Do you constantly worry? Peter tells persecuted believers (who have a whole lot to worry about), “Humble yourselves…casting all of your anxieties on him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7).
Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, giving you something to do, but never taking you anywhere. Like a hamster in a cage, you go round and round with a lot of activity and anxiety, but never making progress. There is a healthy fear that gets us out of danger. But there is also an unhealthy fear, which leads us into anxiety, which is a lingering, constant fear that paralyzes us.
If fear is a thunderstorm, Tim Keller says, anxiety is a constant cold drizzle. And why are we like that? Sometimes it could be a medical problem, but usually it is pride and self-sufficiency. Constant worry is “rooted in arrogance that assumes, I know the way my life has to go, and God’s not getting it right.”
The main verb in 1 Pet. 5 (a command) is to “humble yourselves.” Whenever there is a verb followed by a participle, (which means it ends in “ing”), the author is telling you how to accomplish the command. So here he says the way to humble yourself is by praying your anxieties. In other words, don’t try to vent your worries to people or suppress them and carry them on your own, but pray them.
So if it is a sign of humility to cast all of our cares on the Lord, it is conversely a sign of pride when you worry. Worry denies the care of a sovereign God. One author writes, “Worry is sin because it denies the wisdom of God; it says that He doesn’t know what He’s doing. It denies the love of God; it says He does not care. And it denies the power of God; it says that He isn’t able to deliver me from whatever is causing me to worry.” Worry is practical atheism. Worry gives you delusions of strength and keeps God from working on your behalf.
Worship and worry cannot stay in the same heart.
The gospel of Christ says that Christ has carried our ultimate trouble…paying for our sins…so we can now carry our smaller anxieties to Him. If He went that far to show us His care and love for us, will He not care for us in every other way?
As quoted in “Tim Keller, Praying your Fears,” on June 3, 2010 http://jeaninallhonesty.blogspot.com/2010/06/tim-keller-praying-your-fears.html accessed 27 July 2012.
Keller, T. as quoted in “Where does worry come from?” http://www.dontaskthefish.com/2011/05/26/where-does-worry-come-from/ accessed 27 July 2012.
MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997). Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (1 Pet. 5:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.