“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6-7)
“What does it mean to be humble? It means, when you’ve made a mistake, admitting it and saying you’re sorry. It means, when you are weak or sick or inadequate for a task, not being too proud to ask for help. It means doing some ordinary jobs and spending time with ordinary people and being indifferent to accolades.
In other words, in all its forms humility is the risk of losing face. Humility is the risk of not being noticed, not being appreciated, not being praised, and not being rewarded. Lowliness runs the obvious risk of being looked down on.
And being looked down on is painful. Being unnoticed and unappreciated is painful. Losing face is painful. Being made little of is painful. And therefore humility causes anxiety. And the command to be humble under God and to be clothed with humility toward each other makes us anxious…
If we are going to have the courage of humility and the boldness of lowliness, someone is going to have to take our anxiety away…The secret of humility is being able to cast your anxiety on God…before you can put yourself humbly under God’s mighty hand, you have to put your anxiety confidently in God’s mighty hand.
The humility Peter commands under God’s hand is the peaceful, confident humility that comes because we have cast our anxiety on God with the confidence that he cares for us…humbled and lowly under the mighty hand of an infinitely holy and powerful God, and confident and peaceful because that very God cares for us and carries our anxiety. Before you bow down and step under him, cast the burden of your anxiety on him!”
But what does casting mean?
“The people of Peter’s day would have understood that if you have a garment on and you want a [donkey] to carry it for you, you “cast” the garment on the animal. In this way you don’t carry it anymore. It’s on the animal not on you. The donkey works for you and lifts your load.
…God is willing to carry your anxieties the same way a donkey carries your baggage. One of the greatest things about the God of the Bible is that he commands us to let him work for us before commanding us to work for him…God wants to be a burden bearer because it demonstrates his power and puts him in a class by himself among the so-called gods of the universe. “No one has seen a God besides thee, who works for those who wait for him.” So throw the garments of your anxiety onto him. He wants to carry it.”
How though, specifically, do I cast?
“How do you practically make the anxiety transfer from your back to God’s back? The answer is: trust that he cares for you. Believe this promise. Trust him. It’s a matter of practical trust.
That promise…is connected to a command and the promise is meant to show you how to obey the command. The command is, “Cast your anxiety on God.” The promise is, “God cares for you.” That means, he cares about the thing that has you worrying. He wants to be trusted for that…Lay a specific anxiety on God. Trust him specifically that he cares about that. Believe that he is God. His purposes cannot be thwarted.
When it says that he cares, it means he will not stand by and let things develop without his influence. It means he will act. He will work. Not always the way we would. He’s God. He sees a thousand connections we don’t see…”Cast your anxiety on God by trusting that he cares for you.” (John Piper, Anxieties: To Be Cast Not Carried. Read or listen to the whole message here.)