I long ago “claimed” verse 7 in 1 Peter 5 which says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I took that to mean that whatever worried me, I could give to God. I still think that is true – He cares about things that cause me to fret. After all, it’s comforting to know that God is there!
Now, I’m seeing much more in that promise – a two-way conversation. The casting of cares passage preceeds the warning to “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
How are those two thoughts connected? Are my cares rooted in sinful thoughts? Could the things I fret over be prideful, burdensome, arising from unbelief or distrust? Are my thoughts distracting my mind and keeping me from delighting in God and His people? Is that roaring lion prowling in “what I think is best,” or in the “they shoulds …”? I picked this picture of the lion, because I can see his fierceness, but there’s also a laugh in the expression. His mouth seems to have a smile while he roars. Get behind me, Satan! That fierce roar and smile are not for me! But oh, how I must be alert to your ever-vigilant stealthy ways.
Just before the invitation to cast our cares on God, is the directive to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Humble doesn’t allow for pride or arrogance. Humble is a servant. Humble doesn’t allow for “my rights” to walk on the rights or needs of others. Humble is acknowledging the Glory of God and worshipping Him, following Him in love and obedience.
My casting my cares on the Lord is conditional on me humbling myself under God’s mighty hand to give him my cares about my family, my present, my future, my job, my church … to say, “Search me God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
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. I Peter 5:6-11