In this brief verse, Peter gives profound instruction to the disciple of Jesus Christ for dealing with anxiety in their life. This is the sixth in a series of blogs exploring how to have victory over anxiety and then how to apply Peter’s instruction to every believer’s everyday life.
“casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
Anxiety may be defined as “a persistent fear or worry or disquieting of the mind caused by some perceived threat that distracts the disciple of Christ from being fully engaged and focused on the Lord and on His glory and from being fixed on the mission the Lord has given His disciples to accomplish on the earth.” In the last few blogs, I gave what I believe are four solid strategies for effectively “casting your anxieties on Him (the Lord).” There is, no doubt, overlap between those strategies, but I think that if these strategies are employed consistently in a believer’s life, both the level of anxiety and the frequency of experiencing anxiety will radically decrease.
Now I want to move from broad strategies to specific tactics for defending against and defeating the feelings of anxiety in your life and in my life. We want to use these tactics as weapons for “casting all your anxiety on Him.” As already stated above, there can be overlap between one tactic and another and between strategies and tactics, but this overlap should just serve to make the disciple’s defenses against fear and anxiety that much stronger.
TACTICS FOR TACKLING FEARS
- Trust the Lord – Psalm 37:3-6; Proverbs 3:5-6
- Wait patiently for the Lord to act and to intercede – Psalm 40:1-3
- Pray fervently and without ceasing – 1 Thess. 5:17. Pray not only for courage and for greater trust in the Lord, but also pray for others and pray for the gospel to move forward with power everywhere. Pray on the offense.
- Be content with the Lord’s provision – Phil. 4:11-12; Luke 3:14; 1 Tim. 6:6-8. Strive to be content with whatever the Lord gives you and in whatever circumstances the Lord places you. Have the attitude of Paul and Silas, who, after they had been beaten and been thrown into a jail in Philippi, were singing hymns of praise to God (Acts 16:25).
- Persevere and be resolved to never shrink back. Decide now to never give up. Quitting is simply not an option for the Christian (Hebrews 10:39), so take surrender off the table and consider it no more. (Phil. 3:13-14)
- Give thanks to the Lord for specific things. Do not be vague. God has specifically blessed so He should be specifically thanked.
- Have a well-defined mission (Acts 1:8 [witness] and 2 Cor. 5:20 [ambassador] will serve well as a mission if you cannot think of another.) and keep your eyes fixed on that mission.
- Remind yourself that this is a fallen and very imperfect world. Our world is broken and therefore we should expect to experience trouble (Job 5:7; 1 Peter 4:12). For the one who expects difficulty, the world’s threats are not as daunting.
- To the limit of your ability, obey ALL the commands of the Scripture. Let obedience consume your thoughts. (Song of Solomon 2:15 – “the little foxes spoil the vine,” meaning that small sins beget bigger sins.) Tolerating one sin in your life opens the door of opportunity to Satan (Ephesians 4:27; 2 Cor. 2:11), and sin in your life will plant the seeds for anxiety. All sin has consequences, and if you deal with anxiety, your sin will probably produce anxiety.
- Remember that God, my God, is sovereign over all things and He has ordained all my circumstances for His glory and for my good. “The Lord has put me here and I will glorify Him.” The Lord is for me; who can be against me? What can mere man do to me? Romans 8:31; Psalm 56:4.
- Seek out Christian fellowship and tap into it often. Allow your brothers and sisters to help you and encourage you. Hebrews 10:24-25.
- Determine that you do not need to understand everything to be content in life. Live with the attitude, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” Luke 22:42.
- Identify threats and be strong and let your heart take courage, and act by faith. Part of casting anxiety onto the Lord is taking a stand against the threat and then taking action to overcome the threat. Psalm 27:14; 1 Chronicles 28:10, 20; 1 Cor. 16:13; “By faith” in Hebrews 11. Note that the “by faith” verses in Hebrews 11 almost all involve a believer of old acting by faith. Their faith was not a passive faith, but was one that saw an impossible situation and nevertheless acted in obedience, trusting the Lord to accomplish the impossible because the LORD had called them to the task. Just so, we cast our anxiety onto the Lord and we act by faith.
You probably have other tactics that you can employ, but the point is that the disciple has weapons from the Lord to vanquish anxiety and, if we will develop the habits to continually use these tactics, we will be ready whenever the feeling of anxiety arises so that it will be rooted out.
Our final look at resisting anxiety will be next time when I will consider God’s purposes in allowing threats and fear in the life of the believer as opposed to Satan’s purposes in threats and fear. Join me for our study then.
SDG rmb 4/9/2017