“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.” -- 1 Peter 5:6–7
Humility > Humiliation. “Humility or humiliation — the choice is yours.” These were the wise words I once heard a Christian leader pose to me and a whole host of other college students. His sentiment was clear: If we live a life without mindfulness of God, or His Ways, or His authority, we will inevitably make decisions in our lives which will, in all likelihood, culminate in calamity. This can undoubtedly bring a dimension of humiliation into our lives as well, since calamities are frequently humiliating. On the other hand, however, if we walk circumspectly, with the mindfulness of God as preeminent, seeking His will to be accomplished in our lives, and regularly put Him and others above ourselves, this humility can keep us from making calamitous decisions and hence reaping a whole lot of heartache.
God Can Bear It. The Apostle Peter admonishes believers to place their fears upon the One who can bear it — God alone. Most of us have anxieties, though some of us have more kinds of anxiety than others. Nevertheless, we all daily live with sundry kinds of fears which try to creep in and squelch the joy out of life. Knowing full well that this is the case, the Apostle Peter instructs us to identify our fears and then to hurl them (lit. “cast” as in casting a net) toward God. I personally think this is to be a perpetual practice of Christ-followers. It requires introspection, identification, and a faith-act of “giving it to God.” There’s a sad fact and it is this — we bear burdens we weren’t meant to bear. Let us give these to God, for only He can bear it.
God Loves You. I take great comfort in the last clause of the passage. God cares for us. God cares for everyone. Period. We can cast our cares upon Him not only because he is sufficient to bear our burdens, but because He loves us and wants us to run to Him in times of need. His great love for us is truly the only thing that can sustain us. The New Testament is filled with passages pointing to the love of God. May we reach a point where we will believe that God is Love (1 John 4:8), but even more, may we reach a point where we can confidently say, God loves me.
Word for the Way:
I shall humble myself today, and avert all humiliation.