A most comforting thought in difficult times is that someone else is concerned for your well-being. The apostle Peter, looking back to the Psalms, noted that such a comfort should also motivate us to humble ourselves before God.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (1 Pet. 5:6-7)
The three “C’s” of verse seven are especially noteworthy and direct our hearts to the overwhelming peace and comfort Christians have in God.
Our first “C” derives from a Greek term meaning “to throw upon” (Thayer) and is used only twice in the New Testament. Writing of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry, Luke noted: “And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon” (19:35). Peter’s use of this word emphasizes a more definite and singular tone and better expresses the sense of “to throw
away” or “to give up” to someone else. One commentator noted how the construction of the Greek denotes “an act once and for all.” (Marvin Vincent; Vincent’s Word Studies In The New Testament). The apostle’s admonition is for us to throw the whole of our cares away once and for all — never considering them again!
This character is evident in Hannah’s attitude after petitioning God for a son: “So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad” (1 Sam. 1:18). Certainly a deep abiding faith and trust in God is required for such an act of “giving up” one’s cares to God!
The Scriptures are filled with exhortations and reminders to “throw away” our cares, and trust in God. David wrote, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Ps. 27:13-14; cf. 37:5). Jesus continually instructed His disciples to trust in God (Matt. 6:25, 34; Mark 54:19; Luke 8:14; et al), and Paul eloquently edified the Philippians to the same end: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6). What a tremendous comfort to know we serve a God in whom we can trust and on whom we can cast every distress in our lives.
It is the cares of this world that we are to cast away upon God once and for all. This word is often explained as anxieties that come with the distresses of life. While this is an accurate explanation, there is also a sense in the Greek of “separating into parts.” Hence, the cares and anxieties we are to cast upon God refer to those things which “separate us from” or “distract our minds from” spiritual things. We see an occasion of such a distraction in the account of Jesus in the house of Martha: “But Martha was cumbered [distracted] about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me” (Luke 10:40). Jesus warned of the end of all who fail to trust in God and cast away cares of this world: “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14). Hear the appeal of the apostle — Cast away the whole of those things that distract and separate you from a spiritual mind and focus on God.
The deep sense of this word is “it is of concern” (Strong’s Concordance). God is not simply aware, but He cares about those things that distress us. Imagine, the God who created the heavens and the earth is concerned about your cares! We often comment that one appreciates or cares more for a thing that is the work of his own hands. Parents are sometimes found instructing their children how much more that child will appreciate something purchased with his own “hard earned money.” God created all things. Jesus paid the penalty for all men’s sins with His own blood. We are bought with a price! How deeply God must care for us!
First Peter 5:7 should be taken in light of the charge of the previous verse:
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord” (5:6).
Pride is at the root of most of our anxieties. Human pride greatly resists casting our cares upon another to take care of “my problems.” Dear friend, what anxieties, what cares, what distractions are you trying to “care for” alone? Look to God— He already knows how much you need Him. He is patiently waiting. He cares for you!