Anybody NOT dealing with anxiety? This is one of those sins that is “acceptable” to most Christians. Not that we actually accept it, but we don’t really consider it very serious. It’s more like something we just put up with and, to a great degree, ignore....at least until it gets debilitating. This last Sunday our guest speaker Chris Lewis gave us some very helpful biblical counsel.
In 1 Peter 5:5-7 Peter is helping us to see the connection between humility and anxiety. First of all he defines humility by describing our great God. When we humble ourselves it is in a specific place; under God’s mighty hand. He is a mighty God. He is awesome and powerful. We spend so much time trying to be in control of our lives that we miss this simple fact; he is great and mighty and we are not. We spend most our our time trying to convince ourselves that we are strong enough to handle our circumstances or challenges. We are trying to control the uncontrollable. When we do this we are not humbling ourselves. We are doing the opposite, we are trusting ourselves. Pride, pure and simple. When we are humble, Peter says we will be able to cast our cares on the Lord. When we are proud we won’t do that. The benefit of humility is obvious, from a biblical point of view. We have a great God and, Peter says, He cares for us. This is our motive for casting; He cares. We cast...he cares. This humble acknowledgement of God’s greatness and His caring for us results in trust in Him and an awareness that we cannot do what only God can do. Bear our burdens. David described this feeling in Ps. 131 when he talked about his soul being like a weaned child within him. What is a weaned child? A weaned child is one that is no longer nursing. This child comes to his mother not so much looking for something but simply wanting to be with his mother. Resting in her arms. Enjoying being with her. This is how we come humbly to God. As children not so much looking for something but just wanting to be in His presence. Aware that he cares as he assures us He has it all under control. At rest...trusting. This is what Peter is describing. Casting our cares. Not coming for something, but coming to leave something...and then resting and trusting.
This all leads to another thing that can happen as we do this with God. We do this with each other. Paul says in Gal. 6:2 that we are to bear each others burdens. Two things strike me about this; first, unless we have effectively cast our cares on the Lord, we are going to be hard pressed to bear anyone else’s burdens. Secondly that God’s intention in bearing each others burdens is to share our burdens. Sharing and bearing. God has designed that a part of our humble casting of our cares on him is accomplished through sharing them with one another. Or you could say that when we cast our cares on Him, we have the faith and trust to share them with each other. This is an ear-mark of Godly community. Because of our deep and abiding trust in a great God who cares for us and wants to share our burdens, we are able to share and bear. Share and care. Be the kind of people and community we are intended to be while resting firmly in the grasp of our loving God who himself bore our burdens on the cross so we would be able to be in His arms in the first place.
Are you anxious? Start with some humble casting. Then start doing it with each other.