Can you really cast all of your anxiety on God?
It’s easy to pick out the verse 1 Peter 6 to make ourselves feel good in the moment. It reads, “Cast all your anxiety on God because he cares for you.” As someone with faith and belief that God loves us, forgives us, and wants us to learn about both him and ourselves – I do believe that God wants us to surrender our anxiety to him. I do believe that God will take away the weight of our anxiety and pain when we call upon him.
However, what I’m learning is – it’s a little more complex than that. You can say that you surrender your anxiety, pain, anger, sadness, etc. to God. However, if you don’t put in the work to mentally prepare yourself to live a life that reflects your surrender… then you are going to have to repeat this process countless amounts of times.
And while – yes – God gives an unlimited amount of chances. Isn’t it better for us when we learn the lesson earlier than not?
Here’s what lead me to these thoughts…
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 6-7, NIV)
To really understand the text and the connection of these 2 verses, you need to realize that Peter is writing this verse in point 8 Greek. Therefore, these are not actually 2 separate sentences. The literal English translation reads as this:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 6-7, ESV)
There is actually a comma between verse 6 and verse 7. So the difference between these two translations is that when read them in the way that we, within the English language, understand… Verse 7 is predicated on whether or not Verse 6 takes place.
Therefore, I cannot cast my anxieties and keep my pride. I can only give God my anxieties if I also humble myself and give him my pride. If I insist on doing things my way, then I can expect to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. At the center of my anxiety, is my pride. The reason I stay so anxious, is because I have myself at the center and I am afraid to give that up.
So maybe the reason we can’t get rid of our anxiety, is because we’ve been carrying weight that we aren’t meant to carry. If pride is wearing us down, then God can’t lift us up.
So I ask you, can you really cast all of your anxiety on God? This lesson has been a hard pill to swallow in many ways in my own life. But it’s been one of the more rewarding lessons that I’ve learned in my life. And ironically, I feel much better about myself and how I want to live my life when I remove my selfish desires that don’t align with how I want to treat those around me and how I want to live for God.
*I still recognize that anxiety effects everyone in different ways and I am not negating the feelings of anyone with a medical condition**These thoughts were learned and taken from a sermon called “When Anxiety Attacks” by Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.*