, the Creator of all things. Surely a God as powerful as the one we worship can handle the problems we mortals face. Yet the facts are more encouraging still.
Did you ever wonder why it is that God wants us to let Him handle our worries? It is not because God particularly enjoys having problems heaped upon Him, even though He can deal with them easily. No, God wants to take on our problems so that we can keep our sights set on heaven without any distractions. We need to realize that God wants us to be saved. The Scriptures plainly teach, “The Lord is . . . not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9), and “. . .God our Savior. . . would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). God is on our side! He wants to see us be faithful to Him, and so He will deal with our problems so that we can concentrate upon being faithful and making it to heaven. This is a piece of what it means that “he careth for you.”
Thus we are commanded to cast our cares upon God. The apostle Paul issued the same exhortation in Phillipians 4:6: “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” This is not merely an option open to the Christian, nor is it a casual suggestion. It is a commandment of the Lord delivered by His apostles. The plain and simple fact is that God does not want us wasting our time worrying over things that have not yet happened to us. He wants us to spend our time wisely (Eph. 5:15f), concentrating on the good we may do in His service now. Let God take care of the problems of the future. As Jesus said, “Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matt. 6:34). It is a matter of letting God be God, letting faith be faith, and letting today be spent in His service.
God has designed the Christian life to be one of supreme serenity and peace, and there is no good reason why any Christian’s life should be otherwise. Sure, troubles will come. They come to all men. But the great thing about our life in Christ is that we do not have to face them helplessly or alone. God has volunteered to handle our fears, cares, and anxieties for us. Now, with such fears out of the way, how much time do you suppose that leaves us for pleasing God? All of it! And what shall be the result for us? “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 7, pp. 193, 217
April 4, 1985