casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (5:7)
As believers endure humbly and submissively, they find their strength in the midst of trials, by means of confident trust in God’s perfect purpose. The psalmist David is surely Peter’s source, since this trust was his, and the apostle must have known his words well: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Ps. 55:22). David’s anxiety came from attacks by a Judas-like friend (see vv. 12–14), a most difficult trial to bear since it comes from one who is loved and trusted. Peter drew from that text to instruct all believers in all kinds of trouble to follow David’s example and give themselves to the Lord’s care (cf. 2:23; 4:19).
Casting (from epiriptō) means throwing something on something else or someone else. For example, in Luke 19:35 (kjv) it is used of throwing a blanket over an animal. Peter exhorts believers to throw on the Lord all their anxiety, a word that can include all discontentment, discouragement, despair, questioning, pain, suffering, and whatever other trials they encounter (cf. 2 Sam. 22:3; Pss. 9:10; 13:5; 23:4; 36:7; 37:5; 55:22; Prov. 3:5–6; Isa. 26:4; Nah. 1:7; Matt. 6:25–34; 2 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 4:6–7, 19; Heb. 13:6) because they can trust His love, faithfulness, power, and wisdom.
6–7 Humility, however, is not mere self-effacement; it is an awareness of the greatness of God in comparison, as well as the realization that the humble one day will be exalted: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” James, also drawing inspiration from Proverbs 3:34, makes similar application; the common elements in both letters are (1) divine resistance to pride, (2) the bestowal of grace, (3) submission to God, and (4) the acknowledgment of a spiritual enemy (cf. Jas 4:6–7). The attitude of humility before Almighty God allows those who face hardship and hostility to cast all anxiety on him because he indeed cares for them.
Peter’s language in v. 7 is remarkably similar to Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (ESV). Psalm 55, it should be noted, is devoted to the complaint of the righteous and the cry of deliverance. In submission, one genuinely is set free from fear and anxiety; to be in the arms of God is to know divine provision and care. The psychological release that comes from “casting” (epiriptō, GK 2166, a strengthened form of riptō, “to cast down” or “throw”) our cares on the Lord is admirably described by Mounce, 87: “Anxiety follows when we forget that God is the One who cares for us. We are not left adrift on the sea of chance facing shipwreck on the shoals of an impersonal destiny. We are under the care of a sovereign God who controls the course of history and is intricately involved in the everyday life of each of his children.”
5:7 / However trying the circumstances, therefore, believers are to look to God alone: Cast all your anxiety on him. Far from being an attitude of resignation, humility for the Christian has this very practical aspect. In response to humble trust, God is not only able to deliver his own, but is at all times ready and willing to do so: he cares for you. Without drawing attention to the fact, Peter is again quoting from the ot—this time from Psalm 55:22 lxx. Believers can safely leave all anxieties with their heavenly Father (Matt. 6:25–34). He will care about their cares. For their part, believers are to be care-free. It is one of the distinctive treasures which Christianity has inherited from Judaism that God is known to be concerned with the personal care of his people. Other religions at best see God as aloof, as one who, while good and perfect, keeps his distance from human beings.
5:7. Satan and his attacks have not been mentioned overtly, but another resistance method for believers appears here. As we trust God and his mighty power, we follow a God who cares deeply for us. Peter may have had in mind the words of Jesus (Matt. 6:25–34). If so, he borrowed them and placed them in the context and crucible of suffering and persecution.
Cast means “to throw something upon someone or something else.” This word suggests a deliberate decision of trust. We are to trust God with our anxiety, the things we worry about. The term (merimnan) means “to be drawn in different directions, to be divided or distracted.” Whatever we are anxious about tends to distract us from trusting God. It tends to pull us in different directions so that we do not depend on him. When we limp in this direction, we do not resist Satan, but play into his hand. He wants us to put more trust in ourselves and others as opposed to God.
Peter’s first-century readers, like their twentieth-century cousins, failed to remember this truth even in the midst of anguish and pain: God cares for you. The form in which the verb appears (present active indicative with the dative) indicates that God’s care and concern for believers is constant, ongoing, and unending. God is not indifferent to the suffering of his followers, but desires our active, humble trust in him, especially during difficult days.
Cast away anxiety
- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Of all the religions in the world, only the Judeo-Christian religion teaches that God cares for his children. In fact, he cares so much that he bids them bring all their problems to him. The Bible says:
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. [Ps. 37:5]
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall. [Ps. 55:22]
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.… For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” [Matt. 6:25, 32]
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. [Phil. 4:6]
Notice that Peter uses the term cast. In the Greek, the tense implies that casting is a single act. In true humility and trust in God, the Christian throws all his anxieties on the Lord. The Greek word for “anxiety” means “to be drawn in different directions.” Anxiety has a debilitating effect on our lives and results from our loss of confidence and assurance. If we doubt, we assume the burden of worries and thus demonstrate a lack of faith. Therefore Peter urges us to cast our worries on God and to trust in him.
The verb to cast signifies the act of exerting effort to fling something away from ourselves. It describes a deliberate act. Once we have thrown away our anxieties, although not our troubles, we know that God cares for us. In both the Old and New Testaments God’s promise to care for his children is sure (see Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5).
Practical Considerations in 5:6–7
The world regards humility not as a virtue but as a weakness that man should avoid. Just as he avoids arrogance and pride, so he should abhor humility. Humbleness is understood in the derogatory sense of a weak person who is groveling in the dust. Scripture, however, teaches that meekness is not weakness but moral strength. Moses was known as “a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Num. 12:3), and yet served as the greatest leader and lawgiver Israel ever had.
Scripture exhorts us to be humble before God and man. But in daily life, practice often differs from theory. For example, a pastor longs to be the minister of a large congregation but never receives a call; a member of a church openly campaigns for a position as elder or deacon but never is elected; someone vies for the editorship of a denominational paper but is not appointed. In these cases, pride and self-interest play a dominant role. A humble person knows that not man but God promotes and appoints people to work in the church. The words of the psalmist are to the point:
No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt a man.
But it is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another. [Ps. 75:6–7]
5:7 Believers are privileged to cast all their anxieties on the Lord with the strong confidence that He cares. Once again Peter is quoting from the Greek version of the OT (Ps. 55:22).
J. Sidlow Baxter points out that there are two kinds of care here:
There is anxious care, in the words: “Casting all your care upon Him”; and there is affectionate care, in the words: “He careth for you.” Over against all our own anxious care is our Savior’s never-failing affectionate care.
Worry is unnecessary; there is no need for us to bear the burdens when He is willing and able to bear them for us. Worry is futile; it hasn’t solved a problem yet. Worry is sin. A preacher once said: “Worry is sin because it denies the wisdom of God; it says that He doesn’t know what He’s doing. It denies the love of God; it says He does not care. And it denies the power of God; it says that He isn’t able to deliver me from whatever is causing me to worry.” Something to think about!
5:6–7. Knowing God’s attitude should cause Christians not only to be subject to others but also to subject themselves deliberately to God’s sovereign rule. The command humble yourselves (tapeinōthēte) could be translated “allow yourselves to be humbled.” Those who were suffering persecution for Christ’s sake could be encouraged by the fact that the same mighty hand that let them suffer would one day lift (hypsōsē, “exalt”) them up (cf. James 4:10).
Peter then referred to Christ’s classic words of encouragement in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 6:25–32), while quoting Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you.” All a believer’s anxieties can be cast … on Him. Christ sustains because He cares. A Christian’s confidence rests in the fact that Christ is genuinely concerned for his welfare.
5:7 — … casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Regardless of the concern or worry, God wants us to bring everything to Him. He always has our best interests at heart and will rouse all His infinite power to help us become the people we are meant to be.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2004). 1 Peter (pp. 279–280). Chicago: Moody Publishers.
 Charles, D. J. (2006). 1 Peter. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 354). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Hillyer, N. (2011). 1 and 2 Peter, Jude (p. 145). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
 Walls, D., & Anders, M. (1999). I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude (Vol. 11, pp. 92–93). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
 Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Epistles of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (Vol. 16, pp. 198–200). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
 MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2281). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Raymer, R. M. (1985). 1 Peter. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 856). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (1 Pe 5:7). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.