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  • Writer's pictureDwight Smith

Humble Yourselves, Therefore, Under the Mighty Hand of God

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)


anxiety

Life is full of anxieties. Not all of them can or will be resolved. Peter acknowledges some of the more challenging ones:

  1. Exiles (elect, the oxymoron of being a Christian) 1:1. This one sets the stage for understanding all of the rest. We are exiles and not meant to be at home in this place.

  2. All of us, subject to worldly institutions. 2:13. This is one that can create great anxiety. Which of us can control the often corrupt decision making of those who lead our government. The less democratic, the more the potential anxiety. Still God calls us to submit to the authority of government that He has perceived we needed and provided.

  3. Slaves subject to owners 2:19. The first application should be left in place. Some estimate that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other time in history. Surely. Some of them are Jesus followers. Still, for all of us, the call to submission as expressed in slave and owner, is expected by our God in all of us.

  4. Wives subject to husbands 3:1. There is no clarification here about how a man treats his wife. As seen through women in most parts of the world, their daily fear is palatable.

  5. Husbands live with your wives in understanding 3:7. This is the balance to the previous verse. It is the expression of the interdependence of love and purpose that God created and expects.

  6. Finally all of you. 3:8. “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”The list extends the application to all of us, no matter what the anxiety producing circumstances we all live in.

The context of 1 Peter has pointed out some of the more complex anxieties of life, so:

  1. The resolution of all anxiety is to realize that God is indeed sovereign, even in the most dangerous of life contexts. He can be trusted. 1:5 “who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

  2. Peter realizes our humanity. In the face of anxiety, make it a habit to roll it over on God. 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

  3. He cares for us. 2:9 “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

  4. Build your life on the word of God. 2:2 “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

  5. Model your life after our Savior 4:1 ff “Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking…”

  6. Reject Satan 5:8 “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him,…”

Isaiah 49:15-16

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”

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