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Stress Management

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIVUK)

Have you noticed all the training resources in 'soft management skills'?  At considerable cost, businesses are teaching their staff that people matter more than things.  They send employees on courses to explain that how you do things matters as much as what you do.  They teach how to handle other people's aggression, and how to prevent internal stress from crippling the individual and the business.  The objectives are right, but hardly original.  Jesus demonstrated how to do it all perfectly and the Bible has been training the followers of Jesus to live like Him for 2000 years.  It is simply normal Christian discipleship.
Today's verse reminds us that anxiety affects Christians.  Even the Apostle Paul admitted to ministering in weakness and fear (1 Corinthians 2:3).  It is a part of our human frailty, our internal corruption and the destructive potential of the world in which we live causing fear at different levels, encouraging us to form coping strategies in order to survive. But the Christian is commanded to handle it differently (Philippians 4:4-7). Yes, some people have an easier temperament than others, whether they are Christians or not: but without the certain knowledge of a loving caring Heavenly Father, they have no other resource except themselves.  However, the born-again believer is never alone, and has the massive benefit of being able to give all their fears and worries to the Lord because He already knows all the issues and how He wants us to resolve them with His help.
The expression ‘cast all your anxiety onto Him’ means more than ‘don’t worry’.  ‘Cast’ intends to communicate a sudden action and ‘anxiety’ takes on the nature of a big burden of load somebody is carrying.  This verse is a divine command to throw everything that weighs us down to Jesus, who will carry it for us.  It is not imposing on God.  It is simply choosing to suddenly release the backpack of cares, and not hold onto them any longer.  That takes faith that Jesus can and will deal with them, that He is strong enough to bear them and we should not be nurturing them any longer.  We would willingly do so for someone we love (Galatians 6:2), so why do we not lift the quick-release catch and let them fall onto Jesus?  If children can give heavy loads to their loving parents, why do we refuse to cast our cares onto the Lord?  A teenager once told me, ‘It is a privilege to be loved by somebody as special as God!’  

But this knowledge needs to be used!  If He cares, and He certainly does, then do not delay any longer.  Unclip your worries (many of which are lies from Satan to destabilise us) and throw them onto the Lord.  The verse says every anxiety, not just some, should be deposited with God.  Trust Him to resolve the issues behind your anxieties, and then you can get on with your service for Him, unhindered and joyful.

Faithful God. Thank You for this invitation to transfer all my anxieties to You, so that You can take the responsibility of dealing with them. Forgive me for my pride, thinking that only I can find the solutions to my worries. Help me to decide to throw them in Your direction, trusting that You will work in power to dismiss Satan's lies from my mind and to deal with people and circumstances, so that You will be glorified and that I will know Your blessing. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams