“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
1 Peter 5:7 is a well-known verse and one that offers some great encouragement to us when we find we are struggling with anxieties or fears. It is a good verse to store up in memory. I have enjoyed exploring this verse this week in as many different translations as I could access. ‘Cast’ always seems to suggest to me something of a gentle and precise act, reminiscent of an angler at a riverside. Other translations seem to me to better catch the panicked haste, and the perceived scale and volume of our anxieties, when they translate “throw all your cares on Him.” Yet that can also feel as though we are only using God as someone to dump our woes on. So, I like the dynamic equivalence of the translation in the CEV which shifts the emphasis to a focus on the nature of God and His willingness to receive our anxieties: “God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to Him.” God’s care is given first place. And I love the intimacy and warmth of the old J. B. Phillips version: “You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.” How lovely to think that we are God’s “personal concern.” The Living Bible catches that same sense of a warm relationship and God’s invitation to us to off-load on Him: “he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
But best of all for me – and a feature in every one of the translations – is that simple little word, “all.” It’s often the small words in Scripture that have the biggest implications and the largest outcomes. We can give to God “all” our anxieties and worries and concerns. We don’t need to hold onto a single one of them. Nothing is too small for Him to bother with. Nothing is too big for Him to handle. There are no exclusions, limitations, exemptions or conditions: we can give Him all our anxieties. He won’t be disgusted or repelled or annoyed or accusatory or condemnatory. He’ll take them all. He can be trusted with them all: with each and every one of them. They won’t be posted in the tabloids. He won’t subject us to ridicule. As the CEV translates: “God cares.”
So, what are you waiting for? Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.