“Casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
What an opportunity! Most likely, you know what it is like to suffer from anxiety. We have all worried about circumstances out of our control and circumstances we created ourselves. We may be one of those who struggle with an anxiety disorder. Christians, we may struggle with anxiety, but we have great news. God cares for us.
The Greek text of 1 Peter 5:7 says, “πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπʼ αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν.” The order is different that what we are familiar with in our English translations. Notice that, for emphasis, God began the sentence with “all the anxieties of yours.” God is interested in relieving you of all your anxieties. Incredible! Each and every one of them can be handled by God. The word translated “anxieties” or “cares” is μέριμναν which is “a feeling of apprehension or distress in view of possible danger or misfortune….The term μέριμνα may refer to either unnecessary worry or legitimate concern. The equivalent of ‘worry’ may be expressed in some languages in an idiomatic manner, for example, ‘to be killed by one’s mind’ or ‘to be pained by thinking.’” (Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 312.) How often are we “killed by our thinking” our worries?
God knows our needs, wants, and concerns before we ask (Matthew 6:8). We should trust him. Our Heavenly Father knows how to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11). Enjoying the fruit of our labor is a gift from God (Ecclesiastes 3:13). In fact, “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Let us trust Him.
The imagery of 1 Peter 5:7 is also compelling. We are instructed to take all our anxieties, put them in a case, and cast them on the Lord. Just as a basketball player may pass the ball to a better shooter for the game-winning shot, when the game is on the line, we can let God take the shot. The Bible word ἐπιρίψαντες (casting) means “to cause responsibility for something to be upon someone—‘to put responsibility on, to make responsible for.’ πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ̓ αὐτόν ‘put upon him all responsibility for your cares’ or ‘make him responsible for all your worries’ 1 Pe 5:7. (Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 798).
How is all this possible? “He cares for you.” The Bible word μέλει translated “cares” means “to think about something in such a way as to make an appropriate response” (Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 354).
Remember the words of the great hymn, “Does Jesus Care?” by Frank E. Graeff.
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.