‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand’ (1 Peter 5:6 NIVUK)
In leading up to Peter’s statement to humble ourselves he has told us to
‘clothe ourselves with humility…because God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.’ (1 Peter 5:5) The question that comes to my mind is how can I humble myself? I didn’t have to look very far because Peter gives me the answer in verse 7,
‘Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5:7) Peter’s basic point is that we humble ourselves by casting all our anxiety on God.
For me, that’s easier said than done, because when I get anxious over something my default reaction is to try and look for ways I can sort out the issue that’s causing me anxiety. It’s my natural pride that makes me think I can resolve the problem. But one of the ways I am humbled is to not seek my own solutions but to cast all my anxiety on to God in prayer.
In his book A Praying Life, Paul Miller explains that the things in life that make us anxious are actually prayer links. Every time we get anxious is an opportunity to link to God in prayer. What’s that got to do with humbling yourself? Miller explains,
‘If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money and talent are all you need in life.’ In other words, we feel we can fix our anxieties through our own resources, without praying about them. That is a proud way of living. The humble way is to recognise our dependence on God and to say to him, ‘Lord I have this problem causing me such concern, I’m now handing it over to you. Will you take care of it, give me the help I need to deal with this issue and give me peace and rest to replace my anxiety?’
God’s mighty hand is able to deal with anything that comes my way and so I do not need to rely on my own strength, as the song Stand up! Stand up for Jesus! goes,
The arm of flesh will fail you,
Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armour,
Each piece put on with prayer.
As we come to God humbly in prayer, we can be assured that he will deal with all our anxieties because we have the sure promise that he shows favour to the humble and that he cares for us.
Father, give us a humble heart to come to you with our anxieties so that we can find your grace in our time of need.
Have a humble week,