“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time, while you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:6, 7, New World Translation.
“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:6, 7, New King James Version.
Meaning of 1 Peter 5:6, 7
With these words, the apostle Peter assures Christians that they can confidently pray to God about their problems and concerns. God favors those who are humble, and he will richly reward them.
“Humble yourselves . . . under the mighty hand of God.” In the Bible, God’s hand often refers to his power to save and to protect. (Exodus 3:19; Deuteronomy 26:8; Ezra 8:22) Christians humble themselves under God’s hand when they rely on him. They acknowledge their limitations and recognize that they cannot overcome trials on their own. (Proverbs 3:5, 6; Philippians 4:13) They are confident that God has the power to act in their behalf at the right time and in the best possible way.—Isaiah 41:10.
“So that he may exalt you in due time.” Those who patiently endure trials can be confident that God will ultimately exalt, or reward, them. He will not let his worshippers be tested endlessly or beyond what they can bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13) On the contrary, if they keep doing what is good, God will definitely reward them “in due time.”—Galatians 6:9.
“While you throw all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” Christians can throw, or cast, all their anxieties on God by humbly praying to him. One reference work explains: “The verb to cast signifies the act of exerting effort to fling something away from ourselves. It describes a deliberate act.” Once a Christian has thrown his anxieties on God, he can lessen his worry and experience what the Bible calls “the peace of God.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) He can be sure that God wants to help him because he knows that God cares for him and can use His abundant power to sustain him.—Psalm 37:5; 55:22.
Context of 1 Peter 5:6, 7
Chapter 5 concludes the first letter that the apostle Peter wrote to Christians. (1 Peter 1:1) Christ’s followers then, just as now, faced various trials that tested their faith and could have made them anxious. (1 Peter 1:6, 7) Aware of their hardships, Peter wrote a warm and encouraging letter in about 62-64 C.E.—1 Peter 5:12.
Peter closes his letter with an encouraging reminder for those who face trials because of their faith. If they remain humble and rely on God, they can be confident that God will help them to stand firm. (1 Peter 5:5-10) Peter’s words can likewise encourage Christians who are persecuted today.
Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of 1 Peter.