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Peter tells us to cast all our anxiety on God

Columbia Biblical Studies: Tuesday, August 12
Columbia Biblical Studies: Tuesday, August 12
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is from I Peter 5:6-7: 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.

Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand. This is something that has been taught to us since most of us were little children in Sunday School. We have always learned that God does not want His people to be arrogant or boastful or proud. He asks us to humble ourselves, to fall on our knees, to come to Him empty, and to reach out to His when we are in the most lonely and difficult places in our lives.

And when we think of God’s mighty hand, perhaps humility is made easier for us. God’s mighty hand had the power to cause plagues, famines, and floods. God even had the power to being about creation itself. How, in the name of common sense, can we feel anything but humility when we are faced with strength and power and glory like that of God? We might feel somewhat small and insignificant standing in the presence of a world political leader, a member of royalty, a famous movie star or singer. We may be a bit nervous standing in the spotlight with all eyes on us. So how can we feel in the presence of God other than humble? The more we think about it and the more we are aware of Hid power and majesty, the more humble we become.

When will God lift us up? Many believe that we shall be lifted up upon our death and taken to paradise to live with Go. Others believe that this is not necessarily the only scenario. A renowned theologian once told me that the kingdom of God is not something we have to wait for, but something that is here and now, just waiting for us to understand, accept and appreciate it. And this is so right. We can be spiritually lifted up so that our hearts and souls are filled with the love of God, yet function purposefully here on earth. Our everyday lives will be brighter, sharper, and take on new clarity. We will begin to notice tiny miracles and appreciate small wonders. We will be lifted up every time we turn our hearts and minds to God and ask for His divine guidance and love.

Anxiety is a very real problem for too many of us. We face anxiety from our families, our jobs, our finances, the current economy, and virtually everyone we come into contact with. Too often we have to grit our teeth and say and do what we are supposed to. We worry about our children, our homes, our bills, and even foreclosure. A few of us are anxious about the very real possibility of homelessness and need. It is a well known statistic that the average American family is two paychecks away from financial security.

Many are facing serious illnesses, the loss of a loved one, a 401 K that is now worth very little, the dream of retirement that has faded into the reality of work, the separation from loved one in the armed forces, or any of hundreds of situations that bring on bouts of anxiety. Many try to control them with alcohol or drugs. But how much more powerful is treatment with the goodness and peace of God? When we are feeling anxious or even destitute, God will be there and, like a loving father, hold us are within His arms and assure us that we are not alone. In a world filled with uncertainty, loss, grief and injustice, how comforting if is to know that, as Christians, we never have to carry more than we are able and that God, in all His power and strength, will carry our burdens with us.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock, The MacArthur Bible Commentaryby John MacArthur, Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor

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