1 Peter chapter 5

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” – Vs 6-7

Notice that it says, “humble yourselves.” It is a choice we make. We are the ones who decide that we will take a lower place, or as the Greek word tapeinoo means, “to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded.” We willingly place ourselves under God’s mighty hand. But what does that mean? It sounds so negative, as if God is waiting to backhand us if we don’t do what He tells us to do. It gives the impression that God is some oppressive, heavy-handed deity who wants to keep us under His thumb just so He can keep us down. But that is NOT what it means at all. In fact, if you look at the phrase. “mighty hand” as used in this verse, it speaks of His power. Look at the definition of the Greek word cheir translated “hand” in verse 6:

Applied to God symbolizing his might, activity, power
2a) in creating the universe
2b) in upholding and preserving (God is present protecting and aiding one)
2c) in punishing
2d) in determining and controlling the destinies of men

So in humbling myself under God’s mighty hand, I am submitting to His incredible, universe-creating power, and acknowledging that He is in control of all things and I am not. I don’t do this out of fear, but out of the recognition that He loves me. He has chosen me. He sent His Son to die for me. God doesn’t want to keep me down. No, instead He wants to lift me up! He wants to exalt me. The Greek word is hupsoo, and it means “to raise to the very summit of opulence and prosperity, to exalt, to raise to dignity, honor and happiness.” That is what God wants to do with me! But first I must choose to humble myself under His hand. I must come to Him as one in need. I must admit that I am nothing compared to Him. I must submit to His authority in and over my life.

But this isn’t all about giving up my position and power. It’s also includes giving up my anxieties! As I give up control over my life I am released to  give up all the cares and concerns of my life. You see, casting and humbling go hand in hand. They are not two separate commands, but one. The NET Bible makes this very clear:

Humbling oneself is not a negative act of self-denial per se, but a positive one of active dependence on God for help.

I humble myself because I know that God is the source for all my needs. In humbling myself, I am admitting my weakness and inability to take care of my problems on my own. I am turning to the one and only source for the solutions I need in life: God. Peter tells us to literally throw our anxieties on God. We are to give to Him all our worries, cares, and anxious concerns. Why? Peter says it clearly. “Because He cares for you.” God, the all-powerful creator of the universe, CARES FOR YOU! He cares about you. You matter to Him. So much so, that He has plans to exalt you and just the right time. His goal is not keep you humbled, but to make you dependent. He wants you to come to Him, to see your need for Him, to trust Him, to depend on Him to meet all your needs. But it all begins with an attitude of humility. Swallowing your pride and admitting your weakness. That’s hard for most of us. And the truth is, most of us don’t do it until we have a life filled with anxiety. We wait until we get to a point where we don’t know what to do, then we finally turn to God. Because nothing else is working. We have no more tricks up our sleeves. It is at that point that we finally humble ourselves and come to God. And guess what? He is always there with arms wide open! He doesn’t judge us, lecture us, punish us, or shake His head in disgust at us. No, He wraps His arms around us and takes our cares and concerns and replaces them with His comfort and loving concern. And over time He “raises us to the very summit of opulence and prosperity, exalt us, raising us to places of dignity, honor and happiness.” Now that’s an exchange worth making!

Father, You are an amazing God! You love me more than I could ever know and You stand waiting to bless me in ways I could never imagine. All I need to do is come to you in humility, admitting my weakness and acknowledging my need for You. In exchange for all my cares, worries, and anxieties, You give Me unconditional love. You shower me with Your grace. And on top of that, You raise me up at just the right time and in just the right way. It’s a win-win for me. But I still fail to come to You like I should. I tend to wait until I am desperate and distraught. Please forgive me of my stubbornness and pride. You have proven Yourself to me time and time again, but I still refuse to humble myself under Your mighty hand until I have been humiliated by the results of my own sinful behavior. But when I do come, You are always there, and You always love me. Thank You.  Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org