1 Peter 5:6-11
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.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
So how does Peter wrap us this short treatise on human suffering? He does so by instructing his readers to “humble” themselves under God’s mighty hand even though they might not understand the purpose behind their suffering. If the believer will humble himself/herself under God’s sovereign hand, God promises to “lift them up in due time.” Most likely, this refers to increased spiritual blessings and deeper fellowship with God.
Verse seven has always been a comforting verse for me: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” God is concerned for each one of His children. Our suffering matters to Him. When combined with verse six, we see that proper humility is attained by “casting all your anxiety on Him.” In his commentary on 1 Peter, Wayne Grudem writes, “Peter recognizes that a great barrier to putting others first and thinking of them as more important is the legitimate human concern ‘but who then will care for me?’ The answer is that God Himself will care for our needs. He is able to do so far better than we are, and He wants to do so, for He continually cares for His children.” If you are a child of God, you matter to God! Your suffering is not unseen by Him who created the universe. He wants us to come to Him and trust Him with all our anxiety. He wants us to know that He cares for us as if we were His only child.
In verses eight through eleven, Peter begins a new section with an admonition to spiritual watchfulness. Peter warns that we have a spiritual foe who would like nothing more than to destroy our testimony for Christ. Peter views Satan as a cunning and evil personal being who has the ability and the will to attack believers.
Therefore, Peter admonishes his readers to, “Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” It is important to recognize that as God works to transform you into the image of His Son, Satan is working to thwart the work of God in your life. It is important to recognize the presence and nature of your enemy. If you fail to do so, you will make a tasty meal for the roaring lion. So, we must be aware of our enemy and the tactics that he uses to destroy our testimony for Christ. Therefore, Peter warns us to be “careful and alert.” Just like with suffering, these attacks are experienced by every believer.
Peter will now close out this letter with an encouraging promise: God will restore you after you have suffered. Wayne Grudem writes, “The sense is that the suffering and the attacks of the devil which accompany suffering may seem difficult, but they will not last long. God will establish them firmly in any position, rightful privilege, or responsibility which the suffering has taken from them.” In summary: “all loss will soon be made right, and that for eternity.”
Peter closes out this section with a short doxology that focuses on God’s power and rule over a world where so much evil is present, a world so badly in need of God’s just reign: “To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
Questions to Ponder
Are you able to humble yourself under the power and authority of Christ? Are you able to cast all your anxiety on God? How does it make you feel to know that you matter to God? Are you aware you have a spiritual foe? How does the promise that “God will make all things right” encourage you? How has this study in 1 Peter impacted you?
- Worship our Sovereign Lord who is all powerful and yet so intimate with us.
- Thank Him for His ongoing invitation for us to come right to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.
- Invite Holy Spirit to search your heart regarding any sin. Tell Him you are sorry. Soak in His forgiveness.
- Cast any anxiety on God. He wants it; He cares for you.
Heavenly Father, with a humble heart I bow before You. I praise You that You see, hear, and are so personal. You, the God of the universe, loves me, cares about me, and knows the details of my life. Oh, how You love me and Your church perfectly! Help us to remember that reality. I pray for strength, endurance, and eternal encouragement for all those going through trials. Reveal Yourself to each one of us, that we may know You better. Cause us to stand strong in You, to be wise and alert, coming to You for all things. Help us to shine brightly to those around us. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.