Friday 1 January 2021

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.


—1 Peter 5:7

Given the year we have just lived through, I’m sure many of us are approaching 2021 with no small amount of trepidation. While the promise of a Covid-19 vaccine gives us a glimmer of hope that the pandemic is nearing an end, it also appears that this disease is determined to go out with a bang and not a whimper. 2020 has been a humbling year, reminding us of our vulnerability and lack of control, leaving us with increased worry about our personal, social, political, and economic well-being.

The simple message of scripture when we are feeling anxious is to trust our caring God. Think of Jesus’ words at the end of Matthew 6, or the advice Peter gives “to the exiles of the Dispersion,” cited above. What would it mean in 2021, I wonder, to cast all our anxiety on God? The prophet Isaiah tells us that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, “they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). Would casting our anxiety on God result in something like that?

I have experienced something like this spiritual effect in my role as President of ICS. The very nature of the job tempts me to worry constantly about the success of our efforts to secure a vibrant and sustainable future for our Christian graduate school. But I have quickly learned that such worry is perfectly useless, even worse it can be debilitating. The only way I have been able to overcome it is simply to do the work that God has called me and everyone at ICS to do, in faithfulness that the God who cares for us will bless our efforts.

So I enter 2021 with renewed hope and energy, in spite of everything that is happening all around us. I do so because I have seen God bless our efforts in 2020, notwithstanding the difficult year it has been, and because trusting is better than worrying. I do so because our efforts at ICS have also been buoyed by all the gifts and notes of encouragement you have sent our way as 2020 drew to a close. Thanks in no small part to your support and encouragement, we can approach our work with renewed hope and energy.

May God bless you all in 2021, and grant you faith to pierce all your anxiety, and hope to renew your strength!

I wish you a blessed New Year, friends!

Ronald A. Kuipers