Cast All Your Anxiety Upon Him- 1 Peter 5:6-7

As we continue in our study of 1 Peter 5, we now come upon verse 6, in which Peter tells believers to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”. We must first recall that the context here is instructing believers in how they are to conduct themselves in a culture which will treat them with scorn and reviling, which will mock and make fun of all of those who live as a faithful witness of Jesus Christ. Peter begins here with a command, a command for believers to “humble yourselves”. This word in Greek is the aorist passive imperative of tapeinoo, to humble. The use of the passive imperative is a very unusual construction, for an imperative is a command to do something, and the passive voice means something is done to you by someone else. So what Peter does with this construction is to command us to have someone else do something to us. What this all boils down to is that Peter here commands believers to allow God to humble them, for it is those who display an attitude of humility to whom God will give the grace necessary to deal with and survive in a world which is hostile to their faith and seeks to destroy it. He then tells us that this humility is to be “under God’s mighty hand”. The attitude of humility places us in “God’s mighty hand”. God is all-powerful, and everything is ultimately under His control (in His hand), and an attitude of humility acknowledges this and understands that God knows us better than we know ourselves, that God knows what we need more than we do, and that He will give us exactly what we need to fulfill His purpose for our lives. Peter then gives us the reason for this humility, here using the Greek word hina- “in order that”. We are instructed to humble ourselves in order that He may “lift us up in due time”. The word lift up is the Greek hysoo, to exalt, and Peter here tells us again something our Lord first told Him, that in the kingdom of God, the humble will be exalted (Luke 14:11). The Greek lysoo is used here in the aorist subjunctive. The subjunctive is the mood of possibility, and we find here that it is the attitude of humility which makes possible our exaltation, that our exaltation is directly proportional with our humility. We then find that this exaltation will come in “due time”. The Greek “due time” here is kairos, not chronos. Chronos refers to calendar time, to days and hours, months and years. Kairos refers to a point in time, a “season” of unspecified duration, a period to come within time, and its use here serves as encouragement to believers to continue on as a faithful witness of Christ in the midst of scorn and mockery, since the time is coming for their exaltation. Peter then expands upon his instruction in verse 7, in which he deals with anxiety. Having lived this out himself, he realizes that anxiety is a very natural response by one who is being mistreated, that no one naturally desires to be scorned, mocked or made fun of. The Greek word translated anxiety here is merimnao, literally “to care”, and anxiety comes from “caring”, from caring about ourselves to our own harm, and the harm here comes when we care too much about what others think of us rather than what God thinks of us. This is why we are to “cast our cares upon Him”, not meaning here that we are not to care about anything, but that we are to understand that the mistreatment we may experience is due to faithfulness to Him, and that what this causes others to think of us really does not matter, for their opinions of us ultimately don’t mean anything at all. It is only God’s opinion of us that truly matters, and we are told here not to worry about what those in the world think of us. God cares for us, so their opinion of us does not really matter, and will not be able to keep us from God’s plan and purpose for our lives. We can then go about our business of being faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, for we know that all situations are ultimately in His hands, and we can be free from the stress, the worry, the “anxiety”, which come from caring about ourselves to our own harm, from failing to recognize that God is in control of all things and will never harm us, that God will “work all things together for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).

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