The Bible instructs us with so many challenges, reminders, and promises that in all honesty I often forget and fail to put them into practice. This past Sunday I was privileged to preach in our church’s current study of I Peter, and as always when I preach, I got more out of it than anyone who heard the sermon.
The passage begins with instructions to church elders, but then moves to address everyone. The verses in the passage that speak to everyone are I Peter 5:5b-7, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
The challenges in this passage are “clothe yourselves with humility” and “humble yourselves under God’s mighty hand.” The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) is filled with calls to be humble. Peter suggests “humility is to be worn like clothing.” One commentator suggests, “When we begin the day and dress, we must also be careful to include an attitude of humility.”
Peter reminds us how important it is by quoting Proverbs 3:34: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” God opposes and resists the proud, but he promises his special favor on those who are humble. Peter tells us if we humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand he will lift us up in due time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want God opposing me – but I would like his favor on me. Don’t you?
This passage concludes in verse 7 with a much needed suggestion and vital reminder for all of us: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Peter is borrowing from Psalm 55:22 when he tells us to cast our anxiety on the Lord. Some of us struggle with anxiety more than others, but all of us experience it at times. Looking back over the last few months, and looking ahead to the coming months, these are times of anxiety for many of us. Peter reminds us that we need to take our anxieties to God.
Why does the Psalmist and Peter both urge us to cast our anxieties on the Lord? The answer is so comforting and encouraging: “because he cares for you.” I think it would be helpful and appropriate for us to remind ourselves from time to time that God cares for us. No matter what we are going through, one thing we can always be sure of is that God cares for us.
Challenges: Clothe yourselves with humility and humble yourselves under God.
Reminders: God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Promises: God will lift us up and he cares for us.
Feel free to leave a comment below and/or share this post.
photo credit: Chronic Joy Ministry <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/148283563@N04/49977174531″>OA1Peter5-5</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>