"Anxious Times"

My friends were dealing with a daughter who was struggling physically and emotionally. Unable to determine the source of her problems, they were getting stretched thin. Not surprisingly, as their precious girl struggled with her anxiety, that invisible foe with physical manifestations, they too started to become anxious.

The world events over the past few years have led many people to experience anxious times. And while anxiety has different degrees of severity, with some people needing professional help, the apostle Peter has given us a prescription for dealing with it: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you" (1 Peter 5:7).

Peter's two-pronged plan leads us to:

• Act. We can actively release our concerns to Jesus. The verb give, in verse 7, literally means "to throw upon." By "tossing" our worries to Him, we can experience a release from the anxiety that's threatening to take us down (Matthew 6:25-34).

• Acknowledge. We can be encouraged and sustained by the recognition that "He cares about [us]" (1 Peter 5:7). Instead of staying in emotional turmoil, we have the uplifting opportunity to look to the One who cares and provides for us (Philippians 4:19).

One of Peter's traveling companions, the apostle Paul, expresses some similar thoughts: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done" (4:6). Both men faced "high anxiety" situations in which their faith was tested, so their words come from real experience.

Take Peter and Paul's words to heart if you're feeling anxious today. By taking action (giving your troubles to God) and acknowledging God's care for you (looking to Him, not to your own resources), you can find rest and restoration (1 Peter 5:10).

, Tom Felten

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