Anxiety Strangles; Prayer Releases

The Apostle Peter re-appropriates Psalm 55:22 in 1 Peter 5:7 when he encourages his readers, “[Cast] all your care on Him, because He cares for you.” Other translations (e.g. NASB) translate “care” as “anxiety.”

It’s a beautiful verse. But it’s so hard to obey.

I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life where i’ve felt more anxious than i do right now.

  • Will our son be born healthy?
  • Will we have enough money to make ends meet?
  • Will catching COVID do irreparable damage?
  • Will i stand strong against the sin struggles constantly tugging at my heart?
  • Are we watching the loss of our freedoms as a country unfold before our eyes?
  • Will i end up unemployed if i decide against an experimental vaccine?
  • Was our “year-from-now” plan God’s will when we decided to start a family?

Peter says i need to throw all of this at God.

Why?

God cares for me. And no one cares for me like God does. The government certainly doesn’t. My employer does what it can. My wife does a really good job, and when she does i see God’s hand at work.

But God perfectly cares for me. God cared for me even when i was a rebellious, cursing, blasphemous fool. God still cares for me.

But it’s so hard to experientially feel that this is true.

I wish i could say after eleven years as a Christian–reading the Bible (studying the Bible) regularly–that i had some answers. That God’s will was laid out clearly before me. That i didn’t have any doubts.

But i can’t.

Every day poses again the temptation to throw in the towel and just give up on this whole Christian thing. Christians (who are supposed to show the world the love of God) bicker like nobody’s business. Christians (who are supposed to unite around the shed blood of Christ) want to divide and become judgmental over political opinions. Christians, especially Christian leaders (who are supposedly the hands and feet of God in this world), are just as regularly in the news for crimes no less disgusting than Jeffrey Epstein’s 24 months ago.

But then i think of several passages of Scripture:

I have more insight than all my teachers
because Your decrees are my meditation.

Psalm 119:99

Just because the world is broken–Christians included, and certainly myself–does not mean that the system is wrong. If anything it shows that the system is right. We need Christ. We need Christ to come riding on His victorious white horse and set all wrongs right (cf. Psalm 137). But even more importantly, as relates to my life in August 2021:

Turn my heart to Your decrees
and not to material gain.
Turn my eyes
from looking at what is worthless;
give me life in Your ways.
Confirm what You said to Your servant,
for it produces reverence for You.

Psalm 119:36-38

If you look back over my list of anxieties at the beginning of this post, you will notice that a lot of them are related to money (at least by proxy). I have not been praying the content of these verses faithfully. As a result, my heart has turned toward material gain. My eyes have turned toward what is worthless. I must fix my eyes on God and call out to Him when i feel the anxiety knocking. If i don’t, i will turn away from God to what is worthless.

And i know the experiential reality of this in my own life.

But this is where verse 38 becomes absolutely critical. If i’m not to look at or desire worthless things, what am i to look at and desire?

God’s decrees (verse 36), God’s ways (verse 37), and God’s words (verse 38). The more my heart is turned to God’s decrees, the more i will see God confirming what He said.

And what did He say?

Cast your burden on the Lord,
and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Psalm 55:22

[Cast] all your care on Him, because He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:7

When my gaze is fixed on Him, and when i obey His command to give my anxiety to Him, i will experientially feel that He cares for me. And the more i experientially know this, the more easily i will turn to Him in times of anxiety, thus producing “reverence for [God].”

What anxieties do you need to start casting on God today?

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus
Sola Scriptura
Sola Fide

Thanks for reading.

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