Thursday, September 23, 2010

Humble Peace

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

6 Ταπεινώθητε οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃ ἐν καιρῷ, 7  πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν.

The end of this book contains some quick proverbial commands and sayings that we would do well to hold on to.  This is one of the big ones.  Peter has just finished giving commands both to elders and younger people.  Basically, younger people are to submit to their elders.  However, elders are not to rule like despots either.  All of this is bathed in the grace of God.

Here Peter puts together two really powerful verses.  First, he tells his readers that they are to Ταπεινώθητε.  This is an aorist imperative passive.  It means that they are to humble themselves, or be humbled.  Of course, it's pretty easy to be humbled when you consider τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ.  What other reaction is there to God's powerful and mighty hand?  As I've written many times before, I don't understand how you can truly have an encounter with the living God and not be humbled.

Verse 7 is where I really want to focus though.  Continuing the imperative command starting this sentence, we see that we are to πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν.  This is also in the aorist, but it is an active participle.  Basically, I see this as giving further explanation of what we are to as we humble ourselves.  How does this fit together?

As soon as we realize that God is in charge and we are not then we have no cause to be anxious.  I get anxious when I feel like there is something I need to do, but I can't do it.  Or maybe there is a situation that I want to control, but can't.  For example, relational pressures can make me quite anxious.  But the anxiety wanes as soon as I realize that I am not in control.  I can't change anyone.  Only God can.  And in fact, it reminds me that I need to pray for my own attitude and behavior since I can't control anyone else's.

The bigger we think we are then the more anxious we will feel.  We think that we need to do so much, but God is in charge.  Christ is on His throne and He has things under control.  They may not go the way we think that they should, but if we really apply this passage we will realize that God has a better plan than we do, whether we believe it or not.  This was a huge comfort to me when we went through the disappointment of the molar pregnancy between Lily and Noah.

As the song says, God is God and I am not.  The more deeply I realize that the more easily I can cast my anxieties on Him.  What a blessed peace that brings!

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