I’ve been praying that God would change my “what if” to an “even if”. To create a faith in me that is more confident than the birds of the air. To give me peace that surpasses understanding with anything that comes my way because of who he is. This week, I got a salary cut at work. In this same week, mistakes that I had made at my job were brought to light that made me feel small and like I was doing more harm than good during this uneasy time. I feel the pressure getting heavier and heavier, and anxiety starts to creep in from the overwhelming amount going on in our country, economy, businesses, and families.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, I think we all can relate with the desire for control. The desire to have a plan and it be carried out. What’s going on around us is something that really none of us planned for or feel like we have control in. I’ve been reminded of 1 Peter 5:7:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
However, I think Peter had good reason for including the verse that comes before this that says…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.
I love that this version connects the two verses instead of separating them. To cast our anxiety on him is to first humble ourselves before Jesus and admit we can’t do it on our own. It’s letting go of a burden we weren’t meant to carry. And what would be wise about carrying a burden that’s too heavy for you? What would be wise about holding onto something that is weighing on you day after day when Jesus tells us My yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:30).
So why do we wrestle so much with not having peace? Why do we wrestle with anxiety and fear so much as a believer? I think it’s mostly because we are surrounded by a lot of noise from the world that tells us we should fear. We are surrounded by a lot of people, posts, and negativity that tells us that God isn’t good and if he was good that ______ wouldn’t be happening. So we fall into this downward spiral of listening to and believing in lies.
Isn’t this what convinced Eve to disobey God?
But the Serpent said…And you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate… – Genesis 3:6
I can imagine what Eve must’ve been thinking: “What if the serpent is right? What if God is holding out on me?” However, Eve quickly realized she was deceived and ended up carrying a burden that was much too heavy for her to bear, a shame that caused her to hide. We see toward the end of Genesis 3 that says God made garments and clothed them. This might be my favorite part of this chapter because this points to who He is: He is compassionate. He understands, hears us, and loves us still. God does not fall off his throne when we become anxious. He does not become distant. He is our Ever-present help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1).
Whose voice are you listening to that isn’t God’s?
What lies are you believing?
When I wake up and begin and end my day with scrolling on social media instead of God’s voice, the world seems louder.
It is so easy for me to stare at my phone all day than to open up God’s word. Is it wrong to be on my phone? No, but if I’m honest with you, the majority of the time it induces more fear, comparison, and anxiety for me than it gives life. There’s a reason Jesus told us to “be alert, for the enemy prowls around like a lion seeking something to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy wants to use the state of our world to devour our faith. He desires for us to become so afraid that we stop relying on Jesus and start relying on ourselves because even he knows God is who He says he is, and trembles.
Yet when we wake up and choose to cast our anxiety on Him – to say “I choose to trust you today, Jesus. Remind me of the gospel, remind me of who you are and what you have called me to. Help me rest in your goodness. You are enough.” When we remind ourselves of this truth, fear has no place in us anymore – fear is literally cast out from us because of God’s perfect love in us. God doesn’t call us to cast our anxiety because it’s just what we’re supposed to do, but because we don’t have to worry or fear because of who He is. He is good, He can take that burden, and is the only one who can carry it. He is the one who fills us with peace, joy, and abundant life.
It simply comes down to who He is.
Do we believe God is all that He says he is?
I pray he’d help our unbelief. I pray that during this time we’d be even more aware of what we’re listening to. I don’t want to waste my life on temporary worries when I can live in confidence and assurance that nothing can separate me from the love of God–and that’s life-giving good news! May we take our eyes off ourselves and ask God how we can view our life, circumstances, and the world with a heavenly perspective. How can I glorify you in this, Lord? Give me wisdom in my words and actions. To ask yourself the hard questions of ‘am I justifying this?’ or ‘does my life reflect the abundant life of Jesus? Do I treasure Him above all others or anything the world can give me?’
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
When we know Jesus and seek first his Kingdom, everything else falls into place. Tomorrow worries about itself. So then I don’t have to worry myself with what-if’s, but I can be confident that even if _____ happens, God is sufficient.
When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars. -Psalm 75:3