“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7 ESV).
A major U.S. bus line advertised for many years with the slogan, “Leave the driving to us.” I have found that to be a comforting motto when on Nepal’s mountain roads. The local drivers who deal regularly with the narrow, rough, twisting, precipitous roads through the Himalayas and their foothills are far more capable of dealing with dangers than I. I do my best to “cast my anxieties” on them and just let them handle it. I’m not always completely successful (I do worry sometimes about certain stretches) but for the most part I have been much more relaxed and able to enjoy the scenery since adopting that attitude.
As beneficial as that principle is for riding in a car over dangerous roads, it is far more helpful as a guide for life. We might paraphrase Peter with something like, “Let’s let God do our worrying for us – he is much more knowledgeable and capable than we.”
There are threats of war, violence and chaos in our world. The news can be frightening and depressing. How do we prepare for the worst? “Cast your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” One of the most troublesome thoughts we can have is of our own impotence against the massed forces that seem to be against us. But remember,
- “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
- “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
The economic climate is tumultuous, seemingly up and down without rhyme or reason. How can we secure our future and that of our children and grandchildren? Jobs disappear overnight. Fraud and greed rob from the innocent without compassion. What are we to do? Jesus taught,
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:31-34).
Secular philosophies and non-Christian religions seem to be more and more hostile to Christianity. Persecution against those who follow Jesus is gaining momentum in many areas of the world. Laws, even in democratic nations, are changing to limit religious freedom and threaten those who believe. Many are openly pessimistic about the very survival of Christian faith.
Once again we are comforted by Jesus’ explicit promises.
- “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
- “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
- “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:27-28).
Our Christian lives take us through many dangerous places. But one is in control who is far greater than that which we fear. Let us leave our anxieties with him and live in peace and security, safe in his love.