Cast All Your Anxieties on Him

Cast All Your Anxieties on Him

Finding relief from life’s daily burdens, we can go about doing the valuable work of eternity.

So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper′na-um, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal.”

– John 6:24-27

Jesus does not hesitate to point out to those looking for Him that they were only doing so for material gain. These individuals participated in Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, and they were motivated by their desire to continue receiving food from Him. 

Jesus was not surprised by their focus on loaves of bread, but He used their desire to teach them about eternal life – the one thing Jesus was always pointing towards. He gently admonished these individuals while at the same time revealing their inability to read the signs. 

“Not because you saw signs.” This verse is very similar to the words of our Lord recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel.

You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

– Matthew 16:3

What are the signs of our times, in our own lives, and are we able to discern them? We will only fully understand what is happening in our lives when we begin to see them in the context of eternity, and when we come to desire only…

Jesus says to labor for the food which endures for eternal life. Just what does it mean to see our lives in the context of eternity?

It means recognizing we are only on this earth for a very short time, at least as it relates to eternity. And whatever we seek to build only for this life will come to ashes when we pass through the veil of eternity. Only what we build for eternity will last for eternity, and Christ must be the foundation of all of it.

According to the commission of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble— each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

– 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

More simply, if we live for this life alone, if our primary focus is to continuously make provision for our comfort and enjoyment in this life, then when we transition, that is all our life will have been all about, even if we are saved. 

However, if we live with an eye to eternity, using our talents, our resources, our reputation, our relationships and even our sufferings for the building up of the Kingdom of Heaven, then when we cross the threshold of eternity, eternity is what our life will have been about.

The truth is we are all living in eternity now, the only question is, how prepared are we to enter into it? 

This does not mean we have to give up everything we enjoy and treasure in this life. It simply means putting our life in the right order, placing our priorities on the higher goods of eternity.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

– Matthew 6:33

What if we are not quite sure? What if we are filled with concerns about our future and we feel the need to build our own security. Scripture always has a prescription for any situation, and for any challenges we may face. In this case we should apply the Peter Prescription. (not Peter Principle, for you businesspeople who read that book)

Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.

– 1 Peter 5:7

This is not a one-time prayer; this is one we must pray every day. And then, finding relief from life’s daily burdens, we can go about doing the valuable work of eternity.

God Bless

Copyright © Deacon Mark Danis

Image credit: “Christ the Consolator” (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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