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.
Letting God Take Care of Our Cares
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)
For He cares for you - to think about something in such a way as to make an appropriate response—‘to think about, to be concerned about.’
(Ps. 40:17) Isn’t it comforting to know that God thinks about you? You and I are on His mind. His ways and actions are tempered by considering us in each decision He makes. Much of what we do is done without thinking about anyone but ourselves. We may think we’re doing it for someone else. But at our very core we may be doing it for ourselves. But God thinks about us unselfishly.
2. God comforts us in our pain. Isaiah 49:13. Sometimes just knowing that He’s there is comforting. (Illustration: In grief or loss, feeling the arm of a trusted friend around your shoulder can be the most comforting thing possible. Years ago small child wandered into the family swimming pool and drowned. Being there to comfort, distraught, the mother said, “Please don’t tell me this happened for a reason.” For a couple of hours I sat with this family, all of us barely saying a word. Friends and family were just there grieving with them. Most of the time presence is exponentially more comforting than words. The time comes for words.) The Psalms are full of King David crying out to God for comfort in moments of desperation. That’s what casting all your care upon God means.
Casting (ἐðéῤῥßøáíôåò). The aorist participle denoting an act once for all; throwing the whole life with its care on him.