Fussing and Fretting

 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

It’s truly amazing the things we worry about. Consider the following statistics about things that occupy and stress our minds:

40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can't be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced

Wow, 8% about real problems, most of which can be solved in time, not to mention the wonderful access we have into God’s presence where we present these needs. Do we realize our wonderful privileges and blessings as children of God? We can actually bring such anxieties into God’s very presence, where He will calm our minds and guard them in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7).

Peter had every reason to stress. God chose him to bring the message back to his own countrymen, the Jews. They did not always welcome him; in fact, they persecuted him for his faith. In one place he was chained to Roman soldiers, but he slept peacefully. Church history tells us that he was martyred for his faith as was crucified upside down. Yet here he writes about peace and casting our cares upon Christ.

When Christ left this earth, He gave us heavy responsibilities. He tasked the church with proclaiming the gospel to the four corners of the earth and safeguarding His truth for all generations. He warned us that enemies of the gospel will assault us, even to the death. With all of these duties, He forbade us from one key responsibility: We cannot bear our own stresses; that belongs to Him.

Most Christians fight God on this front. They want to “figure things out” and come up with nifty solutions to the problems of life. But such solutions do not always appear. When they don’t, stresses begin to mount. We toss and turn at night, then fret during the day. “What can I do to solve my dilemmas?” we ask. But when we think that way, let’s remember one thing: God does not want us to take on the burden, just the task. The two are not the same. We all need to obey God and fulfill His role for our lives. Paul told Archippus to “fulfill the ministry that you received in the Lord” (Colossians 4:17). But God does not want us to take on the cares and stresses thereof; He has reserved that for Himself as the verse above indicates.

We should not look upon this as just another command (and it is a command), but as a glorious invitation. We don’t have to shoulder the burden, just fulfill the Master’s commands. The world looks at this differently. They often shirk the responsibility but hold on to the stress. Let’s avoid that and do it God’s way. When we follow God and do His will, we leave the results to Him and concentrate on following His will.

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