Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
– 1 Peter 5:6-11 NASB (emphasis added)
Jesus spent more time with His disciples than He did with people in general. And He spent more time with the twelve apostles than He did with the rest of the disciples. And He spent more time with Peter, James, and John than He did with the rest of the twelve. And He spent more time with Peter than with James and John.
It is to our benefit that Peter was the one chosen to be this close to Jesus. We can easily relate to Peter in all his imperfections. He achieved great things but had great failings, too. He thus demonstrates that growth in becoming like Jesus is a trial-and-error process. You may remember when we focused on these words of Jesus earlier in these devotions:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 6:1 NASB
Note the word “practicing.” Becoming like Jesus takes practice. And practice means certain failure some of the time. Success comes from making the attempt…and continuing to make it until the errors are eliminated. Peter was constantly attempting. He attempted things none of the other fellows would attempt. He may have made more mistakes than the others, but he did become like Jesus – even dying by crucifixion as Jesus did.
I emphasized the words I did because Peter is telling us how to deal with anxiety (worry, fear, apprehension, timidity, etc.). Peter learned from practice what to do with anxiety. Let us go to school on his experience. And let us never stop attempting.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for letting us learn from Peter. Help me learn how to “cast my anxiety upon You” as he learned it…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.