All Our Anxieties

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Apostle Peter wrote this letter to believers scattered throughout the provinces of Asia Minor when they were experiencing various trials and persecutions. One common supposition was that 1 Peter was written during the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian (AD 81-96) who persecuted Christians for their rejection and resistance to his aggressive claim to divinity. It would have been a time of much apprehension and uncertainty.

The causes may have changed over the centuries, but believers today still face an apprehensive and uncertain world. We are living in an extraordinary time where worldwide disasters, such as a nuclear war and irreversible climate change, are on the brink. The advent of computers and the internet has led to a rapid increase in knowledge and a connected world, but it has also given rise to widespread falsehoods and godless ideologies. With the establishment of the modern state of Israel 70 years ago this year, the end times are nigh and as believers, we wait expectantly for our Lord’s coming as the events continue to unfold before us - days that Jesus said “will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again.” (Matthew 24:21).

How are Christians to respond in such a time?

The answer lies right in the middle of the chapter 5 of 1 Peter - Peter exhorts believers to cast their anxieties on God because He cares for us. Just before this verse, Peter calls on believers to “humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (v6). To be clothed in humility is a necessary step before we can throw our anxieties to God. It is only when we realise our own limitations that we can seek God’s help and strength.

Peter himself experienced this. On the way to Gethsemane, when Jesus predicted that the disciples will fall away when he is taken, Peter declared that even if the other disciples fell away, he never would. Again, when Jesus predicted that Peter would disown him three times that very night, Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matthew 26:35). Yet, in the courtyard of the high priest that night, Peter disowned Jesus three times when he was questioned about his relationship to him before he remembered the words of Jesus. He left the courtyard and wept bitterly. His whole world must have collapsed around him! He had been so sure of his own dedication, but had disowned the Lord and Messiah he had professed in (Matthew 16:16). After the resurrection, Jesus reinstated Peter by the Sea of Galilee but asking him three times whether he loved him. Each time Peter replied in the affirmative, Jesus told him to take care of His sheep (John 21:15-17). Peter never forgot that, and in 1 Peter 5:2-4, he gave the same exhortation to the elders of the churches he wrote to.

While we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus, we can face up to the challenging times by knowing that He cares for us and understands our anxieties. In the mean time, let us humbly seek Him because we know He will provide and lift us up in due time.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

Joseph M. Scriven, 1855

Back to Devotions Index