ANXIETY! There certainly seems to be enough of it to go around in America today. Hurricanes, flooding, wild fires, earthquakes, contentious elections, immigration battles, racial conflicts, and international wars and conflicts rage on every side. It seems that anxiety grips all of society. And in the mist of all this anxiety the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays show up with their wild shopping days to pour on more anxiety. Anxiety is a common human trait that all must deal with. To be or not to be (anxious) is the question. The Apostle Peter understood this and addressed the issue in a simple concise manner and if we follow his wisdom we will all be better off. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV)
Peter gave us God’s perspective on things and God’s answer to the problem of anxiety. People who have been Christians for a while normally know 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety (care) on him because he cares for you,” but have we related it to 1 Peter 5:6? Anxiety often comes about because we often depend on ourselves to take care of our problems and concerns. After all we as Americans are self-sufficient and we do have pride. But God is good about putting us in a “box” where our resources in every area of life are not enough whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or financially. What do we do then? We can chew on our nails or suck on our thumbs. Our resources are spent and finally we turn to God.
How much better is life when we learn to “clothe ourselves with humility” and walk humbly before God every day of our lives? When we put aside pride and realize that God is able to take care of every situation in life every day of our lives anxiety will begin to depart from us. As we begin to realize that God really does care for us and that he wants to provide for us in every situation of life (Matthew 6:25-34) we will begin to listen to God’s voice and practice God’s antidote to anxiety (Philippians 4:6) and receive God’s peace in place of anxiety (Philippians 4:7). God’s antidote to anxiety “in every situation” is that in “prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” And the answer to your prayers is “the peace of God.” The world offers one solution to anxiety and God offers another. The world offers temporary relief through human methods and God offers permanent relief through spiritual methods. This is a biblical principle that God has given in His Word for Christians to change our lifestyle and submit our entire lifestyle to God so that we walk in humility before God because God does care for us. For the Christian there is an answer to the anxiety problem that affects so many people in America. As they say, “This isn’t rocket science.” The Apostle Peter had the answer 2000 years ago.