Transformation In God's Time
Every follower of Jesus is commanded to dismiss pride and embrace humility. In this chapter alone (1 Peter 5:1-5), Peter has given five reasons: Jesus was humble; we are saved to serve; God opposes proud people; God gives grace to humble people; Jesus is bringing His reward to humble people. In today's verse, Peter stresses that true humility does not come by an externally applied, enforced submission; it has to be a voluntary personal choice which leads to willing lifestyle changes in line with God's Word.
The command, 'humble yourself', demands immediate, proactive decisions; a change of personal attitude and a glad acceptance of the role of a servant of Jesus Christ. Although humility has many applications, the key to this verse is 'under God's mighty hand'. However many people want us to serve them, our first responsibility must be to accept God's authority over us. When we do so, every other demand can be evaluated by the priorities which His Word reveals: and that is the only sensible way to get life in perspective. But also, it is only God who can lift us up; giving us the honour which He has chosen for us.
But when will that happen? In God's time! We have our human ideas of service and reward (and business management manuals are full of them); but only God knows how and when to reward His faithful servants. He knows the right interval between sacrifice and recognition; the cross and the crown. He fully understands that giving great rewards too early, may make us proud, and eager to accept the glory which should go to Him. On the other hand He is not unrighteous to forget your labour of love (Hebrews 6:10). So, true believers go forward, trusting God's promise: that He will honour those who humble themselves under His authority, confident that He knows just the right time to use His hand of power for our blessing.
© Dr Paul Adams