How can we turn worries and problems over to God?

First Peter 5:7 teaches, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (NIV). Scripture is clear we are to turn all our worries over to God, but how can we do this?

First, we can realize God has given us all the power we need to live for Him. Second Peter 1:3 teaches, "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence." We do not need to fear whether we can make it through a problem; God's power is much bigger than our greatest need.

Second, we can remember our problems can help us grow in Christ. In fact, James says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4).

Third, we can use problems as opportunities for prayer and dependence upon God. After giving reason to count problems as joy, James continues, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him" (James 1:5). During times of worry or trouble, we turn to God for wisdom to help.

Fourth, worries allow us to work together as the body of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 1:6, Paul wrote, "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer." He recognized his affliction was part of helping others. Likewise, in the first church, those with needs received help from those with plenty so everyone had enough (Acts 2:42-47).

Fifth, God may allow us to experience certain problems in order to later be of help to others. Just as Paul used his pain to help others, God can and often does use pain in our lives to allow us to better serve others in the same area of need. For example, a cancer survivor is often the best source of inspiration to another person facing cancer. A person who has lost a spouse can often be the best source of encouragement to another person facing the loss of a spouse.

Every Christian faces problems in this life. There may be a variety of reasons, but they are all ultimately used as part of God's plan and purposes. For those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, He works all things together according to His good (Romans 8:28). Therefore, we can cast our cares on Him, focusing on how our worries can be of value to help us grow in Christ and be of benefit to others.

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