“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
I wonder if you have heard the expression “uncertainty breeds anxiety”. It feels very applicable to our current season of life doesn’t it, with case numbers on the rise, restrictions mounting, increasing global conflict and the light at the end of the tunnel looking rather dim. As we wait to see what each new day brings, in our personal lives and across the world, it is natural for this to generate anxiety. So how are we to respond?
In the apostle Peter’s first letter, he is writing to a group of struggling, suffering and displaced Christians. Their circumstances may have been different to ours, but like us, fear and anxiety were no strangers to them. Knowing this, Peter encourages them to “Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you.” What a wonderful reminder of God’s compassionate nature and the invitation he gives us to bring our worries to him!
Yet despite being so gracious an invitation, it is not always an easy one to act upon. So often instead of bringing our anxieties to God, we end up rehearsing them over and over in our minds, or suppressing them with our busy schedules and mindless distraction. The act of naming our concerns and intentionally handing them over to God can be incredibly hard. It can be much easier to hold onto them tightly as we try to take matters into our own hands.
But if we look back one verse, we are given a clue that might help us when we experience the temptation to hold onto our anxieties. Here, Peter says to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” This reminds us that not only is God loving and gracious, he is also mighty and infinitely more capable of caring for us than we are for ourselves.
Peace comes when we acknowledge this, when we humble ourselves before God, recognising our limitations and seeking his help in our time of need. Our circumstances may still be uncertain and difficult, but if we allow times of suffering to grow in us the fruit of humility, we can rest assured that our good and powerful God holds our lives in his trustworthy hands.
Heavenly Father, you know the burdens and worries that weigh on our hearts. Help us to humble ourselves, casting all our anxieties on you because you care for us. Please fill us instead with joy, peace and perseverance as we trust in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Assistant Minister | Women and Families