Have you ever discovered that a bible verse you’ve quoted to yourself or others over and over has been somewhat incomplete and possibly misquoted?
7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Many times I have quoted 1 Peter 5:7 to myself or someone else to ease the strain of anxiety or turmoil, either within or from without. I realize now that quoting it on its own takes it out of context and turns it into some kind of magic potion that is probably different from God’s intention for the verse.
You see when we take it out of context we omit a key piece to the peace that comes from casting anxiety on the Lord. Look at the previous verse:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.
Is submission easy for you? For most of us it’s not. Whether it’s submitting to the wishes and plans of a family member or friend or taking direction from your boss when you disagree with them, we humans don’t really like to submit to others especially if it means we may give up something we want (or think we want) in the process.
Let’s face it. Our nature is to want things our way and live a life of comfort. When I am anxious about something I often try to find a solution or make it better and more comfortable for myself and others. I wrack my brain and strive to find an answer for the dilemma or figure out how to change someone’s feelings or attitude.
That’s not always God’s plan.
God asks us to hope. To have faith in Him and hope, for the present and the future.
And hope requires submission.
Hope requires us to admit that we can’t solve the problems around us and submit to the One who can…in His timing.
We look at the world around us and see so much that’s wrong. Innocent people losing their lives because someone doesn’t know how to control his or her anger, leaders who do not fear God or look to the best interests of those whom they lead but instead to their own desires and those we look to for truth disappoint us. It can be so hard to hope for the good.
But hope must be exercised in order to grow stronger. Hope linked with faith is an unbeatable combination.
Think of when you start working out to strengthen your muscles, lifting weights or doing work on your abdominal/core. Do you feel strong the day after the workout?
No, those muscles feel weak. The thing is if you allow that feeling of weakness to override the knowledge that good will come from consistently working those muscles and believing you will gain strength over time, nothing will ever change. But if you consistently work on those muscles, believing in what you cannot immediately see, over time you will realize things have changed.
I believe the same is true for hope.
Hope is something that must be exercised, and goes hand-in-hand with faith. (more on that in a future post)
Hebrews 10:23 tells us:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
As we submit to God and His will, admitting we don’t understand but hopeful that God’s promises are true today just as in the days of old we will be able to cast away our anxiety and allow Him to take over.
If you’re having trouble with this and need proof of present hope, look a little deeper. Perhaps we need to look a little farther out of our own circle. There are stories every day of God providing for people in need, healing the sick, even bringing miracles. Just because we haven’t seen what we hope for come to be just yet doesn’t mean it won’t. It means we need to continue to hope, and put our trust in the One who promises He will never leave us or allow us to walk through the joys or struggles alone.
This isn’t only true for everyone else it’s true for me, and for you. It’s easy to forget and be tempted to give up hope.
Don’t do it. In this puzzle of life the missing peace can only be found by humbling ourselves under God’s hand, trusting, and hoping for what we cannot see…
and casting our anxiety on Him.
blessings and peace to you!