(6) "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, (7) casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7 NASB)
Consider. God willingly desires for us to cast all our anxiety on him. Have you cast all your anxiety -- all your worry and care -- on God?
The Apostle Peter is writing to Jewish and Gentile Christians in Asia Minor (1 Peter 1:1-3). Peter recognizes that they are suffering for being Christians (1 Peter 4:12-19), and he advises them, "If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name" (1 Peter 4:16). Peter exhorts the elders in the churches to be witnesses of Christ's sufferings and to be shepherds of God's flock (1 Peter 5:1-2). He encourages young people to be subject to their elders, and he instructs all of them (and us today) to clothe themselves (ourselves) with humility because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).
Casting our anxiety on God and humility go together
Sometimes when we are anxious and are looking for an encouraging verse in the Bible such as 1 Peter 5:7, we might miss the point that humility and casting our anxiety on God go together. Peter begins verse 6 with "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God" (1 Peter 5:6). Then, in verse 7 he adds "casting all your anxiety on him" (1 Peter 5:7). The Greek word for "humble" in 1 Peter 5:6 is tapeinoó (pronounced tap-i-no'-o) and means to make low (Ref. 1) or being willing to take a low place (Ref. 2). When we humble ourselves before God, we recognize that we are not reliant on ourselves only but are dependent on God. God is the one who fills us, who lifts us up, and who cares for our every need (Ref. 3, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 5:18, James 4:10, Philippians 4:19, 1 Peter 5:7).
Casting is like throwing
The Greek word for "casting" in 1 Peter 5:7 is epiriptó (pronounced ep-ir-hrip'-to) and means to throw (Ref. 4). This word in Greek occurs only twice in the New Testament (Englishman's Concordance - Ref. 4). Before Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Luke tells us, "They brought it (the colt) to Jesus, and they threw [cast] their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it" (Luke 19:35, parentheses and brackets added). In the same way the disciples throwing their coats on the colt was a one-way trip for the coats, casting our anxiety on Jesus should be a one-way trip for our anxiety.
We are to cast all of our anxiety -- not just parts of it -- on the Lord
In 1 Peter 5:7 the Greek word for "anxiety" is merimna (pronounced mer'-im-nah) which means cares and worries -- anything that fractures and divides a person's (our) being into parts (HELPS Word-studies - Ref. 5). In 1 Peter 5:7, merimna [anxiety] is singular and unites all of our cares and worries into one whole (Ref. 5, Ref. 6). Jesus' explanation of the parable of the sower in Matthew uses the same singular form of merimna. "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, and the worry [anxiety] of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful (Matthew 13:22, brackets added). The fact that our anxiety -- the whole of it -- chokes the fruitfulness of God's word in us is a good reason for us to accept God's invitation to cast all our anxiety on him.
Because he cares for us
Peter gives the reason why we are to cast all our anxiety on the Lord -- because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). The Greek verb translated as "cares" in this second part of 1 Peter 5:7 is meló (pronounced mel'-o) and means pays attention to, is concerned about, gives thought to (Ref. 7). The God who cares for the sparrows cares for us as well (Matthew 6:26, Matthew 10:29-31). David wrote, "But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me" (Psalm 40:17 KJV). The God who loves us so much that he gave his Son to die for us invites us and welcomes us to cast all our anxiety on him (John 3:16, Romans 5:6-8, Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7).
Apply. The main way we cast our anxiety on God is to pray to, thank, and trust God. Pray to God and tell him your needs. Thank him for his answers (Philippians 4:6-7). (Have a continual "attitude of gratitude.") Trust God that he will take care of your concern according to his will and timing (1 John 5:14). Tell others how God has answered your prayers (Psalm 66:16). Your testimony describing how God has helped you will encourage others. Pray, thank, trust, and tell.
"The Peace of Believing Prayer (Philippians 4:6-7)"
"Blessed Be the Lord Who Daily Bears Our Burden" -- Psalm 68:19
"Jesus' Invitation - Come to Me and Rest" -- Matthew 11:28
Barnes' Notes on the Bible - 1 Peter 5:6
Meyer's NT Commentary on 1 Peter 5:7
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Mr. Whitney V. Myers. Christian. For more information, please visit the Author Page.
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