When we feel weighed down or distracted by anxious thoughts and burdensome circumstances, the answer for calming our anxious hearts is worship.
The call to overcome anxiety through worship is found in a very significant connection between I Peter 5:6 and 5:7.
- Verse 6 is a command – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.
- Verse 7 is an action of the command – “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (ESV). The main verb (or command) – “humble yourselves” is obeyed in direct relationship with the participle “casting” (all your anxieties on Him).
Some translations miss this dependent connection by treating verse 7 as an independent command: “Cast all you cares on him.” But “casting” is the better translation and places it as an act of humbling oneself under God’s mighty hand.
In other words, when we pour out our cares (distressing burdens) to the Lord, we are to do so worshipfully under God’s Lordship over us. “Humble yourselves under…. casting all….” We are also to do so watchfully as verse 8 indicates:
Connect the warning of verse 8 – “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (ESV).
When we lose perspective on our trials and distressing burdens, the evil one sees an opportunity to use his age-old accusation by suggesting that God doesn’t really care for or love us.
Relate the flow of James 4:6-8 –
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Apply Philippians 4:6-7 in light of what you’ve learned here.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In your battle against anxiety, be worshipful and watchful resting confidently in the transcending and protective peace of God.