Summary: Chronic worry is killing us. It can affect our daily life emotionally and physically. But the good news is that God offers us a wonderful exchange. His unexplainable peace in exchange for our worry, anxiety and care.

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Letting God Take Care of Our Cares

1 Peter 5:6-7

Does anyone here this morning consider themselves prone to worry? Do you sometimes dwell on what might happen if _____________? Well, you’re not alone. I tend to worry about the most inconsequential things ever. Like what will people think? What if this happens, or what if that happens.

But chronic worry is killing us. Chronic worrying can affect our daily life so much so that it interferes with our appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance. Many people who worry excessively are so anxiety-ridden that they seek relief in harmful lifestyle habits such as overeating, eating junk food, cigarette smoking, or using alcohol and drugs.

Chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The problem occurs when our fight or flight mechanism is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety. The fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can boost blood sugar levels and triglycerides (blood fats) that can be used by the body for fuel.

But when the excessive fuel in the blood isn’t used for physical activities, the chronic anxiety and over abundance of stress hormones can have serious physical consequences, including:

• suppression of the immune system

• digestive disorders

• muscle tension

• short-term memory loss

• premature coronary artery disease

• heart attack

In severe cases when excessive worrying and high anxiety go untreated, they can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.

So you can see the high cost of worry. Worry is a responsibility God never intended us to have. But the good news is that He offers us a wonderful exchange. We see that in 1 Peter 5:6-7.

God’s people had been scattered because of much persecution and Peter writes this letter to help encourage the Christians scattered throughout Asia to grow better instead of growing bitter.

In a letter written to Christians suffering persecution, it is interesting that Peter encourages them to submission. Not retaliation. Not rousing rallies to lobby for protection and equal treatment as a protected minority. But plain Jesus-like submission. The journey to glory and greatness begins with a submissive posture and attitude. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”

Does Jesus care about our pain? When we’ve been hurt, disappointed, we sometimes wonder if God really does care. When we’re hurting we need to remember a few truths about God.

1. God cares for each of us. When we hurt He hurts. Remember: God chose to become a man for a little while, so He knows exactly how we feel. Matthew 9:36 tells us Jesus’ deep compassion for people in emotional pain. (People who were harassed and helpless.) The Greek word for compassion means “to feel deeply, as from deep within one’s bowels.” Jesus felt the pain of those people deep down in his gut. And God already felt that way before he sent Jesus to us. Way back in OT God describes Himself to Moses in Exodus 34:6. God is “merciful”. This Hebrew word is derived from the same word in the Hebrew for “womb”. God’s compassion comes from deep within his core. (illustrate feeling in our gut when children were hurt, or Katharine excruciating headache)

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