Cast all your anxieties on God 1 Peter 5:5-11

There are at least three wonderful verses in our Bible reading today which are well worth learning off by heart. I will save the third until the end of the month and spend this morning looking at the first two. Two glorious verses which are as inspiring and encouraging for us in the different situations we face today as they would have been to the Christians the apostle Peter was writing to in the first century. And the first is 1 Peter 5 verse 6.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
After more than a year of Covid lockdowns, as life is beginning to get back to some semblance of normality, we are all facing different challenges. Some are sick. Some are grieving. Some are discouraged or depressed. Some are just exhausted. Many are worried or even afraid of what life will be like in the months ahead. So here is a verse to inspire us and give us strength.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
We may be feeling overwhelmed by everything that has been happening. We may be feeling ground down. Maybe we are even feeling that we have had a taste of what those Christians in the Early Church were facing under the cruel persecution of the Roman Empire. What we desperately need is for God to lift us up again. We need to experience God’s salvation in the way Job talks about.
Job 5 11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
Maybe we feel we need God to lift us up and rescue us as he did King David in Psalm 40
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.

Maybe we even feel we have stumbled and fallen and are stuck lying on the floor. If we are longing for God to lift us up, here this encouragement from the apostle Peter.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
The Old Testament uses this expression “the mighty hand” of God 25 times and every time it is talking about God’s powerful acts of salvation in the Exodus, the ten plagues God sent on Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea so that the slaves could escape.
Exodus 13 3 Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand.
Deuteronomy 26 7 Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. 8 So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.
Psalm 136:10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt His love endures for ever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them His love endures for ever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures for ever.
1 Kings 8:41 “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name— 42 for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm—when he comes and prays toward this temple.
If we are on the ground, or even trapped in a slimy pit, sinking in mud and mire, what we need is God’s mighty hand to life us up again and rescue us. For God to help us like that, what we need to do is very simple.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Why should we humble ourselves? Look back at verse 5.
…. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because,
‘God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.’
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
Why does humbling ourselves matter when we are asking God to lift us up? Because being proud will get in the way of God helping us. When we think we can manage without God’s help, our pride blocks God’s blessing.
Zechariah 4:6 tells us “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty.
On more than 100 occasions the Old Testament uses the word MIGHT to refer to collective strength, to armies or forces or warriors. While we are putting our trust in our own might, God can’t work in our lives. God can’t work in us. Not by might, says the Lord Almighty. He is the ALL MIGHTY God. In comparison to His great might, all our human resources count for nothing at all!
Not by might, and not by power. In the Old Testament with find this word power a hundred times as well. Power refers to the strength of individual men and women. We must not put our trust in our own power or our own efforts. All our skills and abilities count for absolutely nothing! We cannot rely on our human wisdom, or our education or our experience or our clever ideas. As long as we are putting our trust in our hard work, God will not work through us.
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty! To lift us up when we are down, what we need is the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. The power of God which brought the slaves out of Egypt and through the Red Sea and into the Promised Land. We need the power of the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. We read about this in our series of sermons on Ephesians this time last year.
Ephesians 1 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know … 19 … his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
The mighty strength of God which raised Jesus from the dead is God’s incomparably great power at work in our lives.
Ephesians 3 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
20 … all glory to God, who is able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think, through his mighty power at work within us. (NLT)
There is no limit to what that power of Almighty God can do in our lives! But to release the power of God we need to humble ourselves. We need to acknowledge that we can’t cope by ourselves and admit that need God’s help to lift us up. Because,
‘God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.’
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Which brings us to the second wonderful verse in the passage we read, another promise well worth learning by heart and clinging to in times of need.
1 Peter 5:7 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Even though there seems to be some good news in the battle against Covid, many, many people still have all kinds of worries. Some are asking, is it safe to go out of the house yet? But we can bring all our anxieties to God. Cast all your anxiety on Him – literally throw your worries over to God.
The Contemporary English Version reads God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.
The Good News Bible says Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.
God cares for you. God is concerned for you and for your wellbeing and for everything that is troubling you. If you are feeling down and needing to be lifted up, hold on to this truth. God cares about you. God cares for you. There’s a simple hymn which I learned at infant school which has stuck in my mind for the last sixty years.
1 God, who made the earth, the air, the sky, the sea,
who gave the light its birth: He cares for me.
2 God, who made the grass, the flower, the fruit, the tree,
the day and night to pass: He cares for me.
3 God, who made the sun, the moon, the stars, is He
who, when life’s clouds come on, will care for me.
4 God, who made all things, on earth, in air, in sea,
who changing seasons brings: He cares for me.
5 God, who sent His Son to die on Calvary,
He, if I lean on Him, will care for me.
God cares for me. And God cares for you. So we can cast all our anxieties on the Lord.
Psalm 55:22 makes the same promise. Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
God says the same thing in many other places as well.
Isaiah 41 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
And my all-time favourite verses from Isaiah 43
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; ….
4 … you are precious and honoured in my sight, and … I love you,

God cares about us and God cares for us. Whatever we may be worried about, whatever we might be struggling with in life, we should never forget just how much God loves us. Peter reminded his readers that God loves each one of us so much that Jesus the lamb of God gave his life for the sin of the world. God loves us so much that Jesus suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us back to God. God loves us with a love which will never let us go. God cares for us. So we can come to him with complete confidence and find the help which we need.
So how does this all work? What do we need to do if we want to cast all our anxieties on God? Simply humble ourselves, so that God’s mighty hand can lift us up. Whatever challenges and struggles we may be facing, here are two wonderful verses to learn off by heart this week. Two glorious promises to cling to in these strange times. 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 6 and verse 7.

This entry was posted in 1 Peter.

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