In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
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.
1 Peter 5:5-10
Peter is instructing the church on proper attitudes and behaviors. His main point is humility.
He begins by telling us to submit to the elders of the church.
There is a remarkable benefit in humility. Peter’s advice is to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand”. The benefit is this–“that he may lift you up in due time”. Humility in the present will bring about an uplift in the future.
Peter drops in this piece of advice “Cast all your anxiety on him”. How does this correlate to humility? If you are anxious about your problems or needs it is because you are relying on yourself to resolve them. When you boil it down, this is the opposite of humility. If you look to yourself to resolve your problems, then you are exhibiting pride and arrogance. It shows self-reliance rather than God-reliance. Peter echoes the words and teachings of Jesus. If you trust God with all of your worries, anxieties, and problems, He will take care of them for you. Why? “because he cares for you.”
Use the brain God gave you to “Be alert and of sober mind.” The reason for this is that we do not live in a vacuum without enemies. We have an enemy that is very powerful. The enemy is Satan who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Satan’s mission is to get as many of those who are followers of Christ to desert Him and be destroyed. He knows he is defeated but wants to take as many as possible with him.
We are commanded to “Resist him” How? By “standing firm in the faith”. Why? “because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” You are not alone in your walk with Christ. Millions of currently living souls go through the same temptations, suffering, and problems that you go through on a daily basis. If they can get through it by trusting Christ, then so can you.
All of this advice is based on a promise of something to be received in the future based on something we have already received in the past. God’s grace that He provided through His plan of salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was carefully planned out by God before the beginning of time. “And the God of all grace”. God gives us His grace, not because of something we have done to deserve it because He provided that grace long before you were even conceived. This same God has “called you to his eternal glory in Christ” before time began.
Suffering is a part of this life and this life is temporary. So “after you have suffered a little while”, God “will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” This is not in the present but in the future. You must rely on the promise of something to be received at some future point based on the faith that it will happen just as God has promised.