Stressed Out (week 1)

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“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

CONTEXT OF SCRIPTURE

Peter wrote this letter and this verse to a group of churches in Asia Minor who were suffering from religious persecution. In other words, these people were likely very stressed out. And more than that, this stress was largely out of their control; they couldn’t simply ignore it, escape it, or resolve it themselves. In this situation, Peter tells those people to give their stress and anxiety to God, instead of trying to carry and handle it on our own. The same principle is true in our lives today. In the situations we control—and in the situations out of our control—we can cast all of our stress and anxiety in those moments to God, and trust that He will carry us and care for us through it. 

TEACHING OUTLINE

Life is stressful. All of it is stressful.

We can’t run on constant mental and emotional overload and NOT expect it to affect our attitudes and the way we treat others.

Whatever it looks like for you, stress is definitely affecting your quality of living.

Maybe one of the worst things about living a life that’s stressed out and anxious is the feeling that you’re in it alone.

One of the reasons I love the Bible is because it’s real stories of real people. So no matter what you’re facing, you aren’t the first and you won’t be the last. 

In a letter cleverly titled First Peter, The apostle Peter writes to a group of his friends to cast their anxiety on God because He cares for them.

We don’t use the word “cast” ever in our day-to-day lives, but it just means to throw.

Peter wrote this letter to a group of churches who were suffering from religious persecution.

They had worries, stress, and anxiety, and Peter writes to offer them hope by saying this: Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you.

It feels like the verse is just telling us to magically not feel stressed, and we know that’s just
not possible.

However, Peter isn’t telling us to not stress; he gives us something to do. 

This is what Peter is telling us: It takes practice.

Whatever stresses you out, whether it’s big or small, is still significant. Why? Because it causes you stress and worry. And whatever it is, God can handle it. He wants to handle it.

What should someone actually do to cast their cares on God? Talk to God!

Casting your cares on God is a HUGE first step, but there’s more to it: Talk to someone else & learn helpful practices.

Then, make it a habit.

As you head out, I want you to imagine if you actually practiced casting your stress on God. Imagine if it worked. It’ll take some practice, but you’ll be glad you did. And your life will be better because of it.