1 Peter 5:6-7 (MSG)
So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
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.
This is one of the most popular verses in the Bible, yet we often take this verse out of its context. Note that the word “casting” is a participle making it dependent upon the previous statement in verse six. “Casting” is not a command but the means of how we humble ourselves (5:6). We humble ourselves by casting our anxieties on God. God’s care comes when we humble ourselves and depend on His grace.
Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:5-7, emphasis added).
When Peter said “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5), he had a specific image in mind. He used a Greek term that means to tie something on yourself with a knot or a bow. It came to refer especially to a work apron. A slave would put on an apron over his or her clothes to keep them clean, just like you might before you start a messy chore. The word became a synonym for humble service.
“Casting” means to throw upon and thus to deposit with. Secular Greek used “casting” for a man who carried a heavy burden and threw it upon a camel’s back. “Casting” carries the idea of throw. It means to roll upon. God wants us to roll our burdens upon Him. God wants us to have a target to which we direct our anxiety. That target is God Himself.
Humility is the attitude that you are not too good to serve others, and you are not too great to stoop. It was not considered a virtue in the ancient world. Sadly, we have reverted to those times in that regard. Humble people today are mocked and trampled on. The world calls them wimps and instead exalts pride, arrogance, and runaway egos. Although society was no different in Peter’s day, he called his readers to be different.
We are humble when we depend on God’s grace for our lives.
God does not design the situations of our life to break us but to make us. We are to move from trusting in our own resources and trusting in our strategies for life, to resting in God and His resources. God is willing and able to carry the heaviest burden for us.
When you are under pressure from worry, stop, take a breath and relax in God’s grace.
“Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah” (Psalm 68:19).