A Worry-Free Zone

It’s time for us to stop accommodating worry as a normal part of everyday life. Peter said, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Because this phrase has adorned countless Christian greeting cards and posters, it can become so familiar and soothingly poetic that we fail to receive its radical message. Peter was not a poet. He was a rough and tumble fisherman, a businessman, and an occasional swordsman (with limited proficiency). More than trying to say something profound, he was giving an urgent warning.

The word Peter chose has an interesting history. Before the word “cast” or “cast off” appeared on the pages of our Bibles, it was part of a story familiar to many in Peter’s day. It’s from a tale of a little boy who was playing outside, oblivious to a deadly snake coiled and ready to strike the unsuspecting lad. According to the story, the boy’s father, spying the snake, grabbed it. With one fluid motion the father broke the neck of the reptile and threw it far from this son, securing his safety. Yay, dad! The father’s response was referred to as “casting”—the violent removal of something deadly.

Worry is deadlier than we know. Like the lethal serpent, worry can creep into our thoughts, our words, and eventually permeate the atmosphere of our lives. Jesus warned us about difficult times coming to our planet, saying, “Nations will be in anguish and perplexity” (Luke 21:25). Yet His greatest concern was not about international turmoil, but the way many would respond to challenging days. He warned of “men’s hearts failing them for fear” because they will be “apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (Luke 21:26).

Worry can paralyze us, poisoning our thoughts with panic. Early editions of Noah Webster’s American Dictionary for the English Language define panic as “acting like Pan, the god of the underworld, i.e., satan.” Because of Jesus’ triumph over satan at the Cross, our enemy is terrified. “Even the demons believe [that there is one God]…and they tremble in terror” (James 2:19 NLT). Our adversary knows as long as we trust God, he’s defeated. So he works tirelessly to terrify us—to force us to withdraw from the world and into our worried hearts.

It’s for this reason Peter makes his bold appeals, asking us to confront our worries. Do not surrender another moment of your life to care, fear or worry. Get rid of it. Cast it far from you. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in you. There is no greater power in the entire universe than His resurrection power. He is empowering us to rid our hearts of worry. He’s imploring us to be anxious for nothing! Jesus is turning worriers into warriors. He’s releasing multitudes of His family from hiding from the world to going into the world to change it and heal it.

Dave Hess

(Excerpt from Hope Beyond Disappointment: Discovering the Joy of Living “Unstuck”)

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