A recent study by Barton and Wilson revealed that, since October 2022, there has been an 11.1% inflation rate in the UK, building up from 2021, rendering food, energy, and fuel too costly for consumers. A Eurostat report in October 2022 bolstered this finding. It pointed out that the inflation percentage is higher in the UK than in many of her neighbours.
War in Ukraine, “barriers” to trade associated with Brexit, “strong global demand for consumer goods” due to COVID-19, disruption in the supply chain, and an increase in the cost of fertilisers have been seen as causes of the present economic condition. Since the UK depends so much on importation, unfavourable developments around the globe make it difficult for her people to access all they need.
British farmers foresee years of food production shortage due to Ukraine’s conflict. In such times, many Britons wonder how they will ‘make ends meet ‘for themselves and their families with the limited resources at their disposal. How do we cope with the present crisis? What do we eliminate from our budgets?
In 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV), the apostle tells us that we need to be in God’s hand: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
First, Peter encourages believers to be humble enough to trust God amid the current situation. We can still subject ourselves deliberately to God’s sovereign rule through it all, for he bestows His favour on those who acknowledge their need of Him.
What is encouraging about this apostolic summons is that God’s hand is “mighty.” The exodus event is one of the occasions where the “mighty hand of God” has been demonstrated. He delivered his people from Egypt, so He would vindicate his people in Asia Minor who suffered in the first century AD, as well as save us today. In the latter part of verse 6, the holy writ encourages us that the same hand that allows us to suffer would one day lift or “exalt” us (cf. James 4:10), and this would be at the right time. While the day of ultimate deliverance will be at Jesus’ return – a future event – He still has a way of succouring His children in the present time.
The last part of the scripture demonstrates an awareness of the effects of the current situation on the mind. Dependence on God for help is presented as a way of coping with anxiety. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” The Greek word for anxiety (and worries) is merimna, which is “a feeling of apprehension or distress because of possible danger or misfortune, anxiety, worry, (and) anxious concern.” Stop worrying and completely put your trust in God. We need this attitude during these challenging moments, whether the fear is unnecessary or legitimate.
Peter’s message resonates with current life experiences as it speaks of Christ’s genuine concern for our well-being. In Matthew 6:25–34, Christ promises to take care of us as he cares for the birds of the air and the flowers and grass of the field. Submitting our fears to God is a way of telling him that we have trust in Him and recognise his Lordship and Sovereignty over all of life. The antidote for worry is believing and resting in God’s care. Difficult moments will come but rest in God’s care.
Dr Hezron Otieno Adingo, currently serves as the SEC Ministerial Association Secretary