Anxiety; January 6, 2021

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

This was one of the first Scriptures I memorized as a child, but it is still a very good one to meditate on. I like the NIV use of “anxiety” simply because “care” has such a wide range of meanings, but at the same time, the KJV double use of “care” has something to be said for it as well. In other words, “”You don’t have to care (be anxious) because God does it for you.” The Japanese likewise picks up on that, though it uses two distinctly different terms in the two locations. The first is a close analog of “anxiety,” but the second is a term that is most often used to mean “worry.” It seems strange, and even vaguely blasphemous, to say that God worries about us, but the actual characters used to write that term mean “distribute heart.” In other words, He isn’t casual about us; He really cares. In our finite humanity we have great trouble really grasping God’s infinite divinity. Human language often isn’t really up to the task of describing Him. As a result, we tend to think that He is like us, instead of His having created us to be like Him. God can’t be anxious, because He knows the end from the beginning, but He can “distribute His heart” to us. That’s what the Psalmist was talking about when he said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15) Whatever else you say about God, it is never accurate to say He doesn’t care. After all, Jesus said He even keeps track of how many hairs we have on our heads! (Luke 12:7) When God so cares about us, it is clearly absurd for us to be anxious about anything!

As I said, I memorized this verse as a youngster, but at the same time I’m still learning it. As I write, the political situation in the US is in turmoil, and the temptation to anxiety is great. However, God is still God, and that will never change. That is never to be an excuse for passivity; faith is to be active. However, my faith needs to be big enough to know that God is far greater and stronger than any possible problem or situation. Jesus spoke His famous words in Matthew 6:33 about God’s supply of our physical needs, but seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness applies to absolutely every area of life. In reference to America’s political situation, seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness would obviously lead to Biblical positions on every issue of public morality, but if I’m focused on a humanistic view of “my rights” I’m going to miss God’s kingdom. I am to be earnest in prayer, but it’s not to be anxious prayer. That distinction can be easy to miss! I am to be a good steward of the opportunities and the authority that have been entrusted to me, exercising them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results entirely in God’s hands. He’s more than up to the task!

Father, thank You for this strong, timely reminder. I do pray that Your will would be done, not only in the US political situation but everywhere in every way, just as Jesus taught us to pray. I pray that those who know you who are involved in government, from voters all the way up to the very top, would be active in their obedience to You, and that those who don’t know You, whatever their purported “religious affiliation,” would repent and believe, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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