1 Peter 5:6–7

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7).

The pressure that comes upon believers whenever they experience discrimination or outright persecution can encourage them to behave in a manner not in keeping with the Gospel. In keeping with Peter’s concern to show us how to stand faithfully in the midst of suffering, we have seen over the past few days the importance of living like Christians even in the midst of trouble. All of us, whether we are elders in the church or not, are required to serve each other in humility, even in the midst of difficulty (1 Peter 5:1–5).

When we are humble, we can be assured that God will pour out more grace on us — grace that will enable us to persevere through all of our circumstances (v. 5). Therefore, in today’s passage, Peter tells us explicitly that we must humble ourselves before God. When we do this we are assured that He will exalt us at the proper time (v. 6).

If we cannot humble ourselves before God, then we will by no means be able to obey his command to humble ourselves before those He has appointed to shepherd us (v. 5). So then, we must submit ourselves to the mighty hand of God. We must rest on His providence, knowing that we will not be able to understand why things happen to us at times but that all things have been ordained for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). We must patiently endure the suffering that His mighty hand permits, knowing that in the end, God will exalt us and reward us for doing so (1 Peter 5:6).

We can do this only because we know God cares for us (v. 7). We can cast our anxieties on Him because He loves us and will faithfully bring us through whatever trials we might experience, no matter how difficult they may be. When we cast ourselves upon Him, we become free to love and serve others with the humility He requires of us because we no longer have to worry excessively about ourselves. As John Calvin says, “for all those who rest not on God’s providence must necessarily be in constant turmoil and violently assail others. We ought the more dwell on this thought, that God cares for us, in order, first, that we may have peace within; and, secondly, that we may be humble and meek towards men.”

Coram Deo

Have you humbled yourself before the mighty hand of God? Are you convinced that He cares about you? Have you entrusted all of your anxieties and cares into His hand, confident that He will take care of you? Take some time today to think of a particular worry you have, perhaps concerning your children, family, job, or any other persistent fears. Commit them to the Lord today and find someone who will point you to Christ whenever you are anxious.

For Further Study