V66Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,. In the test of your faith you can notice the powerful hand of God. Instead of resisting that you have to submit yourself. That’s what He is looking for. Humiliation is an indication that there was pride, like pride goes before destruction (Pro 16:1818Pride [goes] before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
Though, you ought not to humble yourself under the hand of men, but “under the mighty hand of God”. When you’re facing difficulties, even when those difficulties are caused by men, then it is still His hand that you feel. Behind the hand of men you may see the hand of God. Behind the humiliation you may see the exaltation that will be your part at God’s time. That will happen when the Lord Jesus comes. Then you and all other believers will become rulers from being subjects.
V77casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.. It doesn’t mean that everything will be easy. Therefore God gives you a great encouragement: you are allowed to cast all your care upon Him (Psa 55:2222Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
). He will take over your whole burden. The only thing you’ve got to do is to cast that burden of care upon Him. When you have done that, you’ve got rid of them. He has taken them over and will take care of you further. When you keep on carrying this burden yourself, you will be absorbed by it and you will not see God Who loves to take care of you.
The fact that God is taking care really means that He has great interest in each detail of your life. He not only wants to be involved, but He wants to take over your need. He brings you into tests and trials, so that you may learn to take it out of His hand and to put it into His hand (Psa 10:1414You have seen [it], for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand.
The unfortunate commits [himself] to You;
You have been the helper of the orphan.
V88Be of sober [spirit], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.. With this view you have the privilege to accept all tests out of the mighty hand of God and to submit everything to Him that goes together with it. Nevertheless you should not neglect that the devil also plays his part. To trust in God doesn’t mean that you have got rid of your responsibility and can therefore allow yourself to be passive. You always need to be “sober”, therefore not naïvely think that you can do everything without being bothered by the devil. He absolutely is a defeated enemy, but only for those who go their way in the confidence of faith in God. Keep your eyes widely opened for the dangers that surround you. Sleepiness and laziness are an invitation for the devil to attack you.
The devil is called your “adversary” here. With everything that is in him he is against you, because you belong to the Lord Jesus. There is nothing in the devil that in any way can be beneficial to you. He “prowls around like a roaring lion”, searching for a prey. He is cruel, powerful and merciless. With his roaring he tries to frighten you. Be sure that you do not come into his power. His only goal is to “devour” you, which means that he wants to completely destroy you.
V99But resist him, firm in [your] faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.. Don’t let him intimidate you when he comes your way. Do not turn your back on him, but resist him. You have to flee when he comes your way in the form of seducing you into sin in case you encounter something that addresses your flesh, in order to stir that up. That regards to fornication, idolatry, money and the lusts of the youth (1Cor 6:1818Flee immorality. Every [other] sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.; 10:1414Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.; 1Tim 6:1111But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance [and] gentleness.; 2Tim 2:2222Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love [and] peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.). When the trial comes from the outside, when the devil wants to frighten you and wants to cause you to deny your faith, you must resist him. You should not avoid the suffering, but you ought to endure it, steadfast in the faith for the sake of the Lord, looking upon Him in the confidence that He supports you.
You are not the only one who has to face this suffering. It is the experience of all with whom you form “the brotherhood”. The brotherhood embraces all believers and therefore not the limited circle of believers whom you regularly are in contact with. The brotherhood is not a part of the world, but it finds itself in the midst of it. The brotherhood and the world have nothing in common. The world may be very friendly at times, but as soon as it is confronted with the control of the Lord Jesus, their tolerance directly turns into threat and hatred. Then the world reveals its true face and that is that it hates all of those who belong to that brotherhood and everything that is theirs.
V1010After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen [and] establish you.. But there is a mighty fortress that repels all the attacks of the roaring lion. That fortress is “the God of all grace”. All believers know the God of all grace, meaning that God’s grace is experienced in all kinds and at all times. That also applies from the beginning to the end of your life and in all circumstances. All grace comes from God, any which way it comes.
He has called you “to His eternal glory in Christ”. Your future is totally fixed in God’s plan. The future is His and you are His. Nothing and nobody is able to make a change in God’s call. Who could that be? It must be something or someone who is stronger than God. Would you know who that could be? There is not even one to be compared with Him, not to mention that there would be something that could possibly be above Him.
When He has called you for an amazing future related to Christ, then you will also have a part in that (Rom 8:3030and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.). At the same time and contrary to that there is “a while” of suffering. In that while He is preparing you for that future with Christ.
1. The suffering serves to “perfect” you, meaning to bring you to perfection and fullness, so that you may lack nothing. There will be no lack or shortage of anything anymore.
2. He will also “confirm” you through the suffering, meaning he will make you stand steadfast.
3. Thereby He will inwardly “strengthen” you, so that there will be no weakness anymore.
4. Finally He gives you a firm foundation, on which He will “establish” you.
You see that God makes an end to all that is out of balance and that is weak and instead he gives a new situation in which absolutely no change can be possibly made or done.
V1111To Him [be] dominion forever and ever. Amen.. This all will end up in His glorification. From the mouth of all the redeemed the praise will sound that ascribes to Him all glory and power. There is no glory and power beside Him. The proofs that He alone possesses it, are abundantly delivered and seen in all the redeemed together. With an ‘amen’ Peter concludes this praise. Each believer will wholeheartedly agree with that. That’s how it is and there is nothing else.
V1212Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard [him]), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!. Peter still has some personal greetings. In order to deliver the letter to them he gave it with Silvanus, after he might have possibly dictated it to him. Silvanus is the same as Silas, the journey companion of Paul. This Silas was familiar with suffering. He and Paul were scourged in Philippi and were thrown in prison (Acts 16:19-2319But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,20and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,21and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”22The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order [them] to be beaten with rods.23When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;). Maybe Peter knew that and he therefore asked him to take his letter with him. Peter must have known him, for Silas was a leader among the brethren in Jerusalem (Acts 15:2222Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,), where Peter also had served the believers.
To introduce Silas to the readers of his letter, he says that as for him, Silas is a faithful brother. He tells his readers what his impression of Silas is, without arrogating himself a definite judgement about the faithfulness of Silas. Peter is aware of his own unfaithfulness. That’s what makes him careful. After all, the judgment about faithfulness is up to the Lord (1Cor 4:1-51Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.2In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.3But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by [any] human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.4For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.5Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, [but wait] until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of [men’s] hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.; Mt 25:21,2321His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’).
He has written a brief letter, but its effect is definitely great and long lasting. It is to make them understand what “the true grace of God” is. By that Peter says that grace is the true nature of Christendom, that it is based on grace and not on the law. In that grace they must stand and hold on to and in no way should be drawn away from it.
That also goes for you. By grace you are saved (Eph 2:88For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God;) and you stand before God (Rom 5:22through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.). That grace ought to characterize your life. If you have understood anything of what grace is, you will not be willing to place yourself under a law again or would want to participate in outwardly formal services. Grace means putting your whole life in God’s hand and to be guided by Him.
V1313She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and [so does] my son, Mark.. Peter also conveys the greetings of the “chosen together with” them. He may possibly refer to his wife by that, whom he took with him on his journey 1Cor 9:55Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?). He is writing from Babylon, where the biggest Jewish community was and where he had worked. After all he is the apostle of the circumcision (Gal 2:77But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter [had been] to the circumcised). He also conveys the greetings of his son Mark, the evangelist. Mark is probably his spiritual son.
V1414Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.. Finally Peter gives them the order to assure one another of their love to one another by greeting each other with an intimate greeting.
While Paul often concludes his letters with a wish that they may experience the grace of the Lord Jesus, Peter wishes his readers “peace”. Peace is the great character of the kingdom over which the Lord Jesus will reign and it is therefore also called ‘the kingdom of peace’. Peace is also the great blessing for the believers in their dealings with one another. The pleasure of that peace is only possible when each believer himself is aware of his position in Christ, is living up to it and also sees the other one in that position.
I heartily wish you that too in your relation with Christ and in your dealings with fellow believers. Amen.
Now read 1 Peter 5:7-14 again.
Reflection: Just explore how often God has already revealed Himself to you as the God of all grace.