Written by Valerie Cleveland
A month or so ago, when we were all surrounded by few facts and many fears concerning COVID-19, a wise woman offered me some advice. We were talking about all of the unknowns and what ifs, when she brought 1 Peter 5:7 to my attention, “Casting all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you.” She pointed something out to me that I had never considered. This verse is not commanding us to have no anxieties, but it is acknowledging that we will and, when we do, we should cast them onto Christ.
How freeing is that?
Acknowledge that hard things and real fears come your way.
Lay them trustingly upon Christ, the only One strong enough to actually carry them for you.
Don’t blindly walk through this life repeating to yourself, “God is good, all the time” all the while suffocating under the real burdens that life actually presents. Christians aren’t called to be pretenders; pasting on smiles while the world suffers around us. But rather, to acknowledge the different seasons our lives bring. Blessed are those who mourn…Weep with those who weep…A time to weep…a time to mourn…a time to break down…
Pretending away your heartaches and problems doesn’t bring glory to God.
How do I know this? The words from 1 Peter 5:7 are half of a verse and of course, you cannot get the whole meaning without reading the entire verse (I would even argue the whole chapter).
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
So, how do we reconcile being wise and discerning, having legitimate cares and concerns with all the “Fear Not” verses in the Bible?
We should all acknowledge the hard things this life will bring. Did not Jesus even pray to the Father for relief from His coming hardships while in the Garden? Yet, the key to it all was the moment He said,
“Not my will, but yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
Just like Jesus in the Garden, 1 Peter begins with drawing our attention to our station, humility. We are not God and should therefore humble ourselves under whatever His mighty hand decides to bring. Though our trials might be burdensome, are they greater than what the mighty hand of God can sustain? Of course not! He who holds all of our tears in a bottle will not waste any trial or hardship for his people. But rather, He will exalt us in due time.
As we look forward to the future, we know that it is unwise to borrow trouble for tomorrow. We should focus on today, what it has in store, rather than looking ahead and worrying.
But…what if you were to look ahead? Just sit and imagine. What if your worst fears were actually realized?
Would God not be there?
Even in our worst-case scenario, He is still there. God is there, sovereignly orchestrating each moment. Christ is there and His mighty work of salvation would still be secured for us. The Holy Spirit is there, providing us with the grace we would need to get through each moment. Do you see it? Can you picture it?
I don’t recommend imagining your worst fears realized often, but isn’t it glorious to know that even then, Christ would carry those anxieties too?
So be wise. It’s Okay to Have Fears.
Acknowledge your concerns. Humble yourself under His mighty hand. Tell those concerns to God through prayer. And then tell Him again! As many times as it takes. And then lay them upon Christ, knowing that He cares for you.