Read 1 Peter 5:1-14
Solomon expressed one of mankind’s problems centuries before Peter addressed it in today’s reading. This former king of Israel said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Prov. 14:12) As ones who are possibly discontent with their life situation, people in the midst of trials can easily adopt an “I know best” mentality. If it were up to them, they would have planned life differently. If they had been in charge, they would have led in a different direction. Their situation is the fault of someone else. We must recognize, however, that there is an adversary who wants to leverage his influence in our situation in order to consume us (1 Pet. 5:8, 9).
Unfortunately, we don’t know best on our own. God knows that. In fact, He “opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet. 5:5). Even though adverse circumstances can be the most difficult time to demonstrate humility, we are most protected and blessed when we are humble.
When we willingly subject ourselves to elders and spiritual leaders in our lives (v. 5a), we are blessed. If they are worth their salt, these leaders are not trying to take advantage of us. They are exercising an important stewardship given them from God Himself, for which they will be accountable (vv.1-4). Humbly subject yourself to them knowing that they have your good in mind.
In fact, we are to exercise that humility towards all believers (v. 5b). Any kind of “I am better…know better…am more important” attitude will do anything but lead to the other person’s encouragement and growth. And it certainly does not put the prideful person in a position to receive something of value from others.
Of course, ultimately, our humility is demonstrated in our vertical relationship to our heavenly Father. By placing ourselves willingly under His mighty hand, we recognize His sovereign, purposeful control and put ourselves in a position for future exaltation. This kind of humility will cause us to take all of the adversity and all of the anxiety and cast them onto Him. Rest assured, He cares for you (v. 7). Recognize trials won’t last forever (v. 10).
“Humility…God, I want that word to be the description of me today…even in the face of life’s challenges.”