Next Sunday (Feb 3rd) we come to God's promise about stress and anxiety. Someone said to me last Sunday: "I can't wait for next week....it's about worry, isn't it? Few of us have got anxiety licked." Too true. And there is so much advice out there about dealing with stress that you wonder what difference a few minutes of a sermon might make! Temperament, situation, health, imagination, and sensitivity all differ so much from person to person. How can there be a promise for all? It sounds inevitably simplistic.
I am preparing to preach on 1 Peter 5:7. Its context seems unfruitful at first, with instructions to local churches - about leaders (vs.1-4), young men (v.5) and to "all of you," to be humble. Good spiritual sense. But, then, suddenly a solid gold promise rings out: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (verse7).
I shall need to set some context to the subject of anxiety, because it may certainly be illegitimate (Matthew 6:25), and yet also legitimate (2 Cor 11:28). For God to deliver his promise in 1 Peter 5:7 there are things we need to do such as discernment and simplification. But then, let's seize what God promises to DO because of his care for us!
My sermon's main impact runs. By God's grace my sermon will say: Discern legitimate anxieties and know that God cares enough for us to throw them onto him. And what my sermon will do: encourage us to practice casting anxiety on God.
May it be realistic, practical and applicable right now. As always, I am open to your thoughts and grateful for your prayers. Please let me know if this 1 Pet. 5:7 promise has been especially important to you.